Meme's Apple Tart

This is another of Mme. Pepin's dishes, a tart that Pepin says she made almost every day in her small Lyon restaurant Le Pelican. Its soft, hand-pressed dough couldn't be easier. The is adapted from The Essential Pepin, by Jacques Pepin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2011).

Apple tart i i
Michele Kayal/for NPR
Apple tart
Michele Kayal/for NPR

Makes 6 servings

Dough

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard, at room temperature

1/4 cup milk, heated to lukewarm

Filling

2 pounds Golden Delicious or McIntosh apples (about 6 medium)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center.

For the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the shortening or lard and mix with a spoon or your hands until the mixture feels and looks sandy. Add the warm milk and stir rapidly for a few seconds, until the dough is well mixed.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap to help you (this is an ingenious tip), fit the dough into a 9-inch quiche pan or tart pan with a removable bottom. With your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

For the filling, peel the apples, quarter them and remove the cores. Arrange the apple quarters, cut side up, in circles on top of the dough and sprinkle the sugar evenly over them. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the apples with the butter.

Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the apples are browned and crusty.

Let cool to lukewarm, then cut into wedges and serve.

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