look what I found at the library! well… sort of. it is none other than the tarte aux pommes au lait d’amande douce by Pierre Hermé. Or in English, apple tart with… sweet almond milk? That’s a literal translation, please forgive my poor translation!
you see, a few months ago, around february, on a whim I typed in “perre herme” for a search at our library’s catalog. and… there was a result. a most beautiful result. Secrets Gourmands. It’s an amazing book for the photos alone – they are backlit and extremely dramatic. They’re made in a way that they redefine what a pastry is without taking away its essence.
I keep renewing the book because I don’t want to give it up. Just look at this pitiful card. Nobody has checked out this book since 1999! That is a a shame. And I know once I return it (when I graduate and I’m gone, not a moment earlier!), it’ll sit there for probably another ten more years until someone finds it. So if you happen to go to UT Austin, take advantage of the fact that our library has such a beautiful book, and go find it and obsess over it like I did!
1 sweet pie crust
1kg apples de saison (in season)
40g orgeat syrup veritable (genuine)
100g seedless green grapes
30g pine nuts
30g chopped walnuts
40g granulated sugar
powdered sugar, as needed
He specifies apples in season. Yes… I know I made this in the spring, when they aren’t… but I just love apples too much! There goes my eco points.
He also specifies genuine orgeat syrup. My first question was, what the heck is orgeat? Thank goodness for google. Apparantly it’s an almond syrup of sugar, almonds, and water that is most well known for being in Mai-Tais. Off to the alcohol store, where I promptly found it. Except I don’t consider it “genuine” because the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. Sorry Mr. Hermé, but it’s a little hard in Texas to find good stuff... But don’t worry, I will look again when I come to France!
Recipe Adapted from Secrets Gourmands by Pierre Hermé.
1. Peel and chop half of your apples into cubes of 5-7 mm. I slacked and just used the mandoline and made some strips, but they worked out fine.
2. Melt your butter in a pan, then add the apples and granulated sugar on a high temperature for 3 minutes or until they are soft.
3. Take it off the fire and add in your grapes, pine nuts, and walnuts. Mix it up, let it cool, cover, and refrigerate it until needed.
4. Prebake your piecrust until nice and brown. Do it your way, or if you curious about Mr. Herme’s method: roll out your tart crust, line your tart pan with it, then place a sheet of parchment paper on top and fill it with apricot pits or dried beans and bake for 15 min a 350F degree oven.
5. Add in the filling, and top with grated apples.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven.
7. When finished, sprinkle with powdered sugar. And eat. So, so, delicious!