Jean Michel’s Thin-Crust Apple Tart

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I’m a great believer in having a couple of culinary specialities up your sleeve that you can make standing on your head and everyone oohs and ahs about. It doesn’t even matter if you always serve up the same thing to the same people because they usually look forward to it. Jean Michel’s great specialty is his thin-crust apple tart.

Jean Michel's apple tart

Jean Michel’s apple tart

The first time I ate it was when he invited me to dinner at his place for the first time. He’s convinced it’s low calorie. I’m not so sure about that, but it’s definitely delicious. I have never learnt to make it – I would hate to rob him of his fame (and it would also mean I’d find myself making it more often than him!). Also, I don’t think I have the patience to cut the apple thinly enough.

I once helped him in the early days of our acquaintance and I could see I was not doing it the right way. So I bowed out gracefully and left him to get on with it.

Here’s the recipe :

Ingredients:

250 g of plain flour (we only have unbleached)
1 to 2 g of ground Guérande sea salt (that is the only type he likes!)
30 g of fine brown sugar
100 to 150 g of butter
1 egg
3 to 4 large Golden Delicious apples (or any other non-floury apple)
 

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Putting curls of butter into the flour

Putting curls of butter into the flour

2. Scrape the butter into the bowl with a serrated edge knife

3. Incorporate with the finger tips

4. Create a well in the middle and break in the egg

5. Blend well with the fingertips

6. Add a little water depending on the moistness of the flour

7. Form a uniform ball and put in a cool place for at least 30 minutes but preferably several hours

Forming a circle from the ball of dough

Forming a circle from the ball of dough

8. Place the dough on a marble plaque and press it into a circle by working around it

Rolling dough towards the inside

Rolling dough towards the inside

9. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin first from the outside in, then from the inside out until it forms a circle with a diameter of 38 to 40 cm

Transferring the dough onto the rolling pin

Transferring the dough onto the rolling pin

10. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and place gently onto a 35 cm shallow anodised aluminium tart plate.

Placing the dough on the tart plate

Placing the dough on the tart plate

11. Prick the bottom with a fork

12. Turn the edge over

Forming a roll around the outside

Forming a roll around the outside

13. Create a decorative edge with a fork

Decorating the edge with a knife

Decorating the edge with a knife

14. Harden the tart shell in a 220°C oven for 2 minutes

The empty shell ready for the oven

The empty shell ready for the oven

15. Spread a thin layer of apple compote on the bottom of the shell

Spreading compote onto the base

Spreading compote onto the base

16. Carefully eel and slice the apple thinly and evenly

Cutting up apple into thin slices

Cutting up apple into thin slices

17. Overlap the apple slices to form a pattern

Overlapping the apple slices

Overlapping the apple slices

18. Make the rosette in the middle and sprinkle lightly with sugar

Just out the oven

Just out the oven

19. Cook in a 220°C oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

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12 Responses to Jean Michel’s Thin-Crust Apple Tart

  1. Barb says:

    A work of true genius!

  2. I have sent the link to Arch for him to master. Doesn’t look too lis cal

  3. Linda says:

    I have just discovered your blog and enjoying it immensely!
    I have never been a cake/dessert maker but now that I have just been made redundant , first day with time on my hands , I am going to give this a try. Love fruit, and, as you said we all need a “go-t0” recipe.

  4. Susan Walter says:

    The pastry rolling technique is interesting. And I bet he cleans up after himself 🙂

  5. Antoinette says:

    Thanks for your email. Thought I’d pop by your blog and you’ve immediately made me hungry 🙂 What a beautiful apple tart! I mostly make the American apple pie version –just as well as I could never be that artistic.

    BTW read you back post about teaching facilities. Thankfully fBS (formerly ESCEM) where I teach is much better equipped although the wi-fi can be a bit tempermental!

    • Rosemary Kneipp says:

      The apple tart requires a lot of patience!

      I’m glad that your teaching facilities are better than those at ESIT. Most of the universities in Paris are pretty awful!

  6. CarolynB says:

    Absolutely gorgeous — love the pattern and seeing all the steps from start to finish.

    Cheers.

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