I have so many things to get off my chest today.
First things first: I’ve been holding back this pie (tart? pie? pietart?) from you for almost a year.
Which, in pandemic time, is basically six lifetimes.
This was our Christmas dessert (you know, back in the before times when you could still have people over for holidays) and I’ve basically been dreaming of it every day, ever since. It was unanimously declared the best apple pie anyone had ever had. Which, if you know my family, is kind of a big deal because they are STICKLERS for tradition and this pie is anything but traditional.
It starts off with a pate sucree base, which is just fancy for shortbread.
That gets topped with a layer of sweet almond cream (aka frangipane) and the most delectable caramel apple cranberry filling that is sweet, tart, sultry, and absolutely addictive.
It’s finished off with a simple streusel and then baked to pie heaven.
My biggest regret of 2019 (other than not taking a gazillion vacations because WHO KNEW we would never be able to travel again) was actually serving it at Christmas because that meant I had to share.
Not making that mistake again this year. 2020 has stolen a lot from us, but it cannot take away my apple pie.
- 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (30 g) almond flour
- ½ cup + ½ tbsp (120 g) cold unsalted butter
- ¾ cup + 1 tbsp (100 g) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup (110 g) unsalted butter
- ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
- 1⅓ cups (270 g) sugar
- 1¼ cups (300 mL) heavy cream
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp (140 g) all purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup (110 g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp (115 g) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (120 g) almond flour
- ¼ cup (30 g) all purpose flour
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp (15 g) unsalted butter
- 5 cups (550 g) peeled, cored, and chopped apples
- ⅓ cup + 1½ tbsp (75 g) brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 3.5 oz (100 g) cranberries
- 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
- Combine the all purpose flour and almond flour in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until pale. Add in the egg and continue to mix until incorporated and well combined. Add in the dry ingredients. Mix on low until the dough just comes together.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, pat it into a disk, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to ⅛-inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and invert the dough onto a 9-inch tart pan. Remove the second piece of parchment paper and gently press the dough into the pan. Trim away any excess dough from the rim. Prick the dough all over the bottom and sides with a fork. Place in the freezer and chill for 30 minutes.
- While chilling, heat oven to 350F.
- Remove the tart dough from the freezer and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool.
- Combine the butter and vanilla seeds in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Put the sugar in a medium saucepan and cover with just enough water so that it looks like wet sand. Cook over high heat without stirring. Once the sugar melts and turns a dark amber color, remove it from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream. Pour it into the bowl with the butter and vanilla seeds. Whisk to completely combine. Cover with plastic wrap, laying it directly over the surface of the caramel. Refrigerate until completely cool.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the butter a few cubes at a time. Mix just until small clumps start to form. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add in the almond flour, all purpose flour, and salt. Mix until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the pot. Cook until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the caramel sauce and cranberries. Add in the cornstarch and mix until just incorporated. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
- Heat oven to 375F.
- Spread a layer of the almond cream on the bottom of the tart shell. Use a slotted spoon to spread the caramel apple mixture over the almond cream, leaving as much liquid as possible in the pot. Top with the streusel.
- Bake until the streusel is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes, rotating the tart halfway through. Allow to cool completely before serving.