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Apple Tart, Miracle Crust and Mother Nature too

  • October 25, 2011
 OK, so it’s just another apple tart, you’re thinking. Well think again, because this tart dough is nothing short of miraculous. It’s made in a jiffy using melted butter – you read that right – no blending rock hard butter, ice water, flour and sugar together as all traditional doughs call for. This tart dough not only is a snap to make, it tastes buttery, flaky and even held up two days later without getting soggy. I owe this marvel to David Lebovitz, who wrote about it on his blog here. I changed the recipe slightly to allow for a larger tart shell, and I melted the butter on top of the stove, rather than in the oven. I may never use another tart recipe again. It’s that good and that easy.
Serve it with ice cream for a real treat. Eat it overlooking these almost primordial waterfalls in the Catskills as I did and you’ll think you’re dreaming. This is the phenomenal view I had for three days last week, when my kids and I gathered to commemorate a very special day.


It was hard to tear ourselves away from the view, enjoyed before dinner on our first evening there with a couple of bottles of wine, some guacamole and salsa.
We had gorgeous views from all our hikes too, including this one at the top of the mountain, overlooking the Hudson Valley.
We had fun exploring other towns nearby, including Woodstock and Saugerties.
And there were plenty of other waterfalls to discover on our hikes too, including Kaaterskill Falls, the longest one in the Catskills.

Not to mention brilliant fall foliage.
And wonderful food too, including this duck confit at Tamayo’s in the town of Saugerties. Thanks kids.
I can’t leave out these luscious macarons that my daughter brought to the feast from the new Laduree store in Manhattan. Merci beaucoup.
In the end, the waterfalls outside our door – Niobe Falls – kept luring us back like Ulysses to the sirens. We were just mesmerized all weekend by their beauty and proximity. It was like having a natural sound machine to lull you.
As hard as it was to leave the waterfall house and the wonderful hospitality of its owners, we softened the blow on the way home by stopping at our favorite New York State winery – Prospero Winery. We squeezed some space out of an already crammed car for some wine and prosecco to take home.
Back home – via Manhattan and Jersey City to drop off the kids at their own places – after a memorable weekend. Time to finish off that last slice of apple tart.

Tart Dough Recipe
fits a large tart pan, about 10 1/2 inches in diameter

Printable recipe here

5 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Melt butter in a saucepan until bubbly. Add all the rest of the ingredients with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball and comes away from the side of the pan. Add more flour if necessary. Pat into a tart pan and fill with apples or other fruit.
4 or 5 sliced apples,  depending of size – I used Granny Smith
sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on top
2 T. butter
apricot preserves
Layer apple slices over uncooked dough in tart pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and dab with bits of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on thickness of slices. Remove from oven  and heat apricot preserves until warm enough to spread. Brush a thin layer over the apples.