When the weather turns cool and the fall harvest has begun, it’s the season for homemade apple pie. This recipe takes its inspiration from the classic Tarte Normande, which combines apples and custard for a simple, not-too-sweet treat. The addition of Comté to the custard adds savory richness that extends to notes of browned butter and cultured cream. Serve at room temperature or chilled, with an ounce or two of Calvados for the ultimate pairing.
For the tart dough:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
¼ cup white sugar
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
3 large apples, Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Braeburn – all are good for baking
½ cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
¾ cup 35% cream
2 large eggs
3 ounces 12-month aged Comté cheese, rind removed and discarded
To make the tart dough, mix together the butter and sugar using a fork in a mixing bowl, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until combined but not whipped. Add the egg yolk and mix until just combined. Add the flour, sugar, and salt, and gently mix until the dough comes together. If necessary, add a few drops of cold water to help the dough come together.
Turn the dough out into the bottom of a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan. Using your fingertips and the heel of your palm, press the dough evenly into the tart pan until the bottom and sides are completely covered, as evenly as possible with no cracks in the dough. Refrigerate the tart shell for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350˚f. Peel, core, and quarter the apples, and cut each quarter into 3 or 4 slices. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles in the unbaked tart shell, until all of the apples are in the tart.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, ½ cup sugar, pinch of salt, and cream until blended. Shred the Comté cheese and mix together with the eggs until mostly smooth. Pour the egg mixture over the apple slices in the tart shell. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and carefully place in the oven. The tart shouldn’t leak if the pastry has no cracks. If it starts to leak, place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top of the tart is medium to dark golden brown and the custard is set.
Cool the tart completely and serve at room temperature, or place in the refrigerator and serve chilled. A dollop of crème fraiche is a nice accompaniment
The Spring/Summer 2022 edition of Comté News is now available!