Rustic Apple Tart with Honey, Nuts and Dates

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For Sunday family dinner last weekend, I made a Rustic Apple Tart with Honey, Nuts and Dates from “Bon Appetit” Magazine. This tart smells like Indian cuisine and tastes like apple pie gone wild. The warm and tangy cardamom — a relative of ginger — takes this dessert to a daring place, beyond where cinnamon (my favorite) goes. If you have never had the pleasure, it is a taste worth experiencing. Here’s the whole recipe as I made it:

Rustic Apple Tart with Honey, Nuts and Dates

CRUST
1 cup all purpose flour and 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (be careful if you are tempted to add more wheat flour — you’ll need to adjust everything slightly)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons (or more) ice water
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

FILLING
3 tablespoons butter
7 medium Granny Smith apples (~3 pounds), peeled, cored, each cut into 12 slices
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup chopped assorted nuts (I used walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and cashews)
7 Medjool dates, pitted, cut into matchstick-size strips

THE REST
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1 cup chilled whipping cream

CRUST

  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in large bowl.
  2. Add butter and shortening; rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl. Pour over flour mixture.
  4. Stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry.
  5. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

FILLING

  1. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until brown and almost tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium; mix in cardamom.
  3. Pour 1/3 cup honey and vanilla over and cook 1 minute.

THE REST

  1. Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F.
  2. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 12-inch round. Remove top sheet of paper.
  3. Sprinkle crust evenly with nuts. Replace paper atop crust and roll to 13-inch round, embedding nuts in dough. Crust will be thin.
  4. Invert crust onto rimless baking sheet or deep dish pie pan. (I went with a deep dish pie pan this time to help keep some shape because I had a ton of apples and filling going on.) Remove top paper.
  5. Spoon half of apple mixture over crust, leaving 2-inch plain border.
  6. Sprinkle dates over apples. Top with remaining apple mixture.
  7. Using paper as aid, fold outer edge of crust over apples. The thinner your dough is rolled, the more delicate it will be; press together any tears.
  8. Whisk egg and milk in bowl. Brush edges generously with egg mixture.
  9. Sprinkle crust and apples with raw sugar.
  10. Bake tart until crust begins to brown, about 15 minutes.
  11. Reduce heat to 375°F; bake until crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes. longer.
  12. Loosen tart from parchment paper with spatula. Cool on baking sheet until warm, about 45 minutes.
  13. Beat cream and 2 tablespoons honey in large bowl until peaks form.
  14. Slide 9-inch-diameter removable tart pan bottom under tart and transfer to platter.
  15. Serve with honeyed whipped cream.

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Warning: If you dislike cardamom, you should probably not make this recipe with the amount indicated. You could easily switch it out for cinnamon, but bear in mind that this tart’s filling gets its distinct and aromatic flavor from the very ingredient you’d be omitting If you’re not sure you like cardamom or you have never had it, do give it a try. The potent spice pairs nicely with the sweetness of the apples, dates and honey.

With that said, whatever your feelings on cardamom, this crust is nutty, buttery paradise. I can’t imagine someone not liking it. It’s so good, I plan to pair it with other fillings and might just start rolling all my dessert crusts in assorted fancy chopped nuts. It’s definitely a keeper on its own if you’re not a cardamom person.

Thanks to Stephanie for passing this recipe along to me!

About Nina

Nina lives in Buffalo, NY. An adventurous home cook, she loves to eat, cook, bake & enjoy life. She writes/blogs about food, tweets adventures & other passions.

21. May 2011 by Nina
Categories: Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 comments

5 Responses

  1. aunt patty says:

    looks luscious can’t wait to try it…..Thanks Nina…love you honey!

  2. This looks & sounds delicious! I will definitely add this to the recipe list!

    • Nina says:

      Let me know how you like it, Natalie! It is unlike any other apple dessert I’ve made — and I make many apple desserts! Although apples are arguably the main attraction of any apple tart, the cardamom is the star of this one.

  3. […] the best. I love baking with this versatile fruit, and I’ve explored the gamut, from pies to tarts to cakes. One of my favorites, though, is a simple apple crisp. It is easy enough to make after a […]