This is a sponsored post in collaboration with SweeTango. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Apples are the most cultivated and universally recognized fruit and perhaps one of the oldest that has existed on earth. It’s also arguably the most written about fruit in fables, religion and myths. It has been symbolized as both good and evil.
In the western world, we know the story of Adam and Eve in the Old Testament, where the serpent tempts man to eat the forbidden fruit thereby starting the fall of man and the Christian definition of sin. Irish folklore has it that if a woman peels the skin of the apple in one continuous ribbon and tosses it over her shoulder then the initials of her future husband will appear. And the Trojan War? Well, the idea of Troy tossing the golden apple to the chosen goddess soon evolved to an ancient Greek tradition of throwing an apple to the one you love.
It’s no wonder this beloved fruit has been developed and bred into such amazing varieties. One favourite variety of mine is SweeTango. Grown in Canada exclusively for the Canadian market, SweetTango is a premium apple variety famed for its crisp, sweet, tangy and juicy bite. SweeTango also holds the Guinness World Record for “Loudest Crunch of an Apple” (March 2016) The bite registered at an impressive 79.1 decibels. To put things in perspective, a normal conversation clocks in at 60 decibels and a vacuum or kitchen blender 70-80 decibels (according to American Speech-Language Hearing Association)
As a food stylist and baker, I adore SweeTango’s photogenic qualities. They’re red skinned with an intermittent splash of yellow and dotted with small white freckles…like a Paul Gauguin fruit still life. However unlike an immortal still life painting, this wondrous apple is only available early October until mid-November or until stock runs out. Thus the scramble to bake and crunch on as many SweeTango apples as possible.
It’s remarkable how far along apples have evolved. From the apple that inspired Isaac Newton to theorize universal gravitation to my utterly sublime SweeTango Cardamom and Chèvre Tart. Apples are here to stay. To nourish, inspire and dazzle us. And if you’re my kids, to make selfie videos crunching on some explosive SweeTangos.
Visit https://sweetango.com for more info and recipes.
- INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY DOUGH
- 260 grams or 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup ice cold water
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ¾ an egg beaten
- (save the other ½ egg for the pastry wash later)
- 100 grams or ½ cup shortening
- 115 grams or ½ cup unsalted cold butter
- INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
- 5 small apples or about 600 grams of SweeTango apples
- ½ cup or 115 grams chèvre unripened
- 2 tablespoons organic honey
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- a pinch of lemon zest
- TO FINISH
- 1 tablespoon organic honey to brush on apples before baking AND
- 1 tablespoon organic honey to brush on apples after baking
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- ¼ beaten egg
- Grate on largest hole of box grater the cold butter on a plate.
- Cut the shortening into small 1 cm cubes and add to the same plate as the butter and pop in freezer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, whisk well and set aside.
- In a small bowl take half the whisked egg, 1 teaspoon vinegar and ⅓ cup water and whisk together. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Take the chilled shortening and butter and toss with pastry cutter or forks in with the flour until the mixture resembles large coarse breadcrumbs.
- Drizzle the water/vinegar and egg mixture over the flour mixture and toss together with a spatula until the mixture starts to come together.
- Don’t overwork. You want to maintain some chunks of butter and shortening.
- Dump out onto large piece of parchment paper about 14 x 14 inches and fold the dough over using the paper about 5-6 times. Use a misting bottle to spritz extra dry spots in between folds…if you don’t have a misting spray, use little droplets of cold water.
- The dough should now hold its form with a few dry spots and chunks of butter/shortening.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take the chèvre, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and cardamom and mix thoroughly together with a small spatula until smooth and set aside.
- When the dough is ready, allow the dough to soften/warm up a bit — about 5 minutes. Roll out to form a large rectangular shape with a rolling pin all the while constantly lightly sprinkling flour and moving your dough to avoid it from sticking to your counter.
- Once it’s about 15 x 11 inches, take a ruler and sharp knife to trim the edges so the dough is 10 x 14 inches…. place the dough onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- With an offset spatula, spread the chèvre out into an even layer leaving about an inch of the edge.
- Pop baking tray with rolled out dough into fridge.
- Wash, core the apples and cut into quarters length wise quarter and thinly slice about 8 slices. (you can also use a mandolin to slice your apples).
- Do this to all quartered apples so 20 quarters (from 5 small apples).
- Take dough out of fridge and start arranging your apple slices starting from the left to right. Snuggly place the sliced groups side by side in a cross-hatching pattern, leaving about 1 inch from the edge until the chèvre is completely covered with apple slices-about 4 quarters across by about 5 quarters down.
- Pop in fridge again for about 15 minutes to let the dough chill again.
- Once the dough has chilled, brush about 1 tablespoon of honey on the sliced apples and
- Brush the ¼ beaten egg wash on the crust.
- Sprinkle the small cubes of butter all over the tart.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden brown.
- Brush on about 1 tablespoon of organic honey while the tart is still warm.
- Serve as is or with a scoop of ice-cream.