Inspired by their pastry training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, chefs Eric Bromberg and Bruce Bromberg developed this holiday version of a traditional apple pie, with rum and dried cranberries added to boost the flavor.
Chef Holiday Recipes Made EasyBeautiful Desserts
Cream Cheese Pastry, made without the spices
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
8 medium Granny Smith apples (about 3 1/2 pounds)—peeled, halved and cored
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup aged rum
1 banana, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup apricot preserves, melted and strained
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the Cream Cheese Pastry to a round about 1/8 inch thick. Fit the pastry into a 12-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a rolling pin to trim off any overhang. Prick the bottom of the pastry several times with a fork.
Line the shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly colored around the edge. Remove the foil and weights. Bake the shell for about 7 minutes longer, or until it is dry and golden. Let cool slightly, then brush with the egg yolk.
Meanwhile, cut 4 of the apples into 3/4-inch dice. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet. Stir in the vanilla bean and brown sugar. Add the diced apples and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Carefully add the rum and continue to cook until the apples are just tender and the rum is almost evaporated, about 6 minutes. Stir in the banana and dried cranberries; remove the vanilla bean.
Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and spread in an even layer. Set the 8 remaining apple halves, rounded side up, on a work surface and thinly slice them, keeping the halves intact. Starting at the edge of the tart, arrange the apples over the filling in overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Bake the tart for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the apples are golden and tender. Remove from the oven and brush the top of the tart with the apricot preserves. Let cool on a rack. Unmold the tart and serve with dollops of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The baked apple tart can be refrigerated overnight and rewarmed in a 325° oven.
Point up the rum in the tart by serving an aged dark rum with mellow toffee-molasses notes, such as one from Barbados.
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