Philosophizing About Food With Francine: Tarte aux pommes a L’Alsacienne (French Alsatian Appel Tart)


by Francine Black

Tarte aux pommes a L’Alsacienne. It was sad to see everyone’s yearning gaze today as I washed the empty pie pan that contained yesterday’s apple pie. (My husband had eaten the last little bit for breakfast this morning.). 

There were only 3 apples left in the fruit bowl so what could I do! My grandmother was famous for making something delicious out of a little bit of this and a little bit of that so I took a page out of her book. This tart has a delicate pate sucre for a base but it’s the filling that really elevates it. 

Each of my 3 apples was peeled and sliced into eighths after which the slices were caramelized in a bit of butter and sugar. Into the pastry base they went, followed by a vanilla scented custard. 

  My grandmother kept chickens so there were always eggs and the neighbor had a cow that gave rich milk and most everyone had a couple of fruit trees in their yard. I’m sure they shared their bounty with each other. 

I remember this tart very well. Walking into my grandmother’s house was always a feast for the senses it seems and isn’t it amazing how the delicious aroma of this apple custard tart has taken me back to her kitchen at least seven decades ago with the lightening speed of a sci-fi film.  

It’s very easy. You can use purchased puff pastry for the crust and the rest is just a matter of sauteeing the apples slowly, laying them in the crust and finally whisking a couple of eggs with cream sugar and vanilla and pouring that over top. 40 minutes in a 400F oven and voila!   

 I used farm eggs so as these were rather small, I used three. If they’d been X-Large, I’d have used two.      

Francine largely cooks without specific recipes. If you are the kind of cook who is more detail oriented, here are some recipes for you to consider using to make this Apple Custard Tart…  

[Editor's Note-- High in the mountains above Bally, where the dense groves of treetops seem to touch the sky, is Francine Black, Boyertown’s own version of chef Julia Child. Her daily activities reflect the things she most values: family and friends, music, and lovingly prepared food. ]

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