Fall has arrived, at long last! After one of the hottest summers Tokyo has experienced in recorded history, we have finally gotten some release. Cooler temperatures have made the city feel like a different place. A better place. A place where you won’t melt walking down the street. When the weather changes this drastically, I automatically begin to crave apple-themed desserts. Apple pie, apple muffins, apple cider…anything with that welcoming scent and comforting flavor.
The other day, I made this simple and scrumptious apple tart for a small dinner party. I added a few lemon-thyme leaves to the crust, giving the overall flavor an earthy yet bright accent. It was the perfect way to add a little twist to a classically perfect dessert. What made it even better were the dishes I used to serve the apple tart. These bamboo leaf disposable plates are elegant and simple, just like this tart! The knife and fork are also bamboo. I love how contemporary the tableware is while still bringing an earthy elegance to a place setting. RestaurantWare.com sells a wide range of eco-friendly catering supplies and it is not limited to bamboo. (I’ll be sharing some other styles with you in the future.) Trust me when I say that you will love them all!
No matter what the occasion, whether it is celebrating the changing seasons or simply to treat yourself, this simple apple tart with lemon-thyme crust is perfect atop elegant bamboo leaf plates.
*Check out RestaurantWare.com if you’d like catering supplies like these bamboo plates and flatware of your own! Enter coupon code “tokyoterrace” and receive 10% off!
Apple Tart with Lemon-Thyme Crust
1 medium apple, sliced in 1/4″ slices
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 cup of flour
2 teaspoons lemon-thyme (or regular thyme) leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick of butter (4 T), placed in the freezer for 1 hour
1 tablespoon shortening
zest of half a lemon
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Sugar for dusting
Start by making the crust. In a large bowl, combine the flour, thyme leaves, salt, butter, shortening and lemon zest. If you froze the butter (which I highly recommend) use a cheese grater to grate it into the mixing bowl. This will make it easier to work into the flour and keep the temperature cold. This is a trick of my mother’s that works beautifully! Using your fingers, combine the dry ingredients with the butter and shortening until the mixture resembled small crumbs. Using a teaspoon, slowly add the ice water 1 teaspoon at a time. Do this until the mixture hold together well and is not dry or crumbling. I usually have to use 2, maybe 3 teaspoons, but this can vary depending on climate, etc.
Gather the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about half an hour and up to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, take the apple slices, cinnamon, sugar, salt and lemon juice and combine in a bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes but not more than 15.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large circle, about 13 inches. Transfer the dough to a tart pan. Do this by laying it over the pan and gently pressing the dough into the pan.
Put the tart in the oven at 350 degrees F (176 C) for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned.