I live in Normandy, land of apples and pears, and everything made with them – from Tarte Tatin to Rosemary Apple Tart, to Apple Charlotte, to apples as vegetable, appetizer, seasoning. I’m an expert with apples, and everything I make with them is a point of pride for me. But never have I had such a magical apple tart as the one I just tasted in Peyrenegre, on the Dubois family farm in the Dordogne.
If you know me, you know the Dubois – Danie has been my cooking guru since I first moved to France thirty years ago. She’s a farm cook which is already great enough. But aside from her innate know-how, she has a creative sensibility and a gift for combining the simplest ingredients into the most gorgeous dishes. Last week as she was preparing goose confit she was instructing my daughter Fiona – over her shoulder – on how to make this amazing apple and honey tart.
Like so many things Danie makes, the tart was simple, simple in its brilliance. It went into a nice, hot oven and emerged golden and steaming, almost caramelized. When I bit into it, the pastry shattered, the sugar crackled, the apples and honey were like a warm, fragrant visit to the orchard. It was simply gorgeous.
I made it the minute I returned home. Danie is a good teacher – the tart was just as good as it had been at the farm, confirmed by friends who sampled it and swooned. It is now a part of my permanent, apple-season repertoire. Merci, Danie!
This apple tart is divine for the holidays or even as an early spring treat when you still have apples and pears that have wintered over…and before spring strawberries begin to show up at the market.