06 October 2014

A Thin Little Tart ...

... a thin little fruit tart that matches the thin little cardamom-dusted almond slices that deck its top ...

This past weekend, I got to know my food dehydrator. There are bags of apples here in the grey cottage and they needed to be preserved in some fashion. I was thinking that drying them to fruit leather and storing them in Mason jars would be just the thing, so that's exactly what I did. Boy, it takes a lot of apple slices to fill a pint-sized Mason jar! There are enough slices dried to make a Tennessee Apple Stack Cake for one of the family parties this fall (or winter!). 

It took two days to dry things out to the point where I could bottle up the goods. I'll probably do another couple jars before apple season passes, but I had something else in mind for our apples and the three (count 'em!) pears that came off the back yard tree.

All the jibber jabber about Nigel Slater got me thinking about his classic little fruit tart. Minimalism meets Susan, here. This tart is no more than a sweet tart crust, three pears, two large apples, a nob of butter, three good tablespoons of sugar, toasted almond slices, the scrapings from the bottom of a jar of apple jelly, and a sparse sprinkling of cardamom. I suppose I could have dusted the tart with confectioner's sugar, but why hide the true nature of this little sweet treat?

... perfect  for kaffeetrinken ...

Nigel Slater’s Simple Fruit Tart
adapted to my taste
Pie Crust Ingredients:

1 ¼ c. flour
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
5 tbsp.vegetable shortening
4 – 5 tbsp. ice water

Filling Ingredients:

3 pears and 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thick chunks (about ⅓ inch thick)
2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. sugar
½ c. apple jelly
A sprinkle of cardamom

Making the Tart:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut in the shortening until it resembles crumbs.
  2. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time and mix with a fork. When dough holds together, wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
  3. While the dough chills, prep the fruit.
  4. Melt the butter in a fry pan and add the fruit chinks, cooking over medium heat and stirring every few minutes until they soften somewhat.
  5. Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the fruit from the pan to a bowl to cool.
  6. Add the jelly to the pan juices and return to the heat. Boil the sauce, stirring frequently to reduce it and thicken it to a nice syrup.
  7. While the sauce reduces, toast some slivered almonds in a dry fry pan.
  8. Roll out the chilled crust and press into a tart pan. Arrange the crust edges the way you like them.
  9. Turn the fruit into the tart shell. Drizzle the warm juices over all. Arrange the almond slices atop the fruit and sprinkle on the cardamom.
  10. Bake in a pre-heated 375°F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.
  11. Cool slightly and serve with hot coffee or tea.


  1. I should get a dehydrator... I bet it would come in handy. The tart looks beautiful and delicious!

  2. Susan and Nigel sitting in a tree... honestly, will your love affair with the man ever cease? Not that I blame you, I love his work and your work is also very beautiful. A large slice of this beauty please?

  3. That is simply beautiful! A work of art. I've never used a dehydrator before but I never met a kitchen gadget I didn't "need" lol. Your crust is perfect!


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