Thursday, September 18, 2014

Triple Layered Apple Haystack Tart

Is it true that...

An apple a day keep doctor away?

I'm not sure because I don't eat an apple everyday

... but I know that eating apple tarts makes me feel happy all the way...

Why I first saw this Triple Layered Apple Haystack Tart at Nippon Nin during April, I told her immediately that I love to bake this for September for an apple baking event. Am I crazy thinking too much ahead? I'm not sure but all I know is that I really like to bake this recipe.

According to Nippon Nin, this is a replicate recipe of an elegant haystack-looking tart originated from Kinzo Nishihara (西原金蔵), the owner of a famous and well-reviewed pastry shop, Au Grenier D’or (オ・グレニエ・ドール) in Kyoto.

As mentioned in its name, this is a tart constructed with three mains layers and they are:

Layer One: An apple sauce
Layer Two: A Frangipane layer
Layer Three: Haystack-looking apples

Although this tart sounds a little complicate with its multiple layers , it is actually not difficult at all to bake. To me, the most challenge thing to do here is actually requiring patience and time to cut two apples into a pile of "haystack". Yes that I did bought a new mandolin slicer specially to bake this tart but eventually chicken out when I faced these sharp potential skin-scraping blades. ugh!!! I'm sorry but this is is me, being not brave to use a mandolin slicer...

I know that I'm not the best person to judge this apple tart as I have never been to Au Grenier D’or or Kyoto in my life. All I can say that this is a cake-like sticky tart fully absorbed with natural sweetness of apples. A cake-like sticky tart? My first bite of this tart tells me instantly that this apple tart is not the same as most traditional apple tarts. The very-apple-infused tart has an almost cake-like texture. The tart base is firm but not short or crispy or flaky. Although the tart base was first baked using classic shortcrust pastry and frangipane recipes, it forms a base to absorb the moisture from the apple sauce and the haystack-looking apples at its second bake and 
eventually form a sticky kind of texture. Sticky? Yup. My second bite confirms that it is truly apple-licious!

Besides enjoying an unique tart here, baking this tart has allowed me to learn a few things about apples. Like what variety of apple to use for what kind of purposes? Using the information at here, I have used the sweet and juicy Fuji to make my sweet apple sauce and firm and tangy Granny Smith as my firm-haystack-looking apples and we are loving this sweet and sour combination. What will be your favourite apple combination?

An Au Grenier D’or inspired Triple Layered Apple Haystack Tart
These beautiful Fuji apples are used to make the first layer of this tart.
The cooked apples will release its own juice in the presence of sugar.
I can't have enough of this apple sauce. It is so delicious.
Making the frangipane, the second layer.
... and bake!
... after its first bake
Here's more apples for this tart!
No mandolin slicer for the chicken me, please!
Spread apple sauce on the baked pastry first
Then top it with a big pile of apples!
Every slice of this tart is piled with apples!
The tart base is totally infused with natural sweetness of apples...
Sticky and apple-licious! 

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from Nippon Nin. She is always the lady that I know with heaps of delicious food, displaying exquisite moods and beautiful seasonal colours.

For the tart pastry:

150g cake flour, preferably with low protein (6-8%)
1/2 tsp salt
75g butter, cold and cubed
25ml water
1 egg yolk

Using a food processor or by hand, combine flour, salt and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Mix in egg yolk and the minimal amount of water until mixture forms a dough. Wrap dough with cling wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for at least hour or overnight.

For layer one, apple sauce:

1 large or 2 small apples, preferably Fuji, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place apple and sugar in saucepan. Cook on low heat for 10 to 15 mins, stirring mixture occasionally until apple is thoroughly cooked tender.

Using a processor, blender or a hand blender, process the apple mixture into sauce-like consistency. Please note that the mixture doesn't have to be very smooth as some coarse bits of the sauce does enhance the overall texture of this tart.

Stir in lemon juice and set aside.

For layer two, frangipane:

50g finely ground almond (or almond meal)
50g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, light beaten

Using wooden spoon or an electric mixer, stir ground almond and sugar in bowl until combined. Add butter and beat mixture until well incorporated. While mixing, add egg gradually in batches and mix further until well combined. Set aside.

Lightly grease and floured a 19cm or 20cm loose bottom round tart tin.

Remove pastry dough from the fridge. Allow it to rest in room temperature for 5 mins before rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to 5mm thickness.

Transfer rolled dough onto the prepared tin. Lightly press the pastry into the tin, patching any cracks. Trim the edges with a knife or a rolling pin. Chill pastry in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 mins. Chilling is important here as this shortcrust pastry can shrink during baking.

Preheat the oven to 360°F or 160°C fan forced.

Spread frangipane mixture evenly on the pastry and bake for 20 mins.

For layer three, Haystack-looking apples

2 large apples, preferably Granny Smith for its firmness and tangy taste
lemon juice from 1 lemon
50g caster sugar

Remove the core of the apples but leave the skin on. Using a mandolin or a knife, cut apple into sticks. Mix apples, sugar and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl and set aside for 10 mins. to allow the apple to "sweat". Remove the apples from the mixing bowl and place them on the sheets of paper towel and pat-dry them thoroughly.

Heat oven to 360°F or 160°C fan forced. Spread about apple sauce over the tart base. Top the haystack-looking apples on top of the apple sauce without pressing the topping.

Bake the tart for 10-15 mins. When the tips of the apples start turning brown, remove the tart from the oven and cover it loosely with a foil. Return the tart into the oven and bake again for another 10-15 mins. The total baking time for this second bake is about 25 mins.

Leave it to cool slightly for 10-15 mins before removing it from the tin. Leave it to cool completely at room temperature. Dust it with icing sugar and serve.

Happy Baking
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  1. Another fancy name for apple pie? Oh wait, triple layered apple haystack tart! From the name, I'm sure it's loaded with apples, apples and more apples! If I make these, I will use frozen ready-made puff pastries.. There's one brand which I like here, and been using it for many years - Kawan brand.. Nice.. I love your tart in the last picture.. You used a lot of "liew" and they are all "hor liew" (good stuff)..

  2. This looks gorgeous, Zoe! I love the layers especially the slices that you loaded on top ^.^

  3. Yeah.... really applicious and yummy....

  4. hmmm, i love this tart.. but seem like a bit of work. now if zoe can give me one of these tarts, it will definitely keep the doctor miles and million years away ^^

  5. Looks fantastic...Best tart I have ever seen!!!

  6. Zoe, I've bookmarked many apple recipes this month but not sure I can make it for LTU event :D This apple haystack tart looks very delicious too!

  7. Like the filling,apples apples apples....I still thinking what apple recipes should I try...hahahaha

  8. Oh wowie! What a great new way of making an apple pie that I haven't heard of!!! I've seen so many types and ways but I love the shredded apples on top and that filling inside...looks so damn good!

  9. Oh boy.... this is making soooo hungry ! Drooling here. I can imagine how scrumptious it is.
    Enjoy your day dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  10. cudnt help but remember that quote - an apple a day keeps the doc away..but if the doc is cute...well...keep the apple away !!! :P :P this indeed is too, will keep away the cute doc for a while, and go for the apples :). thanks a bunch, dear, for ur clarification on the heated flour . really appreciate it ...hugs...

  11. Oh it turned out so yummy and beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing

  12. This apple pie is..real apple pie. I would love pie with so much apples :)

  13. WOW so many differing textures of apples..... an apple delight indeed! :)

  14. Hi Zoe, thanks for sharing this wonderful & unique apple-licios Triple Layered Apple Haystack Tart. I need sometime to digest the long baking process. So, now can have a slice of your tart?

  15. Looks amazing!!!! lovely shots as always

  16. Z, I love love love this!
    Looks like it takes a bit of time, but well worth the effort! xo

  17. Oh Zoe , you did it again , this dish is just heavenly and the name suits it to a T . Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Hi Zoe,
    This is fabulous! Look so yummy!
    I have a bottle of Apple Sauce, which I bought from baby department. Intend to bake something for Thumbs Up.

  19. Hi,Zoe
    Nice to meet you^^. I've added your blog to my blog list ^^. The tart is soooo tempting!!! Drooling~
    Love your blog very much\^o^/

  20. Too delicious this tart is..Lovely name..

  21. Now , that's what I call apple overload ! From the look of it , your tart must be applelicious :D

  22. Hi Zoe,
    No idea whether my comment went thru a moment ago. The screen went blank after that!
    Your tart looks really good. I like frangipane filling, makes a tart all the more delicious!
    My favourite apple for baking is Fuji. I like its sweetness yet it has a light sourish taste to it, making the bakes full of apple flavour.
    I love apple tart, and would love to have a slice of your lovely tart. :)

  23. Nothing can go wrong with the use of these fresh apples. Mmmm...... I wouldn't mind having a slice! Happy weekend, Zoe! xoxo

  24. I haven't seen a haystack tart before, but I am all for it - fresh and healthy ingredients :D
    Delicious photos!

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. wow...this is pretty nice:) Will surely this soon:)
    do look at my blog:)

  26. Hi Zoe, your apple tart with the Frangipane layer is 'out of this world' super delicious. The piles, and piles of two different apples really add and added touch...not just any ordinary apple tart, but amazing and very creative. Leave it to you to step it up a few 'notches'! Hugs,

  27. Wow! This tart not only looks good but sounds really amazing too with triple layers of goodies . I love frangine with apples . Infact I just baked one too! LOL ;)

  28. Hai saputo trasformare una torta di mele in uno spettacolo!!!!

  29. I'm back from Japan! Thank you for mentioning my site in this post. I'm so thankful you tried the recipe! Yours looks super good! And nice photos!
    Oh my! You're so cute! Love the new pic of you. I bet Australia is getting warmer...leaves are changing the color here.