Apple Pie is a big deal around my house. My grandmother, Rocci was famous for hers. I have spent a life time trying to find my own niche and garner a two thumbs up from her biggest fan and my father. At christmas I considered making this after listening to Chris Kimble of America's Test Kitchen describe it to Renee Montagne on Morning Edition. I balked on the day figuring it was too much work
What I made was a mere glimmer of what I could have done had I chosen this technique. With a base of something that resembles apple sauce and a topping of firmer apples, the flaky crust holding it all together creates a study in contrasts. Crispy, buttery perfection as the consummate ying to the tarts internal yang.
The original recipe can be found at Laws of the Kitchen. This is what I did to make it gluten free and local.
Peel and core the apples, cut each one in quarters, and cut each quarter into 6 pieces. Put the apples in a large bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Spread the apples on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 ffor 1 hour, or until the apples give up their juices, start to form a sauce, and are soft enough to mash.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the 1/2 a portion of a flaky crust dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the tart for at least 30 minutes. Line with parchment and fill the pie with beans. Bake in a 400 F oven for 20 - 25 min, or until golden brown.
Place on a rack to cool, lower the heat to 375 F.
Spoon the puree into the cooled tart shell and smooth. To make the topping:
Peel, core, and quarter the apples and then cut them into slices that are 1/8 inch thick. Toss all of the remaining ingredients in with the apples.
Working slowly and carefully and starting at the edge, arrange the apples in a circle over the puree. The slices should overlap and the points should just touch the shell.
Put the tart on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the 375 F oven, or until the apple slices are edged in brown. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve, warm, ala mode or even cold in the morning.