Cookbook author and Jewish food historian Joan Nathan first tasted this tart in a convent in Jerusalem many years ago. She had it again at a home in the Vosges Mountains where the homemade applesauce was sweetened with grapes instead of sugar.
Make Ahead: The applesauce can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated. The dough for the tart needs to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before it is baked.
- For the filling
- 2 pounds firm, sweet apples, such as Jonathan, Gala or Fuji, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 5 cups)
- 3/4 cup seedless green grapes, each cut in half
- For the tart
- 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, cut into small cubes, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 sweet apple, such as Gala, Jonathan or Fuji, peeled and cut into very thin slices, for garnish
- Demarara sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
For the filling: Combine the apples and grapes in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are mushy and the mixture is chunky. Remove from the heat. The yield is 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.
For the tart: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add the butter or margarine in several increments, pulsing just until the mixture is crumbly. Add the ice water and process just until the dough forms a ball; add flour as needed. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a little butter or margarine to grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
Lightly flour a work surface, or place the dough between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough so it is at least 10 inches in diameter. Press into the tart pan, bringing the dough up the sides almost to the top of the rim, keeping an even thickness in the bottom and sides. Prick the bottom all over with the tines of a fork. Bake (with the pan on the baking sheet) for 8 to 10 minutes or until the tart shell is lightly browned. Let cool slightly.
Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Spread the applesauce filling evenly in the cooled tart shell. Arrange the apple slices in a decorative pattern on top. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes; the applesauce filling will look just set.
Adapted from Nathan's "Quiches, Kugels and Couscous" (Knopf, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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