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Dec 30, 2008 03:37 PM

Best apple pie ever, according to husband

Well I have earned myself high praise from my husband with a rustic apple-rosemary tart I assembled today. I even noted his remark in my cookbook, along with my modifications.

The base recipe is from Sally Schneider's A New Way to Cook (p. 486), which uses her Fool Proof Flaky Butter Pastry as a base, and a filling made of apples, a teaspoon and a half of fresh rosemary, lemon juice, brown sugar, butter and flour. I tweaked the recipe as follows:

* For the filling: I replaced some of the lemon juice with Calvados (we're on a Calva kick nowadays)

* For the crust: I had prepared Sally Schneider's lighter pastry as a substitute to the Parmesan-laced dough recipe in Delia Smith's Winter Collection, which is used for her Wild Mushroom and Egg Tartlets. I had made the dough based on Schneider's recipe, but adding a half cup of Parmesan grated over a microplane a few days earlier. However circumstances prevented me from cooking up the egg tartlets, so to use up the dough tonight, I tried the apple-rosemary filling.

All I can say it: I'm a convert to the rosemary accent, instead of cinnamon. This makes for a grown-up apple tart, fragrant, not too sweet, and which goes nicely with a small glass of Calvados on the side.

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  1. I think that sounds delicious, Snowpea. (P.S. I'm *always* on a Calvados kick...except I have a hard time finding it in the little towns around me and too often have to settle for Applejack or Apple Brandy.)

    Sounds like a good twist, with the rosemary....and parmesan and apples are so good together, anyway.

    Btw, not about apples, but along the same lines of doing things a little bit differently, a little bit more "grown-up"...this summer I read about adding a little thyme and a pinch of black pepper, along with a *small* amount of sugar, to fresh strawberries. I thought it was *great*, for a change.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steady Habits

      I confess I've been very hesitant about strawberries and pepper, but you may have just given me the courage to try that combination next spring.

      Calvados is hard to find up here in Quebec too (our liquor and wine stores are run by the governement), and choice is limited to usually one or two brands - usually Boulard and another... For the holidays, selection has widened a bit, however. But I did balk at the ones that were higher than 70$. Booze is so heavily taxed here, you tend to go for the cheaper stuff in order to keep your wallet from screeching bloody murder.

      1. re: TheSnowpea

        Just try a little helping next summer of cold fresh strawberries with the pepper (I really liked the thyme on them, and have heard of strawberry thyme tarts). Just a small amount of the two spices, and it's good with a dash of balsamic vinegar to contrast against the sugar.

        Yes, same here, too, in my little corner of New England. When a bottle of Calvados shows up in one of the package stores around, it's always very expensive, especially considering I'm only going to use it for cooking. I want it to be drinkable, naturally, to use it for cooking, but it doesn't have to be a bottle worthy of marking the turn of the millenium. Very frustrating since the French cuisine I'm most interested in is Norman. I'd probably be able to order some online, but just haven't remembered to do that.

    2. Yeah, it's great together. I thyme is good too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pepper_mil

        Thyme in the apple pie? Mmh, yeah, but I would think fresh would be best!

        I should try it next pie while my thyme plants were still alive :-) I have a plain and a lemon thyme.

        I keep a couple of rosemary bushes as houseplants, so I can enjoy a bit of fresh herbs in my winter cooking. In the summer, I just toss them outside so they can soak in the sun, and I bring them back inside when the weather turns nippy.