You can have additional apple slices after placing the apples in step 6. If you don’t have a potato masher, you can blend the apples in a food processor. For best flavor and texture, cook the crust all the way through until it’s a nice golden brown. To help the outer ring of the pan separate easily from the cake, keep the applesauce and apricot glaze from sitting on the crust. The pie is best served the day it is made, but the baked crust, apple slices, and applesauce can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Apple slices and applesauce should be refrigerated separately in airtight containers. Assemble the tart with the cold apple slices and purée and cook as directed, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time.
- 1⅓ cups (6⅔ ounces) all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons (2¼ ounces) sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 10 Golden Delicious apples (8 ounces each), peeled and cored
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of water
- ½ cup canned apricots
- ¼ teaspoon salt
1. For Crust: Place 1 oven rack on lowest position and 2nd rack 5-6 inches from rack element. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with a wooden spoon until you get a dough. With your hands, press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom. Press remaining dough onto wavy sides of pan. Press and stretch the dough with your hands to an even thickness. Place skillet on rack set in rimmed pan and cook on lower rack until crust is golden brown and firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes, turning skillet midway through cooking process. Set aside until filled.
2. For the filling: Quarter 5 apples lengthwise and cut each quarter lengthwise into 4 slices. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and water and mix. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to turn translucent and slightly pliable, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer apples to a large plate, spread in a single layer, and let cool. Do not clean the pan.
3. While apples cook, microwave canned apricots until runny, about 30 seconds. Strain canned food through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl, reserving solids. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the drained jam to cover the cake.
4. Cut remaining 5 apples into 1/2-inch wedges. In the now empty skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the remaining apricot jam, reserved apricot kernels, apple wedges and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very soft, about 10 minutes.
5. Mash the apples with a potato masher. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until puree is reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
6. Transfer applesauce to baked pie and smooth top. Choose 5 thinner slices of sautéed apple and set aside. Starting from the outside edge of the cake, arrange the remaining slices in concentric circles, overlapping them firmly. Fold reserved slices to fit in center. Bake cake, still on wire rack in pan, on lowest rack for 30 minutes. Remove tart and heat grill.
7. While grill is heating, microwave reserved preserves until runny, about 20 seconds. Spread evenly over the surface of the apples, avoiding the sour crust. Bake tart, checking every 30 seconds and turning as needed, until apples are well caramelized, 1 to 3 minutes. Let the cake cool for at least 1 hour and a half. Remove the outer metal ring from the pan, insert a thin metal spatula between the cake and the bottom of the pan and gently slide the cake onto the serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.