I was able to give my dad his Father’s Day baked goods while I was in CT last week, since today I’m back up home in MA, and my dad is out and about visiting my grandma and other friends in the Mid-Atlantic.
But it’s ok, really. My dad is a very simple man. Before my baking obsession struck, the usual question of “what do you want for Father’s Day/your birthday/Christmas?” was met with virtually the same list of items year in and year out.
Socks, tennis balls, and/or a new grill cover. Simple, no? I swear I’ve gotten him like three grill covers and they all seem to fall apart or disappear.
Now that I can’t get myself to stop baking, I try to make him special items when these times roll around. They usually involve chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Nothing less for the man who I find myself resembling as I get older. The man I’d call when my car wouldn’t start, when I got my heart broken or when I needed a another pair of eyes to edit an essay. Thanks Dad, for all you’ve done, and all you do.
And to all the dads out there, I dedicate this tart. I know apples aren’t “in season” (hey, apples are always in season somewhere in the country), but I’ve wanted to make this tart for a while, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying cider during springtime.
The dough of this tart is sweeter than traditional pie dough, and I almost ended up snacking on bits of it while making the lattice. The cider is reduced and turned into a lovely layer of spiced custard, which pairs wonderfully with the sweet dough, creating a treat worthy of all Dads on their special day. Happy Father’s Day!
- FOR THE DOUGH:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- ½ cup (one stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
- FOR THE CUSTARD FILLING:
- 2 cups apple cider
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 4 Tbsp (half a stick) unsalted butter
- First make the dough. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest. Massage the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it has the consistency of coarse meal.
- Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in the egg. Once it is semi-incorporated, switch back to your hands, and gather the dough together. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time if the dough seems dry. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours or overnight.
- While the dough is chilling make the apple cider custard. In a medium saucepan, boil the apple cider until it has reduced to a half cup of liquid.
- In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and brown sugar. While mixing constantly, very slowly pour in the reduced apple cider.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour back into the medium bowl through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Cover immediately and refrigerate.
- To assemble and bake, preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9” tart pan with removable bottom and set aside. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes, then roll it out on a floured surface, reserving one fourth to make the lattice topping. Fit the rolled out dough into the prepared tart pan.
- Spread the apple cider custard into the tart shell. Roll out the reserved dough and cut into long strips creating a design, or cut using cookie cutters into shapes.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes