Frenchie and the Anticipation for Apple Desserts

17 Oct

Saying goodbye to summer seems to be very difficult for some but so easy for me.

I hope I won’t anger readers by claiming loud and clear that I never look forward to summer and that fall is my summer!

The perfect Indian summer we’ve been experiencing lately seems to operate as a soothing transition between the two seasons when fall-fanatics like me can finally get out of the house and enjoy some nice deserved smoother sun rays with a certain crispness in the air while summer-mourners can ease themselves into the idea of cooler temperatures.

As I am looking at the troubled ocean – summer to my left, fall to my right – the clouds announce that even though we can still go to the beach, fall is coming and there is no way around it.

As a kid, fall wasn’t particularly a favorite because fall meant new school year. However, running in the colorful dead leaves and jumping in splashing rain puddles with patterned plastic boots was always a treat.

What else is fun about fall?

Walking in the forest and making as much noise as possible in the leaves.

First scarfs and wool sweaters – black or brown V-necks of course, si français.

Autumn colors and comfort food – coming home to grandma’s old-fashioned compote de pommes. Not too sweet, with hints of cinnamon and a mix of puréed apples with bigger chunks.

Memories of the kitchen suddenly turned into a delicious place to sit in and observe while surrounded by warm apple scents.

Rainy walks and layering clothes. The more the better.

Reading by the fireplace in Normandy with a warm tea.

Snuggly beds when it’s cold outside.

Grandpa’s apple tart with a firm thin crust.

And since I live in the U.S., apple picking of course!

Fall has this warm soft white light producing endless opportunities for photos.

It almost feels like we’re rediscovering our surroundings and neighborhood seeing them for the first time and experiencing joy at each street corner. Everything seems different yet familiar as we bask in the prolonged summertime and the tranquil beauty of a new season about to settle.

And then there’s la cueillette des pommes – one of my favorite thing to do earlier in the fall.

And you know why? To me, apple picking only lights up deep inside my inner anticipation for apple desserts.

It’s automatic and quite simple: apple + fall = desserts.

Picking the apples is like a soft promise whispering in your ear that there will be lots of opportunities for making apple crisps, apple pies, apple tarts, apple butter and compote.

It’s more than an anticipation actually. It’s a surge of excitement. Un vrai plaisir.

Yes, I have AAD – Anticipation for Apple Desserts.

The farm is the same as where I picked my berries this summer – at Russel Orchards’.

It’s a quiet place where the apples seem more colorful than any other place.

The bright orange pumpkins already laid out and in display.

Happy chickens running around.

The bright inviting orchards just waiting for hungry visitors.

And smells of baked goods coming out from the cosy barn.

Come prepared to pick. Bags or bushels.

There are so many varieties.

I don’t know about you but I like to pick lots of different types of apples. Mixing them when baking creates wonderful flavors that can surprise you at every bite.

Qu’est-ce qu’on va faire avec toutes ces pommes ?

Good question! What are we going to do now that we picked all these apples?

A pie, of course.

A tart, oui.

Et attention!!! A pie is very different from a tart. The crust is different, the preparation is too and it just does not taste the same.

So let’s make both. But with a twist!

One of my all-time favorite thing to use when preparing apples is… and it’s a secret… orange blossom water and ground cloves. Especially for a traditional American apple pie.

The cloves bring out thoughts and memories of India.

And the orange blossom water makes me long for the Middle East daydreaming about far away lands.

Together, they make an apple pie that much more interesting and delicious.

And what about the traditional French apple tart – avec de la crème pâtissière?

Let’s have fun making it and use a traditional French summer concept to delight our palates.

In France, we eat a lot of carottes râpées in the summer: a simple grated carrot salad, which should be picked as the National Summer Dish due to its wide popularity.

The apple tart will be even better with grated apples. And for the gourmands, a sweet chocolate crust!

Happy fall!

Orange Blossom-Scented Apple Pie (adapted loosely from the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook):

Crust and filling were changed from the original recipe. The baking process is the same.

For the crust:

3.5 cups (350 g) of flour

2 sticks (230 g) of butter

2 Tbsp (25 g) of vanilla sugar

1 Tbsp (15 g) of salt

For the filling:

1 egg yolk

1 Tbsp of heavy cream

2.5 – 3 lb (1 – 1.5 kilo) of apples – I like to mix the varieties

1 Tbsp of lemon juice

the zest of half a lemon

1 Tbsp of orange blossom water

1/4 cup (50 g) of sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves


1 Tbsp of raw Turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar

For the crust, sift the flour, vanilla sugar and a sprinkle of salt in a big bowl. Cut the butter in small cubes and drop in the bowl. With your hands, mix the butter in the flour mixture warming it until the butter resembles tiny pebbles. If you have a food processor, pulse until you get a coarse sandy mixture.

Dig a well in the center. Add 3/4 cup (180 ml) of cold water + 2 Tbsp. Using a fork or your index finger, stir until the dough is wet and clumpy. Add more water if too dry. Knead the dough with your hands until you can make a ball out of it.

Wrap the ball in plastic and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 °F (220 °C).

After an hour, remove the dough from the fridge. With a sharp knife, cut the ball in half. Place one half on a lightly floured surface and the other half back in the fridge wrapped in plastic.

Roll out the first disc of dough – about 13 inches (33 cm) in diameter. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and place in a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. Line the dough with the dish, press in the corners, and trim it so that it hangs a bit over the dish by 1/4 inch (0.5 cm).

Place the dish in the fridge for 30 min.

While waiting, peel, core and slice your apples – thick slices.

In a bowl, mix the apples with the lemon juice and zest, the orange blossom water, the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Make sure the apples are well coated.

Arrange the apples at the bottom of the chilled dish, on the dough.

Roll out the remaining dough just like the first disc.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk and the cream. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg mixture.

Place the second piece of dough over the apples and trim so that 1 inch (2.5) overhangs. Tuck the dough under. Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers and place the pie in the fridge for 15 min.

Remove the pie from the fridge. Brush with the egg mixture  all over the top.

Sprinkle with the 1 Tbsp of raw sugar and the 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar.

Cut 4 openings/vents in the top.

Bake the pie at 425 (220) for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 °F (180 °C) and bake for 25-30 min more until it is golden brown.

Let stand for 30 minutes  before serving.

French Grated Apple Tart (loosely adapted from the Recettes pratiques du marché Encyclopedia):

For the crust:

2 cups (200 g) of flour

1/2 cup (80 g) of powdered sugar

6 Tbsp (25 g) of powdered chocolate

1 stick (120 g) of butter

1 egg

2 Tbsp of lemon sugar


For the filling:

5-7 big apples – I like to mix the varieties

3 Tbsp of apricot jam

3 Tbsp (20 g) of flour

2 Tbsp of ground hazelnuts

6 Tbsp (75 g) of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1.5 Tbsp (20 g) of butter

For the crust, sift the flour, powdered sugar, powdered chocolate, lemon sugar and salt in a big bowl. Cut the butter in small cubes and drop in the bowl. With your hands, mix the butter in the flour mixture warming it until the butter resembles tiny pebbles. If you have a food processor, pulse until you get a coarse sandy mixture.

Whisk the egg with 2 Tbsp of cold water in a small bowl. Dig a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the egg wash in the center. Using a fork or your index finger, stir until the dough is wet and clumpy. Add more water if too dry. Knead the dough with your hands until you can make a ball out of it.

Wrap the ball in plastic and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 415 °F (210 °C).

After an hour, remove the dough from the fridge. Place on a lightly floured surface.

Roll out the dough in a disc – about 15 inches (38 cm) in diameter. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and place in a 11 inch (28 cm) fluted tart pan. Line the dough with the pan, press in the corners, and trim it without any overhang.

Blind-bake the crust by placing parchment paper on top of it and dropping coins, or chickpeas, inside the pan. Bake for 15 min.

In the meantime, peel and core the apples. Grate them with a grater. I use an electric grater so it’s easier. If you don’t have one, you can always cut the apples in tiny cubes or strips.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the flour, ground hazelnut, sugar and cinnamon.

Remove the tart from the oven. Discard the parchment paper and the coins (or chickpeas).

Spread out the apricot jam on the crust. Spoon the grated apples on the jam. Even out the tart with the back of the spoon to make it flat.

Spread 1.5 Tbsp (20 g) of butter all over it  – small tiny cubes – and bake for 30-35 min.


27 Responses to “Frenchie and the Anticipation for Apple Desserts”

  1. Kayleigh Jean October 17, 2011 at 10:03 AM #

    I love how you describe Autumn! It is my favorite season as well! The colors, the food, everything is amazing!


  2. amelia from z tasty life October 17, 2011 at 10:34 AM #

    David: you are such an incorrigible romantic! I’ll be romancing fall thoughts with your imagery in mind all day long. And the orange blossom: what a touch of magic for a classic!


    • David Santori October 17, 2011 at 10:36 AM #

      Thank you for your nice comments.


  3. Nicole October 17, 2011 at 1:29 PM #

    I share your love of fall over summer for sure! I also like to mix apples for the same reason, a surprise in every bite. Looking forward to trying your tart! I’m a rare American (and foodie) that does not like pie!


    • David Santori October 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM #

      Let me know how it turns out!


  4. AF October 17, 2011 at 2:46 PM #

    As always, I want to order a coffee table book of all your pictures…and hire you to cook for me. Lovely as always, Frenchie.


  5. foodie @ Tasting Spot October 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM #

    i really like your food pictures and want to invite you to try out it’s for anyone that just wants another place to submit photos and share it will other foodies. It’s still in beta version, but would love for you to start adding some photos and help get it going.


  6. Béatrice October 17, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

    Je suis votre blog depuis quelques temps et je me permets d’employer un surperlatif, une fois n’est pas coutume, j’adore.
    La description des pas dans les bruissantes feuilles mortes m’a mis les larmes aux yeux.
    un amusant détail : je viens seulement de réaliser que Frenchie = David. J’avais conjugué Frenchie au féminin…
    J’ai 65 ans et les souvenirs d’enfance que vous avez évoqué en parlant de l’automne m’ont remué. Pour la première fois je vois une tarte aux pommes qui ressemble à la mienne… je dis bien ressemble.
    J’habite en Australie depuis 10 ans et chaque personne qui la goûte pour la première fois en reprend et ne comprend pas pourquoi ils n’ont jamais dégusté ce genre de tarte (pâte croustillante et fine, pommes coupées très fines et en tout petits morceaux) Ils ne connaissent que le Apple pie ou les tartes à pâte épaisse avec un fond de frangipane qui les transforme en un bloc de béton quand c’est refroidi !
    ma recette est super simple : 120gr de beurre salé pour 200gr de farine, 1 oeuf, 2 cuillères à soupe d’eau froide, une petite cuillère à soupe de sucre. une fois foncée dans le moule HUILÉ, je la mets au freezer pour 15 à 20 minutes. Les pommes : Granny Smith mélangées avec de la confiture d’abricot, c’est tout ! je les coupe en fins petits triangles. Je dépose les fruits sur la pâte congelée et j’enfourne à four chaud 240/245 C. environ 45 minutes. Le dessus doit être très légèrement brûlé. Quand je mélange avec de la Rhubarbe fraîche je mets une très fine couche de poudre d’amandes sur le fond pour absorber l’excédent de liquide. Une fois tiède je démoule et passe un pinceau, trempé dans la confiture chaude et liquide, tout autour et au dessus pour la faire briller. Si je la veux festive je coupe les pommes différemment et je les arrange tout autour en ronds jusqu’au centre.
    Je peux traduire cette recette si nécessaire …


    • David Santori October 17, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

      Merci Béatrice!! J’aime beaucoup votre recette. Je suis sûr que les Australiens redemandent de votre tarte à chaque fois! Quelle veine pour eux! Vos amis et votre famille doivent être très contents.
      Merci encore de participer à ce blog et de votre commentaire qui me fait très plaisir.


  7. Autumn October 18, 2011 at 12:35 AM #

    Your photography is absolutely stunning. Beautiful!


  8. rosycheeksbakery October 18, 2011 at 8:31 AM #

    The photographs in this post are beautiful – thanks for sharing!


    • David Santori October 18, 2011 at 8:33 AM #

      @ Autumn and Rosy: Thank you so much!


  9. leighgoodstuff October 18, 2011 at 9:49 AM #

    I’m with you all the way on this – is there any smell in the world that evokes the oncoming Autumn than cinnamon, pastry and Vanilla? Wonderful stuff, and your pictures are stunning. Great blog.


  10. macmaker October 18, 2011 at 4:04 PM #

    I feel the same way about summer and autumn…can’t understand why anyone loves summer and can’t wait for autumn!


  11. Odile October 18, 2011 at 4:51 PM #

    Je vais demain chercher des pommes à la cueillette aussi… Des pommes, des poires, et non pas des scoubidous, mais des nachis… J’essayerai la tarte avec la pâte au chocolat…
    Toujours aussi fan des photos…


  12. 7cakes October 18, 2011 at 5:03 PM #

    Ooooh! I’m afraid I have AAD, too=D Both the pie and the tart look amazing!


  13. thelinoprinter October 19, 2011 at 9:35 AM #

    You have set my tummy rumbling and inspired me to bake. An apple crumple version of the apple pie I think. Yum.


    • David Santori October 19, 2011 at 9:35 AM #

      Hmm yum!


  14. alternative eating October 19, 2011 at 10:47 AM #

    I love your pictures, the recipe sounds amazing


  15. Dazzle Rebel October 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM #

    Beautiful pictures and such idyllic scenery. Autumn/Fall is a brilliant time of the year and that recipe has definitely got me feeling hungry.


  16. Amanda (Adele) D October 19, 2011 at 6:09 PM #

    Yum! Love your photos!


  17. itsybitsybrianna October 24, 2011 at 10:33 PM #

    Fantastic Recipes


  18. Karen October 29, 2011 at 8:01 AM #

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve just discovered your blog. I have enjoyed reading your posts…beautiful photos and wonderful writing. The best part is that I think we are practically neighbors. I’ll be returning often.


    • David Santori October 29, 2011 at 8:26 AM #

      Thank you Karen! And hi neighbor!


  19. foodyrach October 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

    Wow. Such beautiful food styling!


  20. June 28, 2014 at 8:15 AM #

    Quel plaisir de parcourir votre site web



  1. Frenchie and the Blending of Lights and Flavors « Frenchie and the Yankee - November 1, 2011

    […] recent admittance for suffering from AAD – a strong case of Anticipation for Apple Desserts – made me realize that I forgot how creative one can be when thinking about making a […]


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