It occurred to me that I may talk somewhat excessively about my love for each and every season. And I enjoy feathering my nest during the Winter and spending long sunny weekends at the lake all Summer, but I am deep in romance with Fall. It just has everything going for it- the smell of the northern hemisphere’s collective fireplaces, cider mills, Halloween costumes, college football, and perfect sleeping weather. I have glittery pumpkins on my mantel and spent the afternoon on an architecture tour of the gorgeous cemetery in my neighborhood. What’s not to love!?
When I visited the farmer’s market last week, it was the perfect symbolic transition from Summer to Fall. I saw the very last of the cherry tomatoes and berries, an abundance of squash, cold weather greens, and of course, a huge array of apples. I stocked up on Honey Crisps for snacking and a mix of tart varieties for baking. At least, enough to tide me over until my mom brings a care package from Uncle John’s.
Since I have already made one apple pie this month (with a gingersnap crust and bacon-brown sugar streusel topping), I wanted to put my baking apples to use in a savory recipe. Inspired by one of my all time favorite recipes, the Blue Cheese Potato Tart from Smitten Kitchen, this Apple Cheddar Tart is addictively good, and tastes oh-so-Fall.
Apple Cheddar Tart
1 unbaked tart shell, chilled (recipe below)
3 medium baking apples (such as granny smith), peeled, cored and sliced 1/2″ thick
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350.
In the unbaked tart shell, arrange the apple slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Spread cheddar cheese in an even layer over the apples. Crush rosemary in your hand and sprinkle it over the cheese. Whisk together the milk and egg, and pour over the tart shell. Salt generously.
Bake tart for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes to allow filling to set. Serve warm or cold.
Best Ever Tart Shell
From Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, diced
1 large egg
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and butter, pulsing until clumps form. Add the egg and pulse just until a ball of dough forms. Any stray dough on the bottom of the bowl can be gently worked in.
On a lightly floured counter, roll out the dough into a 12″ circle. Gently press into a 9″ tart pan. Roll your rolling pin once over the edges of the pan to trim any excess dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before filling.