Bouchon Apple Pie features apples sautéed in cider caramel, a layer of almond cream, and a streusel topping. An elegant addition to any holiday table. Don't be put off by the number of components that go into this delicious pie-like tart! It's well worth the effort. Recipe adapted, mostly in language, from Bouchon Las Vegas Pastry Chef, Scott Wheatfill ("Bouchon's Apple Pie", Saveur, November 2014)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light, 1-2 minutes. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Add beaten egg and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Scrape bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add almond and all-purpose flours, mixing until just combined. Form dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly-floured surface. Roll into a 14-inch circle, about 1/6-inch thick. Roll dough around rolling pin and gently fit into a 9-inch tart pan, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim the edges to a 1-inch overhang and fold into the pan to create sides of double-thickness. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.* Dock the crust by piercing the dough all over with a fork. Line the tart pan with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, until light golden brown. Transfer tart pan to a wire rack, remove parchment paper and weights, and cool crust completely.
Make the almond cream
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a handheld mixer), combine powdered sugar and butter, beating on medium-high speed until light. Add extracts, rum, and egg, and beat until just combined. Scrape bowl. Add almond and all-purpose flours, beating on low speed until smooth. Transfer almond cream to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to assemble the pie.
Make the caramel and apples:
Combine granulated sugar and water in a large, clean, heavy-bottomed saucepan with high sides (use a larger pot than you think necessary; caramel will expand).** Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is light amber in color, about 10 minutes, stirring a few times only until sugar is dissolved. Gently swirl pan as color begins to develop to promote even browning. If desired, use a heat-resistant basting brush dipped in water to loosen any crystalized sugar around the edges of the pan during caramelization. When sugar is light amber, remove from heat and carefully add apple cider. (Stand back a bit; mixture will bubble up violently.) When bubbling begins to subside, carefully whisk to fully incorporate cider. Return to heat and cook for an additional minute. Pour caramel into a bowl and set aside.***
Melt butter over medium-high heat in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add apples and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add reserved caramel to apples, stirring to coat. Cook over medium heat until apples are just softened, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Strain cooked apples and discard caramel.
Make the topping
In a clean food processor bowl, pulse almond flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and butter until the consistency of fine, damp sand. Set aside.
Assemble and bake the tart
Spread almond cream onto the bottom of the cooled crust. Place apples over the almond cream, followed by a layer of apple butter. Crumble topping over the entire tart.
Place filled tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes, until the topping is golden and the filling bubbles lightly. (Keep an eye on the crust edges after 15-20 minutes and cover with a silicone protector or foil sling if browning too quickly.) Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When pie is cool, dust lightly with confectioner's sugar and ground cinnamon. Slice into wedges and serve.
*My crust and assembled pie were both baked using convection.**I use a 4-1/2 quart stainless steel saucepan with 4-3/4 inch high sides.***If you're new to caramel-making, you'll want to check out these great preparation and safety tips from David Lebovitz before proceeding.
For easy preparation, the almond cream, tart dough, and topping can all be made a day in advance. The baked tart also keeps well for a few days, covered, in the refrigerator. Gently reheat at 350 degrees F, until just barely warm (about 15 minutes), before serving. If preparing components the day before baking the assembled tart, store the almond cream and topping, covered, in the refrigerator. The covered, baked tart shell can be stored at room temperature overnight. The almond cream should be kept chilled until ready to use. Remove toppping from refrigerator while waiting for the sautéed apples to cool.