This is one of my favorite fall and winter desserts. I think I began making it when we owned MOM, our pie shop, and I would tire of making the same 3- or 9-inch two crusts pies. Since we were an all-American shop, I didn’t want to do a classic French tart so I devised this presentation. It isn’t made with pizza dough – although I have done it using my homemade pizza dough (see Pizza on the Grill, July 13, 2010) but with a simple butter-flavored pastry formed in a pizza pan.
I cut the apples by hand so, unfortunately, each one has its own shape but I do try to keep all of the slices fairly thin. I use whatever apples that seem to be crisp and a bit tart. This one was made with 4 very large Honeycrisps. You can, of course, use any other firm fruit in place of the apples.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
Approximately ½ cup ice water
2 tablespoons Wondra flour plus more for dusting
Approximately 1½ pounds crisp, tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons apple cider
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the butter and shortening and process, using quick on and off turns, to until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. With the motor running, gradually add the ice water, adding just enough until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the water. Do not over-process or the pastry will be tough.
Scrape the pastry from the bowl and gently pat it into a flat disk. Place in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until well-chilled.
When ready to use, lightly flour a clean, flat work space using Wondra flour.
Place the dough in the center and lightly flour the top of the pastry, again using Wondra flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a circle about 1-inch larger in diameter than your pizza pan. Carefully fold the dough over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pan. Gently fold in the edges and crimp.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Place the apples in a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and cider and gently toss to coat.
Mix the 2 tablespoons Wondra flour with the cinnamon and sprinkle it over the apples. Add the butter and toss to coat.
Carefully arrange the apple slices in slightly overlapping concentric circles over the entire top of the pastry.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender, caramelized, and beginning to crisp on the edges.
Remove from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve as is or with vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, or dulce de leche ice cream