Mothers (especially Jewish ones) live with guilt. A lot of guilt.


Was I too tough on my son last night when he threw a fit at bath time? I mean, who says you need to shower EVERY day?


Was it unreasonable to refuse to let my almost-twelve-year-old stay up past midnight to play Boggle with our guests?


So us mothers welcome the opportunity to cleanse ourselves of some of the guilt. By giving in and making our kids happy, we feel less guilty. Pardoned. Absolved.


And that's really how this tart came to be. I was feeling guilty for working late. Serving the kids mac-and-cheese one night too many. Being too tired to take my girls to the mall.


When my daughter asked for an apple tart, I jumped at the opportunity.


And I'm glad I did.


Apple Tart, adapted from The Art of Simple Food (If you don't own this cookbook, buy it NOW)This recipe makes enough dough for two tarts. I always make a double batch of dough. I find it easier to work with and it's always a welcome surprise to find a buttery dough in my freezer. You can use the other half for another apple tart, later, or for a more savory preparation like this Onion Tart. Oh, and if you're wondering if you can make this with margarine or coconut oil, please don't. The pure buttery taste is part of its magic.

The Dough
2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 1/2 sticks cold butter

The Topping
3 apples (I used two Granny Smith and one Gala)
3 tablespoons melted butter
5 tablespoons raw Turbinado sugar, divided

First, make the dough. Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the cold butter into small (1/4 inch or so) cubes. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips. When it's worked in and coarsely crumbly, slowly add about 3/4 of the ice water. Mix it in with a fork and then switch to mixing with your fingers. You'll want the dough to hold together. Add more water if you need to but you should not need more than 1/2 cup. Divide the dough in half, bring each dough together in a ball, and wrap each ball in an individual piece of saran wrap. Once wrapped, flatten each ball to make a disk. Refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as two days. Or, freeze for up to three months. (Return the fridge a few hours before you're ready to use it.)

Next, make the filling. Peel the apples and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices. 

Preheat the oven to 350*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Flour a work surface and roll out ONE of your dough disks into a 14-inch round. To move it from your work surface to your baking sheet, fold the round in half and then in quarters. This is a wonderful technique I learned from Alice Waters which has taken all the frustration out of rolling out pies.

Once the dough is on the baking sheet, lay the apple slices in a pretty pattern, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the dough border over the apples and then brush the butter all over the border. Pat the remaining butter onto the apples. 

Sprinkle the entire tart - crust and filling - with the raw sugar. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crust is beginning to brown and the apples look soft. Cool for at least a few minutes before serving. (Note that this tart is also wonderful at room temperature or even from the fridge the next day, if you have any leftover.)