The Minimalist: Apple “Pizza” (or Tart)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m not wild about apple pie. If that makes me a bad American, so be it.

Of all the ways you can combine cooked apples, butter, flour and so on, pie is not nearly the best. I prefer either a nice crispy crumble topping made with oats, or this free-form apple tart. It is essentially an apple pizza, but uses a short dough, meaning it contains plenty of butter. It comes together very easily in the food processor.

Once you roll the dough out — into a thin circle or whatever other shape you choose (or your rolling pin chooses for you) — you have to address this question: how precious do you want this thing to be? If you have much more patience than I do you might start an elegant spiral of apple slices in the middle of the crust and loop it gracefully around until it reaches the edges. If you’re like me, you’ll randomly scatter the apples until you don’t see dough anymore. Call it rustic — I actually think it ends up looking just as nice, but maybe that’s equally un-American.

The last straw? Cut it with a pizza wheel.

Get the recipe here.

Posted in American, Baking


  1. Casey DelliCarpini said...

    Now I know what I’m doing this weekend. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Marisa Baggett said...

    I like the rustic look, too. It’s more edible vs the "I’m too pretty to eat" arranged slices.

  3. PattS said...

    Apple pie enthusiast here but I nevertheless made the apple tart. Better then apple pie? Potentially – the crust! Divine. But out of responsibility for getting through yesterday’s take at the apple orchard, I used too many apples, sliced too thickly. Happy to try again though.

    One question for you Mr Bittman: what do you have against cinnamon?

  4. Linda said...

    It’s important to gauge the freshness of the apples. I made the tart today with three varieties of great Virginia apples. It was very juicy and some spill over into the pan which I hope will thicken and work well when cooled. It is beautiful nonetheless and I look forward to a slice with whipped cream after a nice fall walk.

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