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Catholic Recipe: Tarte Normande Saint-Nicolas


  • 2 cups (250 g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 5 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice FILLING
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) apples, tart
  • 1 cup (240 g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) apples, sweet
  • 1/2 c. (150 g) butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. (90 g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) raisins
  • Details

  • Serves: 8-10
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: • • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: France

Also Called: French St. Nicholas Apple Tart

This is best eaten while slightly warm.


First make the pastry. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.

In a measuring cup whisk together ice water and lemon juice. Sprinkle over flour mixture until moistened all over. Gather dough into a ball, wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Line a 10-inch (25 cm) flan ring or pan with the dough to about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) high. Keep dough cool while preparing the filling.

Peel and quarter the tart apples. Make applesauce by simmering the apples with 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and the cinnamon.

Peel, core and dice the sweet apples and saute in a frying pan with 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat, then allow to cool. Beat the remaining butter with the remaining sugar until creamy. Add the eggs 1 after another, then add the applesauce, the sifted flour and the baking powder.

Preheat oven to 400º F. (200º C).

Spread the apricot jam over the bottom of the dough, then place the raisins on top. Cover with the diced sauteed apples. Fill a pastry bag with the applesauce-egg mixture and pipe a spiral on the top to cover the diced apples completely. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. While still warm, remove from mold and serve.

Recipe Source: Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf, Ignatius Press, 2001
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