- Prep Time: 3h
- Cook Time: 30m
- Total Time: 3h 40m
For the Tart Crust
- 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, chilled
- 3 -5 tbsp ice water
For the cream filling
- 4 oz or 1/2 package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c heavy cream
For the apple toppings
- 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 c slivered almonds
Make the Crust
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and sugar. Add in the butter and shortening and using your fingers, rub the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like a coarse, crumbly meal with little lumps of butter ( you can also use a pastry blender). Drizzle 3 tbsp of water evenly over the mixture and gently stir everything with your fingertips or a fork.
- Pinch a portion of the mixture. If they come together when pressed, your dough is ready to be gathered. If not, add a tablespoon or two of water until the mixture is holding together when squeezed. Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it lightly with your palm just to keep them together. Pat the dough into a disk about 6-8 inches in size. Wrap it in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
- On a floured surface and using a floured rolling pin, pat and roll the dough into a 13 inch circle. If the dough is too sticky, you can lay a plastic wrap on the surface of the dough and roll it with the rolling pin with the plastic wrap on top until you form a big circle. Remove the plastic wrap and lift the dough gently by wrapping it into the rolling pin and center it over an 11 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Ease the dough into the sides of the pan and cut the excess dough but leave about 1/4 inch overhang. Fold the excess dough inwards into the edges to strengthen the crust. Chill the crust in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Note: This dough might tear a lot while rolling and shaping. If that happens, you can just patch the broken parts together using scraps of the dough and also use your fingers to press and fit the dough into the tart pan. This dough can be pretty tricky to work with, but to patch and mend things together is easy. Be assured though that everything is worth it because the crust turns out beautifully flaky and light.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Prick several holes in the surface of the crust with a fork. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the crust. The parchment should be slightly bigger than the tart pan. Put a handful of uncooked rice (or beans) on the parchment paper. Make sure the entire surface of the crust is covered with the rice and it goes all the way up to its height. Bake the crust for 17-20 minutes or until set. If you remove the pie weights too soon before the crust is set, the parchment will stick to the dough and the dough will tear. Make sure to let it bake for a good 17 to 20 minutes. Gently remove the parchment paper together with the pie weights and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Set aside crust to cool completely.
Make the cream filling and the Toppings
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, cream, vanilla and sugar until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the apples, sugar, cinnamon ( if using) and the almonds. Stir them with a fork until the sugar is distributed.
- Once the oven reaches 375 F, pour the cream filling into the tart pan and spread evenly. Arrange the apple slices on top and sprinkle the almonds over them. Bake until the apples are tender and lightly golden, about 30-35 minutes.