Even chefs without Jewish heritage get into the Rosh Hashanah spirit! This is New York, after all. “Ever since Payard Bistro opened on the Upper East Side years ago, I’ve had a lot of demand for desserts for the Jewish Holidays,” explains chef Payard. “Since we aren’t kosher, there aren’t that many people working on this kind of thing and I wanted to make something special and unique. I have so many friends who celebrate the Jewish holidays and I wanted to be able to bring something special with me to their homes, so I started experimenting with ideas years ago.” Payard’s holiday recipes are inspired by the Jewish tradition of eating apples and honey for a sweet new year, and prepared with French flair. Order an apple honey tart for your holiday celebration ($39) or try making your own!
APPLE & HONEY FINANCIER TART
-3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter
-1/2 cup (60 grams) slivered almonds
-1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (50 grams) confectioners’ sugar
-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (54 grams) all-purpose flour
-2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch
-Pinch of salt
-4 large egg whites
-2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
-1/4 cup (58 grams) heavy cream
-1 vanilla bean, split
10 tablespoons (1 1/4sticks) (142 grams) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
-3 medium (510 grams) Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
-1/2 cup (168 grams) honey
-1/4 cup (60 grams) Calvados or apple jack
-1/4 cup (84 grams) honey
Sweet Tart Dough
-1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (122 grams) confectioners’ sugar
-1 3/4 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
-Pinch of salt
1. Make financier batter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the butter until it begins to brown and has a nutty fragrance, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Put the slivered almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Transfer the ground almonds to a medium bowl. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the almonds. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt and gently whisk to combine.
4. Combine the egg whites, honey, cooled browned butter, and cream in another medium bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean (reserve the pod for another use) into the bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients and whish just until combined. Set aside.
5. Make the apple filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it is golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the diced apples and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, carefully light it with a match, and cook until the flame dies. Drain the apples in a strainer set over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Stir the reserved liquid back into the diced apples.
6. Pour the apple mixture into the tart shell (recipe follows) and spread in into an even layer. Scrape the financier batter over the apples, covering them completely.
7. Bake the tart for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the tart on a wire rack.
8. Glaze the tart. Put the honey in a heatproof glass measure and microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds, until hot. (Or, heat in a small saucepan.) Brush the honey over the top of the hot tart. Cool the tart completely before serving.
1. Sift together the confectioners’ sugar, flour and salt into a bowl. Place the butter in a food processor and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Scatter the flour mixture over the butter, add the egg, and process just until the dough forms a mass; do not over mix.
2. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it in two. Shape each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Half of the dough may be well wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to soften. Lightly butter two 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms.
3. Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Dust one of the discs lightly with flour and, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into a rough 12-inch circle. Lift the dough often, making sure that the work surface and dough are lightly floured at all times. Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin and gently unroll it over one of the prepared tart pans. Press the dough into the pan and roll the pin over the top of the pan to remove the excess dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and tart pan.
4. Prick the bottom of the tart shells all over with a fork. Chill the tart shells for 20 minutes. (The tart shells can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
5. To partially bake the tart shells: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter two pieces of aluminum foil large enough to generously line each tart pan. Line the tart shells with the foil, buttered side down, and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake the tart shells for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 5 minutes, until just set; the tart shells should have little or no color. Cool completely on a wire rack.
6. OR to prebake the tart shells: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter two pieces of aluminum foil large enough to generously line each tart pan. Line the tart shells with the foil, buttered side down, and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking for 8 to 10 minutes longer, until evenly golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes two 9 1/2-inch tart shells