Quick & Easy Gooey Butter Apple Tart
And all of a sudden, the house became quiet again. A sure sign that summer is turning to fall when the swimming pool towels are replaced with backpacks by the front door, and there are simultaneously chiming alarm clocks from various bedrooms of the house just about 30 minutes before the bell rings for the start of class down the block.
In my elementary years, I was a Latchkey kid. I could always find a good rotation of snacks in the house (my mom was a serious junk-food junkie) that would tide me over until dinnertime. Mom had grown up in a children’s home in downtown Columbus for a few years, and when not in the Hannah Neil Mission, was between foster care and family members' homes, all of which were homes of meager means. I think the idea of prepackaged, novelty foods really meant something to my mom in her adult years. As if buying all the things the commercials tell us to, and putting them in the cupboards, was a sign of security for her. Our brains are funny things.
But back to my house being quiet. Since my kids have been young, I have baked for them. Even if they don’t really want something baked, it happens because… well, it probably cures a bit of my own childhood Latchkey issues.
The kids are older now, yet I still bake — sometimes just for the neighbors or friends, but the fact that the house smells sweet when they walk in the door makes me have all the happy feels. Baking takes time though. In some cases. In the case of my own baking routines, I most love to bake while multitasking. I like the hum of the laundry tossing in the dryer while I’m cracking eggs into the bowl. I like to be able to step away from the process to say hi to the mailman as he puts the mail through the mail slot. I like to get lost in a podcast and forget what step I’m on…but not have it make all that much of a difference.
This is just that kind of recipe. I had prepped, mixed, and cleaned up all in under 30 minutes – which allowed me to get back to the work day at hand. This tart is comfort food, to the max. When it's first out of the oven, it has almost a meringue-type quality to the cakey texture. By the next day, its soft and gooey – reminiscent of the Gooey Butter Cake ice cream we all love from Jeni’s. The apples are giving the nod to fall, and the hint of almond from the almond paste is giving me all the feels of my most recent trip to Paris and the copious amounts of frangipane.
1 cup all purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle position.
- Using a springform cake or tart pan, butter well and set aside
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, almond paste, and salt on medium speed until the mixture looks like sand.
- Add the butter and mix until smooth, then begin adding the eggs, one at a time and blending well between each addition.
- Once all three eggs are in the batter, turn the mixer up to a medium-high speed a whip around a few times to really make a smooth consistency.
- By hand, add the flour mixture and fold in, until it is a uniform batter, ready for baking.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples. They do not need to be super thin -- in fact, some variation is ok.
- Spread the batter into the buttered pan. If using a low tart pan, only fill until just above half way. If using a high-sided springform pan, use all of the batter.
- Top with peeled and sliced apples. and sprinkle with a bit of additional white sugar if you'd like.
- Place the pan on a sheet pan before baking, in case of any run-off during the rising process.
- Bake until the edges of the cake are deep golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean -- depending on your pan size, this will range from 35-45 minutes.
- Once slightly cool, loosen the tart from the pan and allow to cool completely. Will keep at room temperature for a day or longer if kept cold in the refrigerator.