apple, almond, & mascarpone tart

I have an apple crop! I admit it is modest but given the challenges of our growing season I am more than modestly excited. My little apples trees produced a (small) bucketful - Tada!! I am as proud as punch and very ready to make apple-whatever. Sadly, the apples are not the kind you want to eat out of hand (being super-tart) but they are wonderful when baked. We have already had an Apple Crisp, used a few in my favorite breakfast oats, and adapted a recipe that wanted pears but I thought my little apples would be pretty good - and they were. If you want to try it and don't have home-grown apples (I am really not bragging - well, kind of not) I am reasonably confident that a nice Granny Smith would work almost just as well.

Apple, Almond, and Mascarpone Tart
(adapted from Cinnamon, Spice, and Warm Apple Pie)

6 small green apples
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 egg
1 Tbsp flour
2/3 cup slivered almonds

for the pastry:
1 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

To make the pastry, put the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the butter and 1-2 Tbsp cold water. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and just begins to gather into lumps. Gently press the mixture into a lightly buttered 10" tart pan, covering the sides and bottom. Bake for about 25 minutes (until lightly browned) at 350 F. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, peel, halve and core the apples. (Use a small spoon to scoop out the core.) Put the apple halves in a bowl filled with cold water and 2 tsp of lemon juice to keep them from going brown. Put the 4 Tbsp of sugar, the mascarpone, egg, and flour in the food processor and process to form a paste. Spread the mixture over the pastry. Arrange the drained apple halves over the top - pressing them into the paste. Scatter the almonds over the apples and sprinkle that with another 2 Tbsp of sugar. Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes. The apples should be soft and the mascarpone mixture set.

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