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We have had quite a long stretch of rainy days in Lyon. Rain, confinement, and a general trend of domesticity contributed to the decision to spend a cozy afternoon in the kitchen.

I am by no means a "domestic goddess", and usually prefer to sample something delicious from one of our local patisseries. But I always have the necessary ingredients to throw together this very informal, "deconstructed", tarte aux fruits. I love the aroma of baking on a rainy day!

This is a very easy tarte, it requires very few ingredients, and once you've made it once, you will see how easy it is to customize it. I use frozen dough for the crust (I always keep some in the freezer just in case), and any fruit that is in the kitchen (usually apples). As we don't like very sweet desserts, the grated lemon peel offsets the sweetness of the fruit and sugar very nicely.

You will need:

- frozen dough (I use the Picard brand of "pâtes brisées, pré-étalées, rouleaux, pur beurre" loosely translated as "shortcrust, pre-rolled, pure butter dough"

- a few apples (for this tarte I also used a small bowl of frozen berries)

- butter

- sugar

- grated lemon peel

First take out your frozen dough a few hours before baking. For the fruit compote (or "sauce") that goes on the bottom of the tarte, peel, core, and cut 4-5 apples into little chunks. Place them in a small skillet, and pour some boiling water onto them, so they're just covered. Cook on low heat (stir often, don't let them burn!) until soft. While they cook add some sugar and grated lemon peel to taste.

Peel, core and slice 3-4 apples - these will be for the top of the tarte. Toss them with sugar.

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius (which is about 425 Fahrenheit).

Schmear some butter on the bottom of a baking sheet or baking pan so the dough does not stick to it. Unfold the sheet of dough onto it. Spread the compote evenly over the dough, leaving about 2 cm around (0.4 inches).

Fold the edge of the dough - this will prevent the compote from spilling over. Now I don't have a baking pan yet (you'd think that after two years in France my kitchen should be well equipped!), so I use a roasting pan (the kind to bake a chicken in), so my tarte is rather "deconstructed", with uneven edges folded over. Do what pleases you, you can get quite creative with that edge!

Arrange apple slices on top of the compote with tiny dollops of butter among them if you wish. You may arrange the apples in any pattern you desire!

Place the tart in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the dough starts getting slightly brown.

Hint: the tarte is great warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side...

Enjoy - Bon Appetit!

(by Joanna)

Best served on vintage plates! (these little Gien plates can be found in our shop)

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