Her point was that the dough had to be made with very cold butter and iced water and it was important to use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour in order to avoid warming up the butter. When done, the dough had to be refrigerated for several hours before baking. And then, when the tart is cooked, she likes to brush the top of the tart with a glaze made of apricot preserve and Calvados.
There were unanimous cheers for Jiyon's tart and everybody voraciously ate her/his slice. I thought the crust had a cookie-like crunchiness and was very tasty. I also liked the glaze on the apples but I found the Fuji variety that was used for both tart, too firm and not tart enough for my taste. For our next apple tart competition, I think we should use Granny Smith or even Golden Delicious.
Because it was New Year's eve, we drank a Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé, a terrific dry Champagne Rosé with a delicate rose petal color and a lot of finesse, although the Champagne was much too dry to accompany the apple tart.
I think the Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d'Asti that Kobrand Corporation had sent me before the holidays would have worked better with the dessert. Unfortunately, we had tasted the wine earlier in the evening and there was none left.
Made from the aromatic Muscat grape, Moscato d'Asti is a sweet, semi-sparkling wine with low alcohol content. Nivole, which means clouds in the local dialect, is produced by Azienda Vitivinicola Michele Chiarlo, a prominent producer in Piedmont. The fruit is sourced from a single south-southwest facing, steep hillside vineyard. Fermentation occurs using natural yeast and is stopped when the wine has reached an alcohol level of 5.5% using a sterile filtration to remove any remaining live yeasts. Then the addition of unfermented must adjusts the residual sugar level to 11%.
The wine had a pale yellow color and a fragrant nose of exotic fruits. The palate was light and fresh, slightly fizzy, with a definitive sweetness, leaving an aftertaste of honey and apricot. But the uncomplex sweet style of the wine didn't convince everybody: my husband thought it tasted like sparkling apple juice. Maybe he should have tried it with the apple tart.
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