I turn to one more cookbook sitting on my desk — a vintage copy of “The Dinah Shore Cookbook,” circa 1983 (OK, not really that vintage, but it does look old), for yet another apple offering.
Dinah — who my mother got to meet at a food conference once upon a time — refers to this recipe as “a whole new ballgame in apple tarts. It’s as easy to do as it is to eat.”
Unauthentic French Apple Tart
Peel and seed 4 tart apples. Cut 3 apples into ¼-inch slices and 1 apple into ½-inch slices lengthwise. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons lemon juice over apples to prevent discoloration. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a small soufflé dish (6-inch diameter by 2 ¼-inches deep) with about 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons sugar on sides and bottom, coating evenly. Stand and slant large apple slices up sides of soufflé dish. (They will cling because of butter and sugar.) Fill and pack center of dish with ¼-inch slides of apple and continue to press in and around sides of center, sprinkling another 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice on apple slices. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
Mix well 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons flour, ½ cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Carefully pour mixture over apples so as not to disturb them.
Bake on center rack of oven 40 to 55 minutes, or until apples are tender. Place soufflé dish on lower rack of oven and bake 15 minutes more. Cover with foil if apple tips get too brown. Remove from oven.
When soufflé is cool, run sharp, long-bladed knife around side to loosen. Firmly place serving platter over soufflé dish. Turn upside down. Serve at once with whipped cream flavored with 1 tablespoon apple liqueur, if desired.