The very first dessert I ever mastered was the classic French apple tart. There were 2 obvious reasons. 1 – It’s super easy to make. All you really need is puff pastry, sliced apples and apple sauce. 2 – if you are borderline OCD, and I sure am, nothing makes you happier than placing apple slices in a perfect spiral.
Now that we’re in full apple season, I wanted to try a few new concepts and perfect them in time for Thanksgiving. Lucky for me, I have plenty of friends willing to help me taste test my recipes.
I’ll be sharing 3 takes on the classic apple tart over the next couple of days. Today’s contender goes for the wow factor by shaping individual tarts like sweet caramelized apples. As with all apple tarts, you really don’t need much to make magic happen: puff pastry, apples, sugar, apricot jam, an egg and some cinnamon.
First, preheat your oven at 400 degrees F and roll out your puff pastry into a large rectangle.
Shape your apples and leaves by hand with a pairing knife or, if you want to go the easy route, do what I did and use cookie cutters. Here I used a large pumpkin cutter and a tiny leaf cutter. Place them all on a baking sheet.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of apricot jam onto each pastry and sprinkle some cinnamon. If your jam is too thick, stir it up and nuke it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time. It does the trick.
Peel, quarter and cut your apples into even slices.
Place your slices one at a time on each pastry, making sure to keep the overall shape.
Brush a simple egg wash on the edges of the dough. This will give it a nice golden brown finish when it bakes. Sprinkle sugar all over.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and let cook for another 10 minutes of so.
While the tarts are still hot, add some more apricot jam on top for a shiny finish.
That’s it! Onto the next recipe…Rustic Apple Galette!