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Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Treats: Bake an Easy Apple Tart

Here is a simplified version of Ina Garten's French Apple Tart.  It is so easy and makes a special holiday season dessert.

You'll need:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (I use this kind -- not sure if there is any other!)
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 T cold butter, diced very small
  • scant 1/2 c apricot jam or preserves (I use Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves but you could also use a plain apricot jelly and then you don't have to strain it.)
  • parchment paper
Follow the directions on the package for thawing the puff pastry.  Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper (2 layers might be good, kinda fold up along the edges of the cookie sheet) and place the sheet of pastry on the paper.  Put the cookie sheet in the fridge to keep the pastry cool while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut in half through the stem.  Cut each half into 3 pieces around the core.  (Discard the core or feed to your hungry corgi dog named Samwise.)  Cut each apple piece into 1/4" slices.  You don't need to use the last small slice just the others that are all pretty much uniform in size.  Retrieve the cookie sheet from the fridge, and place the apple slices on top of the pastry, overlapping them slightly, in three rows.

Sprinkle the sugar over the apples and dot with the bits of butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for at least 30 minutes, checking at that point to see if your tart is done.  It may need another 5-10 minutes to get fully browned.  The apple juices & sugar will burn a bit around the edges of the tart but that's okay (if the edges get too burned you can always just cut off that part).

When it is done remove from the oven and let cool slightly.  Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small pan with 2 T of water.  When it's just bubbly remove from the heat and pour through a strainer to get the apricot lumps out.  Then brush or carefully pour (if you don't have a pastry brush) the apricot mixture evenly over top of the baked tart.

Let cool & set -- serve while slightly warm or at room temperature. (You can cut into pieces with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter works well too.)

Not too sweet, fruity and a flaky crust.  Yum!