Thursday, November 3, 2011

The easiest apple pie...

Thin crust French apple tart. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books a tart. Just sweetened fruit on a crust. To quote a certain contessa, "How easy is that?"

I make this puff pastry tart often and it disappears soon after I pull it out of the oven. It's a simple afternoon snack, an elegant dessert, or a breakfast treat. Puff pastry is a wonderful thing to keep in your freezer "pantry" - just remember to defrost it in the fridge (lesson learned the yucky way!).

Use any sort of pie apple here, one that will hold up to baking - Granny Smith is the standard. I've used Gala, Golden Delicious and heirloom Limbertwigs with success.

Thin Crust Apple Tarts

2 apples such as Golden Delicous or Granny Smith
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of one-half lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-oz package), thawed in the refrigerator

1. Using a knife or a handy-dandy apple peeler/slicer/corer, peel, core and cut apples into thin (1/8-inch) slices and place in bowl.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water, sugar, lemon juice, and butter to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour mixture over apple slices. Toss apples in mixture until coated, then drain in a colander set over the pot used to cook the syrup. Reserve the liquid.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry sheet and using small plate as a template, cut out as many rounds as you can from the sheet. Transfer rounds to the baking sheet and top each with apple slices, slightly overlapping the edges in a pattern. Bake in a 425 degree oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool.

4. Boil reserved liquid in saucepan until slightly reduced, then brush on baked tarts.

(recipe adapted from "The Gourmet Cookbook")

Thin crust apple tart. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
 Look for more stories and recipes featuring apples, including pictures of our visit to Mercier's Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia!

More apple recipes:

Apple crisp
Classic apple dumplings
Short-cut apple dumplings
Apple pie
Apple blondie

Three more A Cook and Her Books recipes that use apples:

My Blue Ribbon Morning Glory Muffins
Indian-spiced chicken soup: Mulligatawny
Kid-friendly sushi

And for pictures from our weekend in the North Georgia mountains, see "An Apple a Day."
Text and images copyright 2011, Lucy Mercer.


linda @spiceboxtravels said...

These look delicious, Lucy! I really like the second photo, especially. And I'd love to see a Limbertwig one day-- what a name!

HapaMama said...

I've been too busy to make an apple pie this fall, but your tart looks just about my speed. Gotta use up those apples from my tree!

Great post, Lucy!

lucy@acookandherbooks said...

Grace, you Californians with your backyard orchards! Oh, my! Give this apple tart a try - my kids like it better than apple pie & it's a lot easier to make!