warm apples coated with apricot preserves on a crispy puff pastry
Sometimes, especially when I'm working from home, I have the urge to wake up early and cook something. Not necessarily breakfast but something that requires some thought. Maybe it's a subconscious way of activating my brain, or maybe I'm crazy. Often times, I wake up craving something I saw on the Food Network the day before. Today, it was Ina Garten's Apple Tart. I had the apples, some puff pasty in the freezer, and apricot jam in my fridge. It's simple, easy, and SO delicious.
In high school, my brother would make this recipe completely from scratch- no shortcuts. Today, I wasn't feeling that adventurous. Here's what you need if you're making it from scratch or using the frozen puff pastry:
For the pasty:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
- 4 large Granny Smith apples
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup apricot jelly or preserves
- 2 tablespoons rum, or water
To make the pastry, add the flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor (or stand mixer) and pulse until the dry ingredients have combined. Add the butter and pulse repeatedly until the butter is the size of peas. While the processor is on, slowly add a stream of the ice water until the dough comes together. Place the dough onto a floured board and kneed into a ball. Once the ball is formed, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. That's it! So simple.
While the dough is chilling (or your frozen dough is defrosting) it's time to get the apples peeled and sliced, but first preheat the oven to 400°.
The apples, for me, are the most fun part. Peel the apples using a potato peeler, and cut right down the middle. Using a sharp knife and melon baller, scoop out the core and remove the stem. Then slice the apples about 1/4-inch thick.
Once the dough is chilled (or thawed) place on a floured board and roll out about 10 by 14 inches and place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once the apples are cut and the dough is rolled out, the arranging begins. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the center of the tart, then repeat on either side until the tart is filled with apples! I typically have an extra apple on hand, incase I run out of slices and need to add a few extra. Once the apples are arranged, sprinkle with the sugar and dot with the cubed butter.
Bake for about 45 minutes, watching carefully- the dough should be slightly raised and the apples starting to caramelize on the edges. When the tart is done, heat the apricot jelly/preserves together with about a teaspoon of rum and brush the apples and pastry with the mixture. That's it! Remove the tart from the pan and onto a cooling rack!
"How easy was that?" I love this recipe so much. It's super simple and the end result looks like you've been baking all day. The butter mixed with the sugar create the perfect caramelization that compliment the tart Granny Smith apples so well. Definitely an elevated way to enjoy apples and caramel. When you bite into the tart, the apples have soften so much they're almost like a sauce and the pasty crunches like a sweet crisp cracker. Really is the perfect light dessert, perfect for spring holidays and gatherings!