Yay dessert! Is there a happier word in the English language? I can think of several word combinations (you’ve won, you’re rich, here’s a raise, I love you) that make you feel pretty happy, but a singular word that can bring out a positive feeling for most people is pretty hard to find, outside of the word dessert.
To remember how to spell dessert vs. desert, I once had a teacher that explained it this way: you only want to be stuck in the desert once (hence only 1 S), but you always want more than one dessert (so 2 S’s). This has stuck in my aged and addled brain all of these years, I’m sure, just so that I could pass along this wisdom to you. You’re welcome. Oh, and while your spell check won’t catch the mistake when you write it I will, and I’ll call you out on it…because I just told you how to remember it.
About those Gravenstein apples I mentioned. They’re an old school apple that’s all but disappeared from the market. In California (particularly) because the growers earn a lot more money planting grapes where the Gravenstein apple trees used to grow. Part of the “issue” with Graventein’s is that they’re a pretty fragile apple. They have a shelf life of about 2 weeks and they bruise easily. So that doesn’t make them the best industrial strength apple for grocery store shelves. You’re most likely to find these delicious little gems at farmer’s markets and roadside stands. If you happen to be in the Midwest you may have an easier time finding them. For you fellow Californians, this Gravenstein apples link should help you locate some of these. Trust me, your efforts will be well rewarded if you search these apples out.
You know I like quick and easy desserts. But I’m also a sucker for a good puff pastry dessert. I mean what’s not to like about puff pastry? It’s pastry, buttery, crispy and how about puffy? The puffy part might be what puts it over the top for me. Yes, I’m also a sucker for big puffy skirts.
This French apple tart combines both of these things really well. And to make things even better about this is the fact that there’s very few ingredients to make up this dessert and it takes so little time.
You may remember this creme brulee sauce that I recently made. That’s what you see drizzled over the top of this French apple tart. So not only does this recipe make for a quick and easy dessert, keeping some of that creme brulee sauce around makes for multiple quick and easy desserts.
You can actually get a couple of puff pastry desserts out of this recipe. First, is the open face French apple tart (drizzled with yummy sauce) and second would be apple turnovers. Instead of leaving the puff pastry flat, you could fold it over onto the apples, and include some of the sauce before baking) cut some slits in the tops, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Voila!
Why does she seem to get all the dates?
Recipe: French Apple Tart
- 5 Gravenstein Apples (peeled, cored and sliced 3/16″ thick)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (grade B)
- 1 Egg
- 1 Teaspoon Water
- Turbinado Sugar
- 6 6 Inch Puff Pastry Squares
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- In a small dish mix the cinnamon, orange juice and maple syrup together and set aside.
- Lay puff pastry squares, evenly spaced, on parchment paper (or silicone mat) lined baking sheet.
- Leave a 1/2″ border around edge of pastry square and pierce the inside area of the pastry, liberally, with a fork (this keeps the pastry from rising in the center where the apples will be).
- Neatly arrange the apples on the center of the pastry. Make sure to leave the edges of the pastry square uncovered.
- Do this with the remaining apple slices and pastry squares (you will probably need to use 2 baking sheets for this).
- In a small dish mix the egg and water until well combined.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with this egg wash.
- Using another brush, liberally coat the apples with the maple syrup mixture.
- Sprinkle the tops of the pastries with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Until the edges are browned.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with sauce.
If you don’t have turbinado sugar (aka sugar in the raw) you could also use regular sugar. Just be aware that this will give you more of a stickier glaze rather than a crunch on top of the pastries.
You can use other apple varieties for this. Just note, you will probably have a bit of leftover apple slices regardless of the apple type that you use. (Golden delicious and Rome apples would be delicious in this recipe.)
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (General)