Friday, December 21, 2007

what a tart

There is always a need for an effortless way to make an apple dessert. I didn't think there could be anything easier than my Apple Dumplings using premade pie crust, but this super-easy apple tart actually seemed easier.

I have actually never used frozen puff pastry dough before, if you can believe that. I had wanted some sheets of puff pastry to roll out for the crust of a steak and guinness pie (which I will finally be making this weekend, stay tuned), but when J-Cat ran out to the grocery store for me, all he could find were the puff pastry shells. At the time I just stuck them in the freezer, knowing they wouldn't work for the steak pie, but also knowing that eventually I'd think of a fun way to use them. I always figured that fun way would involve something sweet, and probably something fruity. So last night, after watching an episode of Good Eats focusing on pocket pies and desperately craving an apple pocket pie, I decided to break out those frozen pastry shells, slice up some apples, and improvise a tart. I was really happy with the results, though perhaps not as happy with the mess it left on the baking sheet. It was still completely worth it. Incredibly easy, and incredibly satisfying. Plus, I don't feel guilty about using pre-made puff pastry, since I don't think that many people really attempt puff pastry from scratch at home. It's not like I have a giant marble counter or anything. Recipe after the jump:


1 package frozen puff pastry shells (6 shells)
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces

Set frozen pastry shells out to defrost at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour, until pliable enough to roll. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each shell out into a 5 inch disk and lay out on a baking sheet. Place the apple slices overlapping on the shells, leaving about a centimeter border around the edge of the pastry. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the apples. Dot the top of the apples with the butter pieces. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the edges of the pastry have puffed slightly and are beginning to brown.

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