On Saturday morning, after making our weekly stop at the downtown market, my family and I headed out to one of my favorite annual events: the Apple Tasting Festival at Portland Nursery. The festival is free and consists of pumpkin painting tables, cheap apple foods (mmm, warm apple streudel with soft serve vanilla ice cream), inexpensive fresh produce, and a huge tented area with over sixty varieties of apples (and some pears) to try. What always seems to amaze me is just how different each apple tastes, varying from one another in different levels of sweetness, tartness, crispness, boldness of flavor, and juiciness. With a list of my favorites in hand, we headed off to the fruit bushels where I filled three huge bags with a combination of Gourmet Goldens, Rome Beauties, Mutsus, and Liberties.
Today I figured it was time to start on putting these baking apples to good use. I had an unopened package of puff pastry in the freezer, so I decided to go for a simple apple tart, easily made with one sheet of the pastry, thinly sliced apples, and a bit of butter and sugar. The recipe itself hails from a beautiful cookbook I recently received as a gift called Eat Drink Live by Fran Warde. It is filled with 150 colorful pages of simple, delicious-sounding recipes that I can't wait to try out.
Anyways, enjoy this scrumptious, buttery tart that is a wonderful Autumn treat. (Oh, and isn't that photograph Alice took of the slice of tart in our burning bush freaking adorable?)
Quick French Apple Tart: from Eat Drink Live
8 ounces ready-made puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
3-4 red apples
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a baking tray.
Roll out pastry to a rectangle 12 x 7 inches. Put on the baking tray and brush all over with the egg.
Cut the apples into quarters, removing the cores. Slice thinly and arrange in rows on top of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch gap around the edges. Drizzle the melted butter over the apples, sprinkle with sugar, and dust with cinnamon. Brush the edges of the pastry with the remaining egg wash, then fold inwards and gently press down.
Bake the tart in the oven for about 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes, until the tart is well risen, crisp, and golden all over.
Serve hot or at room temperature with whipped heavy cream, clotted cream, scoops of good-quality vanilla ice cream, or homemade custard.