Yes, I know it’s January, and we’re supposed to be all resolutions and salad, but I made pies over the holidays and I was too busy to post them and so, you’re getting them now. And heck, at least one of you out there made the resolution to bake more, right? Just nod.
Anyway, this brings me to the Salted Brûléed Apple Tart from Kelly Jaggers’s Not-So-Humble Pies: An Iconic Dessert, All Dressed Up.
You start out by throwing together a quick (Kelly calls it “Blitz”) puff pastry. Now sure, you could cheat here and use store-bought, but this really is quite easy. And I say that as someone who has made puff pastry exactly this one time.
That goes to chill, and we get working on the filling – apples. Only three, so not ages and ages of slicing (thank goodness, as I am horrendous at both peeling and slicing apples). There’s also some cinnamon, some lemon, some sugar, and some cornstarch – your standard pie-world accoutrements.
Lay the apples down prettily on the pastry (this is really the highest-touch part of the whole process), with full creative license as long as they’re pretty much in an even layer, and pop the tart in the oven to cook.
Once it’s done most of the cooking, we get to what sets this tart apart – that whole “salted brûléed” thing. Sprinkle on some sugar and sea salt, and pop under the broiler (you could probably use a torch if you’re feeling particularly culinar-ily fancy) to get that nice caramel coating. Yes. Please.
And voilà! A simple, yet also fairly impressive, caramelly golden apple tart, with a hint of salt for sophistication. Best served with vanilla ice cream, in my opinion. Or homemade whipped cream. Oh, and the leftovers are good for breakfast. I won’t tell the resolution police if you won’t.
Salted Brûléed Apple Tart
From Not-So-Humble Pies by Kelly Jaggers
I imagine that once assembled, you can refrigerate this for a bit (maybe a few hours?), so it could be a good make-ahead dessert that you pop in the oven just as dinner is ending, to cook during that break between dinner and dessert. However you do it, it’s quite tasty, but also on the lighter side (even if just by virtue being so thin) of the pie realm.
Yield: 8 Servings
1 recipe Blitz Puff Pastry (check it out in the book)
1 egg, beaten
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Roll the pastry out to 1/4″ thick and trim into a 14″ square.Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, then fold the pastry up to form a 1/2″ border around the edge of the tart. Dock the center of the pastry with a fork, then cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Toss until the fruit is coated, then allow to stand for five minutes.
Arrange the apples over the prepared pastry and brush the tart with the melted butter.
Back for 20-25 minutes, or under the pastry is well browned and the apples are tender.
Remove the tart from the oven and heat the broiler. Sprinkle the sea salt and sugar evenly over the tart and return to the over for 3-6 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.