Effortless Baking: French Apple Tart

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When I was in Paris I had this apple dessert, similar to a cheese danish. It was beyond delicious, and I haven’t stopped thinking about since. I couldn’t remember exactly what made it so special, except that it had crème fraîche in it.

So I set out over New Years weekend to make something similar that would bring me back to my time in France.

 

Rustic French Apple Tart

1 package puff pastry

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/2 cup crème fraîche

Frangipane: 6 ounces Almond Paste, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 stick salted butter

Egg wash: 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

Crust:

  • Take one sheet of puff pastry and gentry roll in out to fit a 9×9 french tart pan
  • Cut any remaining pastry off the tops to make an even, flat base for the dessert.

Frangipane:

  • In a food processor, add almond paste and butter. Whip for a few minutes until combined, light and fluffy.
  • Add sugar, and whip for 1 minute.
  • Add egg, and let whip for another minute until combined and smooth.

Apples:

  • Peel, core, and slice apples about 1/2 an inch thick. If you want to do them ahead, toss them in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to keep from oxidizing. If you will make tart right away, you don’t need to do this step. image2

Assembly:

  • Take your tart pan with pastry already laid into it.
  • Spoon frangipane over the dough evenly.
  • On top of the frangipane layer, spoon the crème fraîche. Smooth it evenly over the top not to combine layers.
  • Next, lay the apples into the crème fraîche, evening in rows of three. They should overlap each other just a little.
  • Brush the top with your egg wash lightly, not to put too much or it will pool over the dessert.
  • Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top of the dessert evenly.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, rotating 2 times.image1(3)

The tart will be done when it is golden brown, the crust has puffed and is cooked all the way through, the apples are soft, and the sugar has caramelized on top.

Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the tart pan.

Place on a cooling rack another 10 minutes and serve either warm or room temperature.

This tart takes a small amount of time to assemble, but is super impressive to guests, and absolutely delicious. The flavors of rich almond and tart apple go so well together and when the crème fraîche bakes, it becomes a creamy, almost cheese-like layer in this dessert, making something completely unique and memorable.

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I hope you try this dessert out, and more of my recipes available here on Homegrownmeals.com

Bon Appetit!

 

Sean Patrick Gallagher

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Effortless Sticky Buns

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I am not a baker, that is for sure. I do however love to have guests over, and to entertain. This last weekend we had some friends visiting us in Philadelphia from New York City and I wanted them to have a sweet treat in the morning. Not sure what to make, and I scoured the fridge and freezer. I like to keep a package of puff pastry in the freezer, I use it for all types of appetizers and entrees, and desserts as well. I decided to make a breakfast treat with puff pastry.

Sticky buns are traditionally made with a yeast dough, and take a good amount of time to prepare. Using puff pastry, I get a very similar effect with about a fourth of the work.

Try this recipe out, its super simple and satisfying!

Effortless Sticky Buns

Makes 8

1 package of puff pastry

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

splash vanilla

1 stick butter

2 T cinnamon

sprinkle salt

1 cup toasted cashews finely chopped

1: In a small bowl mix together the two sugars. Take half the sugar mixture and mix with one stick softened butter. Add the vanilla, and 1 T cinnamon.

2: Take the other half of the sugar mixture and add the other T of cinnamon.

3: In a small baking dish, smear the butter mixture evenly across the bottom.

4: Take your finely chopped cashews and distribute them evenly over the butter mixture, patting them in.

5: Now unwrap your puff pastry, there ill be two sheets. Place them on a flat surface, and place one down and then the other sheet overlapping the edge by half an inch. Press firmly on the edge to make one long sheet of pastry.

6: Sprinkle the entire amount of sugar and cinnamon mixture across the pastry dough, covering it entirely.

7: Gently start rolling the bottom of the dough; roll very tightly to keep all the sugar in and get the classic cinnamon bun look.

8: Keep rolling until the whole sheet is rolled tightly into a cylinder.

9: Cut the cylinder into 8 equal portions.

10: Place the rolls into the baking dish, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart.

11: Gently press them down into the butter mixture.

12: Place into a 375° oven for about 45 -50 minutes, you want to check after 30 minutes to make sure that they are browning evenly, rotate them if need be.

13: Make sure that the dough is completely cooked through, if still doughy cook for an additional 10 minutes.

14: Let cool for 20 minutes, and then turn the dish over to reveal the chewy caramel on the other side of the buns.

This recipe is delicious and can be make in advance or morning of. They are great for breakfast or as a dessert.

Thank you for reading, I hope you try these out!

Cheers,
Sean Patrick Gallagher