I found Clarie Saffitz’s Glazed Apple Tart on one of my midnight why-am-I-still-scrolling benders. I woke up the next morning, shrugged my oversized jean jacket over my shoulders and headed to the grocery down the road for puff pastry.
This is one of those malleable recipes that I think you can read through once and then feel your way through. A sheet of puff pastry is essentially a canvas for whatever is in the pantry and fruit bowl. This tart feels simple but decadent. Like an open-faced apple dumpling.
We’re deep into pie season and this could be an easy alternative. Or use this bake to procrastinate from writing email like I did. Delicious every way.
Here’s what you’ll need for this No-Recipe Apple Tart:
• store-bought puff pastry
• sliced almonds (though chopped pecans or walnuts would be nice), a spoonful of sugar, and a spoonful of all-purpose flour.
• a few tablespoons of butter
• three apples, peeled and halved
• a lemon
• maple syrup, rum or bourbon or sherry, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt
• an egg, beaten for wash
How To Make An Apple Tart
Place a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the apples rub each sliced apple with lemon so the apples don’t brown. Place each apple cut side down in a baking dish that will fit six apple halves. With the apples all cozy, pour in about 1/2 cup of maple syrup, a few glugs of booze, a splash of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Swirl the pan around the sort of mix everything up. Cover with foil and bake until softened but still in shape – 30 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can touch em.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently roll out your thawed and chilled puff pastry. Slice an inch off all sides. Brush the puff pastry square with egg wash. Add the strips of puff pastry back to edges to create a frame. Brush the strips with egg wash too.
In a small bowl toss together a handful or two of sliced almonds, a spoonful of sugar, and a spoonful of flour. Sprinkle over the puff pastry. Add a few small cubes of butter over the top. Top with baked apples.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, rotating once. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until well browned and beautiful.
While the tart bakes, pour the maple rum mixture from the baked apples in a small pan and reduce to about 4 tablespoons simmering on a stovetop. Remove tart from the oven and brush with glaze.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Tart is best gobbled up the day it’s made but can last overnight in the refrigerator and reheats well with a toast in the oven.