I’m one of those people who makes their own pie crust.
I find it therapeutic (and tasty!).
Making pie crust isn’t necessarily difficult, but I do empathize with those who’d rather rearrange their shoe closet instead. I suspect it’s the rolling and handling of the dough that’s off-putting to some (even myself depending on mood).
In any event, there is one dough I exclude from my baking repertoire: puff pastry.
Homemade puff pastry requires time and patience.
Both of which can be lacking around the holidays.
For sanity’s sake, it’s perfectly fine to use good-quality puff pastry from the grocery store (see kitchen notes below for recommend brands).
And the rest is easy:
- This recipe only requires 7 ingredients, 4 of which you most likely have on hand: sugar, cinnamon, eggs & butter. Maybe apples, too.
- No rolling required! I’ve designed this recipe so that 1 standard sheet of puff pasty is all you need. Just place it on a sheet pan and you’re ready to go. By the way, pre-rolled puff pastry comes wrapped in parchment paper; use that to line your sheet pan ;)
- Make this in advance. Bake the tart in the morning, and reheat in a low oven before serving.
- This dessert is perfect for when you just want a ‘bite’ of something sweet after dinner. Makes 12 squares.
To begin, peel your apples- I’m using Granny Smith. Cut off the sides into ‘cheeks’. No need to core.
Thinly slice the apples, keeping them stacked together as you work. It will be easier to decorate the tart this way.
Score a 1-inch border around the pastry to create a crust. Brush with egg wash.
Dollop the inside of the tart with apricot jam. Add your sliced apples on top, fanning them out as you go.
I lightly piled some of the apples towards the center (the boys kept wrecking my patterns), which is totally fine. We’ll call that rustic, okay?
Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, sugar, and dot with butter. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling, golden and crisp.
This tart tastes just like an open face apple pie, with a buttery, flaky puff pastry crust. The aroma is out of this world! The steam and moisture from the apples combine with the apricot jam, making the apples all sticky and delicious. It’s wonderful hot, cold, standing, sitting- I’ve tried it every which way. Try spreading a little more jam over the apples straight from the oven for a glossy glaze.
And if you’re lucky, you might even score a piece with caramelized cinnamon sugar around the edges…
Puff pastry brands-
- Dufour is a great. The flavor is excellent. And it’s all butter. However, the dough comes in one big block as opposed to convenient pre-rolled square sheets.
- Trader Joe’s sells the pre-rolled puff pastry sheets, which I love. They come individually wrapped and you get 2 sheets per box.
- Pepperidge Farm also makes puff pastry and is probably the easiest to find. The sheets (2) come individually wrapped. However, their ingredient list is a little too long for my liking and includes partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening and oil. If you’re going to indulge in puff pastry, go for all butter.
*Whatever brand you choose, remember to defrost your dough overnight in the fridge, or for a few hours at room temperature before getting started. Puff pastry is usually sold frozen.
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp water
- ¼ cup apricot jam, divided
- splash of water
- ½ scant tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into cubes
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Remove the puff pastry from the fridge (keep in box). Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. I use the paper that encases the pastry- double check to make sure yours is oven safe.
- In a small bowl or coffee mug, combine your egg wash ingredients.
- In another small bowl, combine the apricot jam with a splash of water. Stir well to create a spreadable mixture.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Cut off the sides of each apple; you should have 8 pieces altogether. Place flat side down and cut into thin slices, about ¼-inch thick. Keep the slices stacked together as you work. It will be easier to decorate the tart this way. Set aside while you prepare the tart.
- Remove the puff pastry from its packaging. Place onto your lined sheet pan.
- Score a 1-inch border around the edge of dough to create a crust. Brush the crust (not the center square) with the egg wash.
- Dollop about 2-3 tablespoons of the apricot jam in the center of the dough. Spread with the back of a spoon to make it even.
- Arrange the apple slices on top of the jam, fanning them out as you go. It's ok if it doesn't look perfect. Just make sure the apples are not piled too high on top of each other- they will get mushy. Depending on size, you may not need to use all of the apples. Less is more (eat the rest as snacks).
- Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Add the butter over the apples.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing, and for the apples to set.
- Brush the apples with the remaining apricot glaze for extra shine.