After finding this recipe for a French Apple Tart over at Cup of Jo and then including it in my last Web Surfing series, I couldn't help but whip it up yesterday afternoon. It felt so fall-y and smelled fall-y and it just felt right. I have to tell you this is the EASIEST, quickest dessert to make for a dinner party or something. It probably took me 25 minutes before popping it in the oven. I couldn't find our mandolin so slicing the apples probably took about 15 of those minutes, but if you have one it's even easier (not to mention much prettier than how mine turned out). Cooking and baking is the easiest way to take you back to a place or a moment, and I am always missing France. Baking up this quintessential French dessert with some local New England apples was the perfect fall afternoon activity.
Full disclosure I also used store bought puff pastry since I was feeling lazy. If you're really lookin' to kill it then you best make the dough (you can find dough recipe at the above Cup of Jo link). Scroll down for recipe.
3 tbsp high-quality unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp blond unrefined cane sugar
1 easy puff pastry (recipe below; or you can substitute a sheet of store-bought, all-butter puff pastry, about 9 oz, thawed if frozen)
3 small apples (about 1 pound) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced into circles
1 pinch fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the parchment paper with half the melted butter to form a 25-cm (10-inch) disk shape. Sprinkle that zone with half the sugar.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface until you can cut out a 10-inch circle using an upturned cake pan or plate as a template.
Transfer the pastry circle cautiously to the prepared sheet, placing it exactly on top of the buttered and sugared area. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping pattern on top of the pastry, starting from the outside and leaving a 1.5-cm (1/2-inch) margin. Brush the margin and the apples with the remaining butter, and sprinkle with a touch of salt. (I also sprinkled some cinnamon on there for good measure).
Insert into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the apple slices feel soft when pierced with the tip of a knife.
Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and place under the broiler for 2 minutes, watching closely, until the sugar is caramelized.
Let cool and serve, slightly warm or at room temperature.