puff pastry apple tart! . . .

by mulberryshoots

A couple of months ago, I started cooking with frozen puff pastry. First, I made a peach crostada with it which was beautiful! Next, I layered it on some leftover cornish hen that I combined with vegetables in a cream sauce as a chicken “pot pie.” It rose and browned up so beautifully that I was sorry I had come upon this alternative to boring pie crust topping at such a late stage in my life!

The Celtics were drubbed the other night – with a 50 point deficit and Isaiah Thomas aggravating a sore hip and now out for the remainder of the season. What this means of course is that I’ll be tuned into the finale of “Madam Secretary” tonight while flipping back and forth to the Celtics game. The pessimistic attitude towards the NBA playoffs, however, hasn’t restrained me from thinking up something to make for dessert tonight.

This recipe is from “The Nordic Kitchen,” a fabulous cookbook that I borrowed from the library the other day. Unbeknownst to me, the author, Claus Meyer, was the co-owner of Noma in Norway who also hired Rene Redzipi, the now renowned chef who has revived locally sourced dishes in Norway that includes reindeer moss and the like.

This book contains not only gorgeous photographs to inspire one to try out the recipes, but there is an intellectually purist streak through it all, simplifying cooking steps while improving classics at the same time. In this recipe, one defrosts a sheet of puff pastry and cuts into two rectangles that are rolled out slightly. Then apples (I had two Braeburn) are sliced very thinly through the cores with their skins on. Layered onto the pastry in a beautiful design, sprinkled some freshly grated lemon zest (my idea,) confectioners sugar and drizzled with melted butter (see what I mean?) it is baked in a 425 degree oven for about 15-18 minutes until the tart is puffed up and the apples caramelized. Serve it with creme fraiche, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream while it is still warm.

After this gorgeous tart came out of the oven, I began to think about other fresh fruit that this would work well with: mixed berries, pears, nectarines and PEACHES when they come into season – which will be soon! And I wonder what a slice of warm peach tart would taste like with a dollop of creme fraiche? How about glazing the peaches with some warm Bonne Maman orange marmalade on top? Endless possibilities!

Honestly, I’m convinced this very simple and elegant way to make a puff pastry fruit tart is so much simpler than peeling and coring fruit to make an apple pie – plus it looks absolutely wonderful and the frozen puff pastry does all the hard work for you!