This apple tart is very thin, very chic and very European. It highlights the fruit, is supported by a wisp of flaky pastry and kissed with a sprinkle of sugar, a brush of butter and a drizzle of honey for taste and sheen. It is very easy to put together, as it uses frozen puff pastry, which, if you have on hand, can be used to great effect and with minimal effort. We like to slice the apples with a mandoline set to 1/8 inch. You can slice the apples by hand, of course, but they should be so thin that you can practically see your fingers through them. With its focus on apples and honey, this is a perfect dessert for Rosh Hashanah.
Image: Peter Muka
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
- 2, 8-ounce apples, such as Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious, peeled, halved, cored and very thinly sliced (about ⅛-inch thin)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey, warmed
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out puff pastry on lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 16 inches by 6 inches; the pastry should be about ⅛-inch thick. Trim pastry to a 15-inch by 5-inch rectangle. Transfer 2 to prepared sheet; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange apples in an overlapping fashion (using picture as guide), leaving a ¼-inch border of pastry all around. Brush the apples with the melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with sugar.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Use a pastry brush to dab the warmed honey over tart and serve immediately. This tart is best served as close to baking time as possible. It can be served warm or room temperature but once it comes to room temperature, serve within the hour for best texture and flavor.
- Pepperidge Farm makes frozen puff pastry sheets that can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets. It works very well, but it is not a butter-based pastry. If you prefer all butter, look for DuFour, which can be found in some Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or specialty stores. They are all handled the same way, but the all-butter brands will have a fuller dairy flavor. Some bakers think the all-butter version hold up better after baking. We think all puff pastry desserts should be eaten as soon as possible for best results.
- The flavor and texture of your apples will make or break this dessert. We think sweet, firm apples are best, so leave the Granny Smiths aside for another time, and apples like McIntosh and Cortland will lose their shape. We have made this successfully with the ones suggested as well as Ida Red, Fuji, Braeburn, Gala, Ginger Gold, Northern Spy and Macoun.
- The thin, overlapping pieces of apple are delicate and if you try to literally brush the honey onto the apple tart you will dislodge the fruit. Instead, try a dabbing motion. It is a more delicate approach.