MY GLAZED APPLE TART is a little unconventional — I use puff pastry instead of traditional pate brisee for the crust — but it’s the prettiest, tastiest, and easiest tart in the world to make. In fact, if you have puff pastry in your freezer, apples in your fridge, and apricot preserves in your pantry, you can make this shimmering sweet sonnet right now (as I did this morning, for breakfast):
Glazed Apple Tart
Ingredients for one 9- x 8-inch tart, serving 4-6 people
One Puff Pastry Sheet – see proceeding note
Two medium-size apples, ‘Golden Delicious’ or ‘Crispin’ preferred
One 18oz jar Apricot Preserves
A pastry brush; a baking sheet, heavy-duty aluminum foil; a small sieve (for straining the preserves); a small saucepan (for heating the glaze)
A note about puff pastry: If you have the time, and enjoy squishing, with your fingers, flour and frozen cubes of butter, by all means make your own puff pastry. I did just that about 20 years ago. Yes, the final product was out-of-this-world delicious…but what a job! Today I rely on store-bought puff pastry made by Pepperidge Farm.
Preparing the Baking Sheet – invert your baking sheet, and cover it with aluminum foil. Butter the foil well. This will permit you to slide the finished tart onto a serving tray with ease.
Making the glaze – Spoon out the apricot preserves into a glass bowl. Microwave on high for about one minute, or until preserves start to bubble. Pour the heated preserves into a sieve set over a saucepan, as pictured above, and mash down with the back of a spoon until all liquid has seeped into the pan. (It’s easier than it sounds.)
Add 3 Tbs sugar to the liquid, and heat until boiling while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes until a thick syrup is achieved, as above. Pour this glaze into a screw-top jar (I wash-out and reuse the same jar the preserves came in), where it will keep, without refrigeration, for months.
Cut off one inch from each corner. Using your pastry brush, paint a one-inch band of water all around the rectangle’s borders, then fold over one inch of dough down along the sides and ends. As shown above, use the tines of a fork to secure the overlapping dough. Gently grasp each end of the tart, and transfer to the buttered, foil-covered cookie sheet.
Chilling the shell – Place the shell in your refrigerator for about 15 minutes. It must be kept cold in order to hold its shape during baking.
Transferring apples to tart – slip a knife under each sliced apple half, and transfer to the tart shell. If you wish, separate and spread the individual slices to achieve the look you want. Sprinkle apples and exposed pastry with sugar.
Baking – 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees. The tart is done when pastry has puffed and turned golden brown.
Serving – slide the tart onto a platter or board, and let it rest for an hour or more at room temperature. As it cools, the apricot glaze will shimmer like starlight. Serve as is, or with ice cream, whipped cream, or sour cream.
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