Posted by: acooksca | 04/03/2009

Maple Apple Tarts

These rustic tarts are simpler and quicker to make than they look. Unpeeled apples are sliced very thinly on a slicer (I maple-apple-tart-1a1used a $15 hand held adjustable blade slicer bought at a Korean market). Poaching the apple slices briefly in maple syrup keeps them light and juicy. The poaching syrup in later reduced with a dash of brandy and butter for an intense glaze.

1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 ¾ oz. package) thawed
½ cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ pound (3 large) Gala or Fuji apples, left whole and unpeeled
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon brandy or rum

Place an oven rack in lower one third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

In a large skillet heat the syrup, water and vinegar to a simmer. Meanwhile slice the apples very thinly, rotating around the core as needed to avoid the seeds. Working in several batches, add the apples to the hot syrup turning with tongs to coat well. Poach for about two minutes, until the slices are wilted slightly. With tongs remove the slices from the skittle to a colander placed over a bowl to catch the juice as the apples drain. Repeat until all apples are poached. Add the collected juice from the apples to the syrup in the skillet.

On a floured board roll the puff pastry sheet to 12-inch by 12-inch. Cut into four squares (6-inches each) and place on a baking sheet. The edges can overlap at this point. Mound the apples slices in the center of each pastry, leaving a ¾-inch border all around. Fold the pastry edges in, pinching the corners to stay together. Use 1 tablespoon butter to dot the tops of the tarts and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake the tarts until the pastry is nicely browned, about 30-40 minutes.

While the tarts bake warm the skillet of syrup and juices to a simmer. Add one tablespoon butter and the brandy. Reduce to a glaze consistency (reduced to about 1/3 cup.). Spoon the glaze over the tarts while they are still warm.

Serve tarts warm or within a few hours to keep the pastry crisp.
Originally published in Farmstead Cheese News by Karen Bolla, edited for A Cook’s California (A Cook’s CA)  by Karen Bolla.

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