Imagination is a powerful tool. You can go any way, visit any place. Sometimes, on a gloomy day, I take myself for a stroll down a Paris street in search of a patisserie.
A glance at the window shows a display of artful pastries and breads. The senses are filled with the fragrance and beauty of the various choices. What is more French than those wonderful apple tarts? The glimmering yellow apples slices on the delicate brown pastry also reflect the promise of the autumn harvest season.
This quick apple tart recipe easily re-creates that dessert right here in my kitchen. As I tested this recipe, its ease and the beauty of the outcome surprised me. And what a compliment it is when a guest asks where you purchased such an exquisite dessert.
RECIPE: Quick Apple Tart
• 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
• 3 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, very thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (or 3 tablespoons sugar mixed with scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
• 1/4 cup apricot jam, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold pastry on parchment paper. Using the tines of a fork, pierce a 1/2-inch border around edge of pastry, then pierce center all over. Arrange apple slices atop pastry in 4 rows, overlapping apple slices and leaving border clear. Brush apples with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 25 minutes. Brush melted jam over apples. Bake tart until golden, about 8 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.
Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. She teaches cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports and All Through the House in Stoughton. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.