Over the long weekend I headed to San Francisco to shop the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. I was on the hunt for apples and found some gorgeous heirloom varieties from a Sonoma county orchard that were just meant for a tart. This tart, in fact.
The apples shine here, topped with a sprinkle of sugar and dots of butter; a quick maple syrup glaze gives the fruit a glistening finish (Confession: I don’t recall the exact apple I used, but pick a firm variety with a good sweet-tart balance; with so few ingredients, you want the best apples you can find). I made my own quick puff pastry in the food processor but feel free to pick up a package at the store to save time. This quick and delicious tart is an easy yet impressive dessert for a weeknight or even a dinner party.
- 1 1/4 cups cold unsalted butter, divided
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup cold water
- 3 medium apples, peeled and cored
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- For the puff pastry, cut 1 cup butter into small cubes; cut remaining 1/4 cup butter into thin slices. Chill butter cubes and slices in the freezer for 15 minutes. Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add chilled butter slices and pulse to combine; add cubed butter and pulse 3 times to incorporate. Add 1/3 cup cold water and pulse once; add remaining water and pulse twice.
- Scrape dough out onto floured board. Lightly flour dough and shape into a cylinder; press dough to flatten into a rectangle. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out dough to a 10 by 20-inch rectangle. Fold the dough like a letter: Start at the bottom of dough and fold bottom third up, then fold upper third of dough over it to make three layers. Turn dough 90 degrees counterclockwise, so the top flap faces right. Roll up dough like a jelly roll; place dough seam-side down. Sprinkle dough lightly with flour and press firmly to form a rectangle. Wrap dough with plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.
- For the tart, preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 12 ounces puff pastry (1/2 batch) on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out into a 10 by 14-inch rectangle; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to score a 1/2-inch rectangular border (do not cut through dough); dock inner rectangle with a fork. Chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Slice apples 1/8-inch thick and layer over chilled pastry. Sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter. Bake for 23 to 24 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack. Warm maple syrup briefly (10 seconds in the microwave) and drizzle over tart, then return to oven and bake another 5 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.