French Apple & Cinnamon Tarts

French Apple & Cinnamon Tarts 1So I’ve been too busy taking my kids to as many Halloween themed activities this week as I can, so it was nothing short of a miracle that I’m posting this recipe tonight. 🙂  Mike’s working late at the hospital so I didn’t really have to make dinner.  The kids and I all opted for something different for dinner and I told Mike that he can have french apple & cinnamon tarts in lieu of dinner.  He sounded like that was more than fair.  I haven’t seen Mike bite into one of these yet, but I’m guessing he’s going to want it with ice cream.  We’ll see…As an update…he did.

These tarts are super simple to make.  The puff pastry really does all the work for you so that there’s no mixing of flour and cold butter and cleaning of food processors.  There’s really no waiting time either.  If you’re kinda impatient, like I am, or if you just like to go to the store, spontaneously buy something and go home right away and make it, like I do, then this is the perfect recipe for you.  I literally bought the pastry, went home and took out one sheet of it, set my phone for 40 minutes to allow it to defrost (as per package thawing instructions) read a few stories, put kids down for a nap, cut up the apples, mixed the cinnamon and sugar together, and by that time the puff pastry was ready to be assembled and popped in the oven.  Thirty minutes later I was taking them out of the oven and eating one (of course!), while photographing the others.French Apple & Cinnamon Tart 3

I got the idea for this recipe after watching the Barefoot Contessa on the FoodNetwork Channel.  Yes, I’m one of those.  My recipe varies only slightly from Ina’s in a few ways.  Her recipe doesn’t mention scoring the puff pastry beforehand which I think is super important because it creates a perfect little frame for the apples to sit in.  I also added cinnamon to the sugar that’s sprinkled over the apples.  I found that I didn’t need near as much sugar as her recipe called for.  I’m using salted butter as opposed to unsalted because there’s just a whole lot of sweet going on that I really thought we needed a touch of salt.  Finally, I used apple cider to help thin out the apricot preserves whereas her recipe called for rum.

That all said, these are a super fun fall treat.  I’m not sure whether they are supposed to be categorized under breakfast, because I can totally see people munching on these with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or in my case, a warm cup of chai tea.  Here though, it’s going to serve more as a dessert and be eaten with a fork and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.  Either way, this flaky, buttery, sweet apple cinnamon tart is not for anyone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth…

French Apple & Cinnamon Tart Title

Ingredients French Apple & Cinnamon Tart 2

  • 1/2 package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), defrosted
  • 2 small Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, cold and diced small
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves/jelly
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or (apple juice, or water)

DirectionsFrench Apple & Cinnamon Tart Step 1:2French Apple & Cinnamon Tart Step1

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line one sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the sheet of puff pastry into six rectangles.  Follow the lines down where the puff pastry was folded as a guide for cutting it into thirds and then cut each of those in half.  Using a paring knife, score a border around each pastry so that you have what looks like a picture frame.  Use a fork to speckle holes in the center.  (See picture)  This will allow the edges of the pastry to rise and form a border to the pastry while the middle remains flat.  It will help hold in the juice of the apples.  Refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
  3. In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
  4. Peel the apples and cut them in slices about a quarter inch thick.  Place the apples diagonally across each pastry and so that they are overlapping.  You should be able to get four-five slices on each pastry.French Apple & Cinnamon Tart Step 2French Apple & Cinnamon Tart Step 3
  5. Sprinkle the cinnamon & sugar mixture liberally over each pastry.  It’s okay to have some cinnamon & sugar leftover- I usually do.
  6. Dot the pastries evenly with cold, diced butter cubes.
  7. Bake tarts for 25-30 minutes.  You want the puff pastry to have puffed up and turned a golden brown color.
  8. When the tarts are done, warm the apricot jelly in the microwave for 45 seconds- one minute.  Add apple cider (or water), stir, and reheat for an additional 30 seconds.  Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of apricot cider mixture over each tart.  Loosen each tart from the parchment paper so they don’t stick to the paper as they cool with the preserves on top.
  9. Enjoy at room temperature or warm.  Eat as is or with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Apple Tarts

Notes – This recipe can easily be doubled so that you can use both sheets of puff pastry, yielding 12 pastries.  For my lil’ family of four (with two little ones who wrinkle their noses at tarts) having six at a time is plenty.

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