"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thin Apple Tarts

Thin Apple Tarts in an interesting little recipe, and I can't quite decide if I like it or not.

It's gratifyingly simple, if you happen to have puff pastry in the freezer (and if you're a devotee of The Gourmet Cookbook, you might as well, since it comes up more than once). Thinly slice apples, toss with syrup, lay out on puff pastry rounds, bake, brush with reduced syrup.

You can see that exposed apple bits got somewhat charred, since they bake at 450.

So here's why I'm on the fence. At first bite, it was kind of like eating apple slices on toast. Not much in the way of a binder. Also, the puff pastry makes for a nice stiff platform for the apples, but that makes it kind of difficult to cut into with a knife and fork, if you tend to eat that way. I found the easiest way to eat them was like a cookie.

I departed from the recipe slightly by making smaller rounds (4" instead of 6") to make these a more individualized dessert option. I used Macs instead of Granny Smith. And once I realized that it had a kind of apples-on-toast thing going on, I brushed them over and over again with the reduced syrup to give it a third, binding element.

Now, having said all that, visiting daughter M. loved hers so much that she asked me to photocopy the recipe.

For those of you who are bored with the standard apple desserts like pies and crisps--this might be just the thing to pique your interest. The other thing that's nice about it is that it feels like a light dessert--just a little mouthful of something sweet enough, but not too much.


Liz C said...

Intriguing! Maybe with a little blob of chunky sliced applesauce (homemade) under the apples?

I have a hard time with tarts, etc. that are just fruit on pastry. I always feel the lack of pastry cream or almond paste or something like that.

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Applesauce would be a good addition. Have you seen the recipe for Apple and Calvados Tart? http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/APPLE-AND-CALVADOS-TART-107610

It totally rocks the house. Worth every single second of effort.