Apples are especially good when eaten on a hike or out in nature. For some strange reason they just taste better outdoors to me.
When it comes to baking with them, they totally rock my world.
Apple pie, apple crumple, apple cake, or pretty much any baked-apple thing is high up on my favourite list.
Very popular with chefs
I remember reading about a survey that asked top chefs what their favourite dessert was and the highest vote came in at apple pie.
My all time favourite eating apple is the Pink Lady. It's tart and sweet and I love to bake with it too. It tends to hold its texture well. Golden Delicious is the other apple variety I love to bake with.
Store-bought puff pastry makes life easy
This recipe for apple tart is a little bit of a cheat in that the puff pastry is bought. I learned how to make the stuff from scratch at Hotel School, but can’t see myself ever making this again.
There really is no point when you can now get the all butter puff pastry from Woolworths. Not a lard laden, or part butter puff, but the real, all butter kind. It's lovely. Fattening, but lovely.
It comes in a box with 2 sheet squares already rolled out, so you don’t even have to thaw and unroll. You simply thaw in the fridge, take out a sheet and use it. Each box contains 2 x 250g sheets of pastry. It could not get any easier. (If you can't get this, just use normal frozen puff).
Ok, so I wanted a maple flavour with my rustic apple tart because I simply love it. Maple and pecan croissants are my all time favourite, so I am recreating that in this apple pie.
The pecan nuts give another flavour dimension and add delicious crunch. Don’t worry that it's a bit messy and the syrup runs all over the place, it's meant to be rustic.
What you will need to make 2 tarts using 2 x 250g of pastry.
2 x sheets of all butter puff pastry
4 apples of your choice (I used Pink Lady)
4T dark brown sugar (I like treacle sugar)
Another 4 T dark brown sugar to sprinkle over the top
About 1/4 cup of maple syrup and more for drizzling afterwards
A handful of roughly chopped raw pecan nuts
A dusting of icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.
Lay the thawed pastry sheets out and score them about 2 cm from the outside edge making sure you don’t cut all the way through.
This is going to create the edge for your tart.
Peel, core and finely slice the apples.
Toss the slices in the bowl with the brown sugar and maple syrup.
Arrange the sliced apples evenly over the inner part of the pastry, in roughly 2 layers.
Try and be quite neat - the apples shrink, so its good to overlap a bit.
You will find some of the maple syrup stays behind, so keep that for later.
Scatter over the chopped pecan nuts and sprinkle the other 4 tablespoons of sugar over the top.
Bake the apple tarts for 20 – 25 minutes until the sides have puffed up. Drizzle the left over maple syrup over the tarts, dust with icing sugar and serve.
These are perfect with maple flavoured whipped cream dolloped on top (just add 1 T of maple syrup to 250ml cream before you whip it), or served with vanilla ice-cream.
This is a lovely easy dessert to knock up over the holiday season and people just go nuts over it!
Follow Sam Linsell as Drizzle and Dip on Instagram for more mouthwatering treats!
- Sam Linsell