A few years ago I saw Sara Moulton create an amazing looking French Apple Tart and immediately tried it out at home. It was surprisingly easy and came out pretty flawless, my only problem being the crust. At the time my culinary skills were slightly above novice and things just didn't cook evenly (as my dough was probably lumpy and uneven to begin with). Now, three or four apple tarts later, I'm thrilled with my results. However, I figured there had to be an easier way for a novice to produce great results. I thought about store bought pie crusts, but then realized they would be the wrong texture and consistency. Next I thought about puff pastry, but wouldn't you know it, turns out Sara Moulton was a step ahead of me.
For a simple but deceptively elegant French Apple Tart,
1 sheet store-bought puff pastry dough, thawed
6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, halved, and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1/4 cup sugar
2 ounces (1/2 stick) cold butter, sliced thin
1/2 cup apricot jam, heated and strained
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 13-inch round and fit it into a 10-inch tart tin with a removable fluted rim, trimming the excess. Arrange the apples decoratively on the pastry shell, overlapping them. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the apples, top with butter slices and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until the crust is cooked through and the apples are golden.
Brush with the heated apricot jam while the tart is still hot.
If puff pastry seems too novice to you, check out her other full-on roll out your own crust recipe a try.