Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I made a French Apple Tart...and it was delicious!

Last week I had a meeting for which I had signed up to bring half of the food.  I made my go-to date nut cheese ball as well as some cranberry-chili sauce meatballs in my slow cooker.  The only new recipe that I tried was a French Apple Tart.  I was a bit wary of this recipe since it required working with puff pastry.  Puff pastry, for some silly reason, makes me nervous.  But, the picture (don't you just love a cookbook with pictures?) made it look yummy, so I gave it a try. 

My serving platter was empty at the end of the meeting and the reviews seemed to be all positive.  I didn't see any uneaten pieces on the dishes in my friend's kitchen at the end of the evening, an even better sign.  For me, that's a true test of a recipe. It is one thing for everyone to put something on their plate.  But what is important to me is whether people think the food is good enough to clean their plates, or at least to have more than one bite.  This French Apple Tart met that test for me.  So, without further ado, I give you the recipe, and my notes/thoughts/changes:

French Apple Tart
Prep time: 25 minutes            Bake Time: 40 minutes
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 egg, slightly beaten
fresh rosemary sprigs, optional

*I neglected to take a picture of my finished product, so here's a picture of the picture from the cookbook.

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. You really must use parchment paper, so if you don't have any, add this to your shopping list.  It can usually be found in the aisle with the baking mixes and ingredients, or alternatively, with the aluminum foil and plastic wrap. 

Unfold puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface.  With a floured rolling pin, roll pastry to a 10x14 rectangle (frankly, just approximate this to make it at least a bit smaller than your baking sheet). Place on parchment paper on baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

While pastry is refrigerating, peel, core and slice apples.  Before zesting your lemon, roll it on your counter with the palm of your hand and a bit of pressure, to release the juice--it makes getting the juice out much easier.  Zest the lemon (every kitchen should be equipped with a microplane grater!).   Once the lemon is zested, cut it in half and squeeze the juice over your sliced apples, to keep them from turning brown before baking.

Stir together 1 tablespoon of sugar and all the flour in a small bowl.  Stir remaining 5 tablespoons of sugar with the lemon zest and chopped rosemary, if using, in another bowl. I used the rosemary here, but omitted it at the end of the recipe.

Remove pastry from refrigerator and sprinkle flour mixture over pastry, to 1/2 inch from the edge.  Arrange the apple slices on pastry in 3 or 4 rows (depending on the size of your apples and width of your pastry), starting at the short side and overlapping slices.  Sprinkle slices with sugar mixture.

Brush the uncovered pastry edges with the beaten egg.  Bake pastry until browned and apples are tender, about 40 minutes.  If the edges start to brown too much, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.  Loosen tart from parchment paper and slide onto wire rack to cool.  Sprinkle with rosemary sprigs if using.

Use a pizza cutter to cut into 12 pieces (or more if you'd prefer smaller portions) and serve warm or at room temperature.

*This recipe was adapted from the French Apple Tart recipe in the Weight Watchers PointsPlus cookbook.  None of my changes should significantly impact the PointsPlus value per serving. 
Nutritional Info (without the egg wash on the edges):  Serving Size: 1/12; Calories: 73; Fat: 1g; Carb: 17g, Total Sugar: 13g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 1g; Points Plus Value per serving: 2! That's right, just two points per serving.

Bon Appetit!

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