Trio’s Individual Apple Tarts

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By all means, buy puff pastry already made, as long as it is made with butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed slowly in the refrigerator
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored
  • ½ cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 16 cubes

Method

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry a little thinner than inch. Lay the pastry out on a sheet pan or a large cookie sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Slice the apples very thinly, preferably on a mandoline or Japanese vegetable cutter.

In a small bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt together.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cut out eight 4-inch rounds from the chilled pastry. Lay them on a parchment paper-lined sheet or cookie pan. Place 1 cube of butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar in the center of each round.

Start layering and stacking the apple slices in concentric circles on each pastry round, leaving very little edge showing, to make a beehive shape; save the smaller pieces for the top layers. The shape should get smaller as you go up higher, and when you are finished the stack should be about 3 inches high. Place a cube of butter at the top and sprinkle the apple stack liberally with cinnamon sugar. You can freeze the tarts at this point.

Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

I learned how to make these from Nico Landanis, a 3-star Michelin chef with whom I spent time in his London kitchen. He made these tarts ahead of time, froze them, and then baked them to order.

Gale Gand

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