When you think of a warm and comforting dessert for a cold and gloomy evening, what comes to mind? For me, it’s apple pie. There’s not much that can beat the smell of cinnamon and apples warming in the oven.
But who has time to make apple pie on a weeknight? Oh, sure, you could heat up one of those store-bought versions, but that just doesn’t compare with homemade goodness.
Never fear, I have a quick and easy alternative that is just right for such an occasion. A simple and delicious apple tart.
Begin by thawing out some frozen pie crust. If you’re super chef-y, you’ll have made your own pie pastry ahead of time and frozen it. If you’re just a regular like-to-cook kinda girl, you’ll have some Pillsbury on hand in the freezer. And if you’re a once-in-a-blue-moon baker, you’ll have to run to the store.
While you’re out, pick up a few Golden Delicious apples. Santa Claus brought us each a giant Red Delicious apple, and they were just crying out to be baked, having passed their prime for out-of-hand eating, so that’s what I used, but Golden Delicious would really be best. You’ll need about 3 or 4 apples.
Give your apples a quick peel and cut out the cores.
Then slice them into very thin slices.
If you have one of those fancy mandolin slicers, that would be sweet. If not, a knife works fine–they don’t have to be perfect.
Roll your dough out into a circle and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (I guess you could just put it straight on the baking sheet. It probably wouldn’t stick, but the parchment gives you insurance against scrubbing your pan later. It’s a safe bet.)
Leaving some room on the edges, begin laying out the apple o’s in a ring overlapping one another.
Next, some plain white sugar.
Sprinkle it around on top of the apples. It doesn’t take much. That’s a 1/4 cup measure I scooped with. I probably used most of it, but not a full 1/4 C.
A recipe book would say one scant quarter cup. I’ve always like that word scant. It seems like a secret code among bakers. Like pinch and dash. I particularly like heaping. Heaping is good. Especially when it pertains to cocoa powder.
Now we’re ready for a dash of cinnamon.
Here’s what a dash looks like, in my definition.
Eww, sorry. I should have fixed the white balance on that photo. Apple Tart is not that yellow.
Okay, now, this next part is so easy, you won’t believe that’s all there is to it. Moving around the edges, fold the dough in about every four inches or so. Just however it naturally folds. You should have something like this when you’re done.
Now, pop it into the oven, preheated to 400 degrees, and bake until the dough gets to the intersection of Golden Brown and Delicious. Should be about 13-15 minutes.
While that’s baking, there’s one more thing you could do to make this monumentally delicious.
Take three tablespoons each of white sugar, brown sugar, butter and cream.
Heat them together, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Boil for one minute.
Simple as pie.
Slice up the tart and drizzle the caramel sauce all over the plate.
Man, writing these posts always makes me thankful for leftovers.