Fall! It’s hard to believe that it’s October already! We are going to take it super easy on you this month. You’ll need to save your baking energy for the next few months as we approach the holiday season. We must admit that our first recipe attempt for this month was somewhat of a flop. It used apples, which are plentiful this time of year, but it fell flat. Our taste testers liked the flavor but didn’t think it was worthy enough to share with y’all. So, we decided to keep the apple theme and make a super easy apple tart out of ready-made pastry. No need for tedious laminating of home-made pastry. As the kids would say: “miss me with that.”
It was so much fun to make this on a chilly Friday evening. We even had helping hands in the kitchen! Jane, my (Olivia) middle daughter, stopped by with her two dogs. Jane and Caroline belted out all the tunes from the musical Les Mis. All the laughter and singing was very heartwarming and it was a perfect night. When Jane and Caroline were younger, their uncle nicknamed them giggle-itis and laugh-a-lotamous. The two of them were always giggling and laughing about something – when they weren’t fighting! Although these interactions are less frequent, they definitely still occur. It’s not often that we all get together and make new memories in the kitchen anymore. I find that I am more often than not looking fondly back at old times.
Our kitchen really is the heart of our home, despite how absolutely tiny it is when there are more than two people in it. One thing of note that gave us all our “ab workout of the day” (laughing) was at my expense. We have one or two oven mitts that are a bit past their prime… Out of the few, the worst was chosen. And it was very apparent. When I took the sheet pan out of the 425 degree oven, the oven mitt was only an illusion. The heat went right through it and started burning my hand. As this was happening, Jane and Caroline stood and watched as yelling and screaming ensued. They stood and stared, waiting for me to put the pan down. I instead continued to look down at my hand telling them that it was $%&* hot! The moment felt as if it happened in slow motion. What could they even do? I finally set it on the counter and after it was clear that I was okay, laughter erupted, and we each told the story of what just happened from our own perspectives. The main takeaway was: what took me so long and why didn’t I just put it down? It’s easy to understand if you have ever experienced me during an emergency: my brain loses most all function. Do not fret however, I’m positive that by the time this comes out, the blister will be healed as if it never even happened. The memory is sure to remain though.
Anyway, moving on… As always with our recipes, we like to try to use seasonal fruits as much as we can in our bakes. In the beginning of October, apples are ripe for the picking. Go out and get ‘em! Take a drive to your local farm stand or pick-your-own and don’t worry about getting too many. There are endless apple recipes out there. Here’s ours.
3 Granny Smith Apples cored and sliced very thin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbs apricot jam (for the glaze)
Remove puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw for about 20 minutes on the counter. While the puff pastry is thawing, slice the apples and place in a medium size bowl. Add the sugars, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Toss the apples with the sugar mixture and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Once the pastry has thawed, cut the sheet into four equal squares. Lay the puff pastry on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Arrange apples however you like, just make sure to leave space on the edges for the pastry to puff up. We did them a few ways but the best was simply overlapping them across the puff pastry (see photo).
Bake for approximately 25 minutes. While the tarts are still warm, brush with 2 tbs of apricot jam mixed with 1 tbs of water. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or drizzle with some caramel sauce!
P.S. Remember the old saying: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.