Round 2 of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes! Next up: this AMAZING apple tart.
I’m a big fan of apple desserts at Thanksgiving. And as much as I love pumpkin, I do NOT like pumpkin pie. It’s a texture thing. Most of my family agrees with me, so apple desserts are where it’s at. Whether it be apple crisp, baked apples and ice cream, apple pie, or something extra special like this apple tart.
Looks pretty, doesn’t it? Looks intimidating? It definitely isn’t. This is one of the easiest desserts out there. Thanks in part to store-bought puff pastry sheets. Puff pastry is basically the best thing ever, in general. Light, flaky, buttery…and with the store-bought sheets, totally attainable at home. It makes desserts like this really easy.
Can we just talk about the filling for a second? OMG. I’m flipping out over how incredibly yummy the brown butter filling is. It’s nutty and caramel-y and the PERFECT base for anything apple. I was eating it straight from the bowl with a spoon. Nothing says delicious like that. I have to come up with more ways to use this stuff. It’s SO GOOD.
I tested out this tart last week, and I plan to double the recipe below and bring it to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. The fam will love it. I ate it as breakfast (sans ice cream…but no judgement if ice cream is included first thing in the morning), and it was the perfect accompaniment to a hot mug of coffee.
Brown Butter Apple Tart (makes 4 servings)
For the Brown Butter Filling:
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
Pinch of fine salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
For the Tart:
1 sheet of thawed puff pastry (keep it in the fridge until the last minute)
2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (I did not peel mine but you can)
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
⅓ cup apricot jam or jelly
2 tablespoons apple liqueur or plain rum (or water)
Ice cream, for serving (I recommend vanilla bean, cinnamon, or THIS INCREDIBLE ONE)
For the Filling:
Brown the butter in a small saucepan and then transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Add the flour and stir until completely incorporated. Whisk in the salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and egg. Whisk to combine. Allow the filling to cool completely before proceeding.
For the Tart:
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly dust the pastry with flour and then roll the pastry gently to seal the perforations. Using a paring knife, gently cut a ½-inch border into the pastry, being sure to not cut all the way through. This will create a sort of rim to hold in all the filling and apples.
Brush the entire thing with egg wash. This will help the edges brown but will also seal in the center so it doesn’t get too soggy from the filling.
Spread the brown butter filling evenly over the pastry, being sure to stay within the border.
Arrange the apples on top of the filling, overlapping them decoratively. Sprinkle the apple slices with the sugar and then dot the cold butter evenly over the top. Bake the tart for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown around the and the apples are tender. Some of the filling is likely to overflow in spots – don’t worry! This is OK. Most of the filling will firm up and bake with the apples.
While the tart is baking, whisk together the jam and liqueur in a small saucepan until the jam is melted. Brush the mixture over the entire tart once it comes out of the oven. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite ice cream.