I’m still in Peru. Holla! By the time you read this, I will have already hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and will be in the Amazon, taunting piranhas and taming capybaras and hopefully not contracting malaria from mosquitoes the size of grapefruits. Good times!
But of course I wanted to vicariously participate in all the TWD recipes with my peeps, so the week before we left was a frantic blur of working, packing, baking, and pre-blogging. This recipe was especially awesome because I was able to rush home from work (by way of the grocery store), make the recipe (including adding extra steps), bake the tarts, and photograph them, all in the space of about an hour, before losing the natural daylight. I also had time to compose the world’s worst run-on sentence!
My recipe change was to caramelize the apples before baking. I don’t like it when fruit dries out during the baking process, and I thought that putting raw apples in a 400* oven for 25 minutes might not leave them as luscious as I like. So, I made a caramel of butter and sugar, and cooked my apple slices for about 10 minutes, until they were softened and a nice golden brown.
It’s important not to pre-cook them too much, so they don’t get mushy. I also kept the caramel that I cooked them in, and brushed on an additional layer after they came out of the oven, so they were moist and glistening:
I thought these tarts needed a little ice cream love, but I didn’t have any around and time was short, so I decided to do the next best thing: creme anglaise. I made a vanilla-cinnamon anglaise to go with (and under, and on top of) the tarts. The vanilla and cinnamon flavors went perfectly with the caramelized apples and the buttery puff pastry. After rushing around to make this recipe and photograph it, I couldn’t wait to give it a taste. I thought it was great! Really simple, but clean, classic flavors. I loved how fast it came together, but how it looked and tasted like a sophisticated dessert. I will definitely be keeping puff pastry in the freezer to whip these babies out in case of dessert emergencies.