If you haven't already realized or, if you are new to my blog, I'm all about delicious but simple and stress-free recipes and meals. I eat most foods but, in this space, you'll find a bit healthier recipes. I'm out to prove that healthier meals can be delicious, that they don't equal deprivation AND that they don't have to be complicated. And, seeing as my background is in mainly wellness, exercise and sports nutrition (both adult and pediatric), my recipes are all created with this theme in mind. I have a few principles that I follow when thinking up dinners, principles that work whether I am cooking for one, cooking for the family, or cooking for an entire house of guests. I won't go into detail about them today but I can tell you that following these is what allows me to create balance and keep flavor at our table each week. These principles are getting summed up in an upcoming post, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today's recipe, these Cinnamon Apple Tarts, that are just sweet enough, light enough and simple enough to make the menu of many celebratory and more time-consuming meals.
A little story behind their creation...
These apple cinnamony treats came about when Kyle and I were having my Bible Study leader and her husband over for dinner. I have been in her Bible Study for probably about 5 years to the point that she is like family. She even flew up to Memphis to attend my mom's funeral, a woman she had never met. I got to know her husband through being at their house every other week for Bible Study and through our church. After I met Kyle, they welcomed him into their lives, joining us for dinners and brunches and lending words of wisdom when we needed it. Her husband actually ended up being one of the ministers that married us. So, with all of this to say, these were some very special dinner guests. That night I, with Kyle as my sous chef :) , made some of my favorite dishes - a Roasted Beef Tenderloin with a Rosemary Chocolate and Wine Sauce (thank you, Ellie Krieger!! This dish is delicious and one of my favorites for special occasions and entertaining!), roasted root veggies, spinach and brown butter gnocchi and a mixed greens salad. This might sound complicated but it fits perfectly with those "Three Principles for Simplified Dinners".
For these tarts - the key to preparing them is pulling the pastry dough out of the freezer before dinner begins because they need about 40ish minutes to thaw. You can either have your apples already sliced or do a quick slice after dinner before throwing them in the oven. On this particular occasion, I had the pastry thawing and then, as everyone was taking their last bites of dinner, I tucked away into the kitchen, assembled the tarts (using apples I had sliced before dinner) and then baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes while I joined the rest of the conversation. When they were done I broiled them for just a minute and then plated them and served each with a ramekin of cold and creamy Blue Bell vanilla bean ice cream (everything is better with Blue Bell in this house). They were simple and light, the perfect ending to a satisfying and filling meal.
So, here you go - my recipe for Cinnamon Apple Tarts. I hope they bring your future dinners many happy endings :)
CINNAMON APPLE TARTS: A LIGHT, FLAKEY & SUBTLY SWEET DESSERT
Makes 18 tarts
6 rectangles of a puff pastry sheet, thawed for about 45 minutes
1 red apple (like golden delicious)
1/2 green apple (like granny smith)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of regular sugar
4 teaspoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.
2. Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares (should end up with 18 squares).
3. Slice each apple in half. Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise, along the length of the core. Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards. Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.
4. Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.
5. Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (I really just eyeball the honey I drizzle on each tart. Don't stress about being super precise - just have fun drizzling a little over each tart, saving enough to drizzle each again in a little bit!)
6. Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.
7. At 8 minutes, remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.
8. After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized.. Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!
9. Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream, pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)
10. Serve and enjoy!
SERVE IT AGAIN!
Store any uneaten tarts in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. When ready to eat again, remove from fridge and place on foil or baking sheet. Reheat in a preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.
Breakfast anyone? While not the best pre or post - exercise breakfast, these make a great accompaniment if hosting a big weekend brunch or they serve as perfect leisurely weekend homemade pastry.