Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, says Dan Lewis of San Antonio’s Plaza Club. Make the apples early in the day, but don’t bake the tart until after the big meal.
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
7 apples, peeled, cored and halved
2 tablespoons apple brandy or brandy
Pinch of salt
1 puff pastry sheet
Place the butter and sugar in a 9-inch oven-proof sauté pan and arrange the apple halves in the pan. Sauté the apples over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the sugar is caramelized and the apples are brown. Add the apple brandy, salt and cinnamon to taste and turn the apples in the pan until the brandy is incorporated. Remove from heat and set aside. Arrange one apple in the center of the pan, core-side up, and place the others in circles around it.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut a 9-inch circle from the puff pastry. Cut the trimmed dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips and piece together a rim around the edge of the pastry. Place the pastry circle, rim side down, on top of the arranged apples and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the pan from oven and turn over onto a serving place. Cool slightly and cut into 8 pieces. Serve warm.
Beverage suggestion: Brandy
Makes 8 servings.
Adapted from “Discover Ironstone Vineyards” by Dan Lewis