Parisian Apple Tartlet
|An easy apple tart made with puff pastry shells.|
Whenever I get an e-mail asking if I’d like a certain cookbook, first I think about how the book would fit my South Beach Diet lifestyle. Sometimes I politely decline, especially if it’s a book for a different type of diet. Other times I say they can send the book and I might review it, but only if I find something I can adapt to my way of eating.
This is not a book for dieters of any kind. It’s loaded with sugary baked goods that are beautifully photographed and sound like they would taste amazing. Just reading the book might cause you to gain a few pounds.
However, with that warning in mind, without doubt this is a gorgeous book. I decided to write about the book because not everyone who reads my blog is a South Beach Dieter, and if you’re a baker, or know someone who is, this is a first-class cookbook in every way. The recipes are clearly written, and start and end on the same page, or two opposing pages, something that I always consider the sign of a well-planned cookbook. I’ve already mentioned the incredible photos, which are plentiful, although not every dish has a photograph. The book is has chapters on breakfast sweets, cookies, cakes, pies and tarts, spoon desserts, and what Dorie Greenspan calls indispensables for baking.
I wanted to try at least one recipe from the book, so I searched for the most South Beach Diet friendly recipe I could find and settled on this one for Parisian Apple Tartlets (page 319). It’s a simple recipe with only puff pastry circles, apples, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and a tiny bit of butter. Although puff pastry is hardly a diet food, it’s actually fairly low in carbs, therefore lower on the glycemic index compared to other foods containing white flour. This is something I might eat once in a while as a treat, keeping in mind that I’m on phase three of the diet.
Remember, I’m not a baker so please don’t be too critical of the fact that my puff pastry didn’t rise as evenly as it could have (antique oven!) or that I got carried away talking to friends and let the bottom of the tartlets get a bit too brown. Even with my lack of expertise, this tasted wonderful. Next time I might sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, but otherwise this is a keeper.
Parisian Apple Tartlet
(Makes 2 servings; adapted only slightly from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
2 puff pastry circles (I used Pepperidge Farm, but Dufour Brand is recommended)
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 400 F. Put a piece of parchment paper, a silicone mat, or foil on a baking sheet. (I used foil which worked fine.) Peel apple, then cut in half crosswise. I then used an apple cutter to remove the core and cut the apple into 8 pieces. If you don’t have this tool, just cut the apple into four pieces and cut out the core. (My apple was cut in 8 pieces and I removed one piece from each apple to fit it on the puff pastry better.) Center apple chunks on the puff pastry circle, dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake about 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is deeply browned and apple can be pierced easily with a knife.
It would be tempting to top this with a bit of vanilla ice cream, but since I never have ice cream in my freezer, I managed to resist that temptation.