Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TWD: Parisian Apple Tartlet


Jessica of My Baking Heart chose Parisian Apple Tartlets for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie. When I first saw that a tart(let) was on the menu this month, I assumed I'd be hauling out the food processor, examining for clumps and curds, and panicking about over processing tart dough. So I was happily surprised when I read the recipe and realized that this one is by far the simplest TWD recipe yet. It doesn't get "made" so much as assembled.


That's right, from top to bottom we have (1) frozen puff pastry, (2) apple half (mine might actually be an apple quarter; I lost track), (3) brown sugar, and (4) butter. Bake it until it's puffy and browned. Eat it.

Dorie discusses frozen puff pastry in her book, and strongly encourages bakers to forgo the more readily available Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry in favor of all-butter frozen puff pastry available at specialty stores. Dorie recommends a version by Dufour Pastry, which she says is so good that she stopped making puff pastry at home.

Let me list a few items that I have not been able to find in my local specialty store (Whole Foods) in the past few months: green lentils, lemon marmalade, fleur de sel, 00 flour, thyme, high gluten flour, amaretto cookies, and fresh yeast. But lo!


I rubbed my eyes to make sure that I wasn't hallucinating, that I wouldn't next wander over to aisle six and see flying pink elephants. Was it even possible that I was looking at not only all-butter frozen puff pastry, but the very brand of all-butter frozen puff pastry that caused Dorie stop making puff pastry at home? The winner of the International Fancy Food Show?


I was on such a high from my unexpected find that I barely flinched at the $11.99 price tag for my one sheet of puff pastry, and whistled and clicked my heels all the way to the checkout line.


Dorie says that peaches, plums, pears and apricots all work well in this, but I just don't think you can beat an apple tart. So I baked one apple tartlet for David and served it with ice cream. I traced my 4" circle for the tartlet (my sifter was the perfect size), and sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on the scraps (for me).

David really enjoyed the tartlet. I swear that he said something really clever when evaluating the tartlet last night (besides "this is really good!"), but I can't for the life of me remember what it was, and neither can he (I just asked him). The scraps were so amazing that I almost cried. That Dufour puff pastry really is as fabulous as Dorie says it is; I totally understand why it won the International Fancy Food Show. It's so good, in fact, that I am going to stop making my own puff pastry at home, just like Dorie. It's a splurge, so I'm sure I'll continue to rely on Pepperidge Farm for my day-to-day puff pastry needs, but for special occasions, I'm breaking out the Dufour.

The Parisian Apple Tartlet simply cannot be beat when you need a simple and delicious dessert quickly. I'll make this one again and again. Thanks for the great pick, Jessica!

[EDITED 6/9 9:15 a.m.]: David must have read my post this morning, because he left me the following message on Facebook: "Had I known the damage one sheet of that magical puff pastry would do, I'm sure I would have had something very clever to say about it. Sorry, did I say "clever?" I meant "profane," something very profane." D'oh!

61 comments:

Steph said...

Your tartlet baked up so cute! It might be a little pricey, but I guess you get what you pay for.

Barbara Bakes said...

What a great simple recipe! I guess I'd better search for this puff pastry!

dharmagirl said...

oh, wow, i'm jealous of your pastry! i want to try it but it's nowhere to be found in these parts...boo.

Megan said...

So you know what this means, don't you? Now I have to go to Whole Foods and find this spectacular brand of puff pastry.

$12.00 a package? It must be worth it.

Jessica said...

I thought that I was the only person who keeps a running tab of all of the items that I think Whole Foods should have, but they don't have (malt powder anyone?). It's nice to know that I'm in good company.
I haven't made these yet but I'm making them today. I'm very excited to read that they were a hit in your house. I had a small fit the first time that I bought the Dufour but I agree that it's worth the price.

Audrey said...

I'm kinda glad I practiced on my $5 Trader Joe's puff pastry because I lost most of it in the process. But I did manage to make, and eat, and love, two of these tarts, and I can't wait to make them again. LOL about Whole Foods...I can't give you a list, but I'm always surprised at what they don't have. Lettuce (the kind you'd want for a BLT) was my all time favorite.

Cakelaw said...

It looks great Cathy, and I agree - there's nothing like an apple dessert. Glad yopu found and liked the fancy pastry.

Mary Ann said...

Yay! for finding the all-butter puff pastry! I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who would fork over that much to pay for an item Dorie recommended! lol
and kudos to you for only making one and letting your hubby eat it. I could take all kinds of lessons from you!

Melissa said...

Wow, that's so awesome that you found the right puff pastry. I settled for Pepperidge Farm. I bet yours was delicious!!

Melissa said...

Wow, that's so awesome that you found the right puff pastry. I settled for Pepperidge Farm. I bet yours was delicious!!

Lady Baker said...

I don't know about you, but I'm now going to have to look up the Fancy Food Show and what exactly it is!? (And how do I sign up for getting into that...and if I do, does it mean freebie samples?!)

I spent about 10 min searching for a 4" round item in my cabinet..finally found a top to some random container (whose bottom/container is no where to be found!)

I loved this recipe too--quick 'n' easy! And no leftovers to make me gain more weight between Tuesdays!

Sabrina said...

Your tartlet is so beautiful! Very nice job!

Peggy said...

It was just plain Pepperidge Farm for me. Cathy you are amazing in your shopping, baking, and blogging! As always, your tart looks perfect.

Marthe said...

I love easy to assemble recipe every now and then!!! Your tartlets look really good, I can't wait to try them later today!

Barbara said...

So glad you mentioned the puff pastry brand- I will check my Whole Foods. I have been making do with the Pepperidge Farm til now. Easy and delicious dessert!

Jennifer said...

Wow, you have "day-to-day puff pastry needs," I'm jealous! My life is just not that glamorous. (or tasty, apparently!)

I liked this recipe a lot, even though pepperridge farm was the only puff pastry available, so I ended up making it myself.

MacDuff said...

Yeah, $12 for puff pastry...it's ridiculous. Whoo-hoo Fancy Food Show. Now that's a trade show I'd like to attend...

vibi said...

WOW! The caramelized crust on those is divine, Cathy! You have outdone yourself... or is it the puff pastry guy who has? LOL LOL LOL.

Okay, I admit, you did a pretty darn good job!

spike. said...

I'll have to check whole foods for the puff pastry! Although if it is really pricey, maybe best I don't know and continue with PF. Glad this recipe was one your husband could enjoy.

Tracey said...

Ah, what a gorgeous tart Cathy! I agree with you - this one was both simple and absolutely delicious! I can't believe how beautifully your pastry rose. It's so tall! Must be the Dufour Pastry, which I'm glad to hear was worth the price. I had to settle for Pepperidge Farm this time as I'm pretty sure hubs would faint if I bought $12 puff pastry.

Pollyanna said...

Holy smokes that first picture looks delish!! I just love your story that goes with this. I couldn't find Dufour. I'm glad you did. I'm totally cracking up at your husband's message to you;)

Kayte said...

Gorgeous...absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the photo of the packaging, too, always appreciate those kind of photos. Surely Fresh Yeast is not far behind if they stock this. Beg a little. Cry if you have to, surely someone will listen. Tell them it could be a run on their store if they advertise it! LOL on D's comment...he does read...hmmm wonder if he reads tweets....

Bridgett said...

My husband would love it if I made this for him since he absolutely loves fruit desserts. I can imagine it smelled amazing while it baked away. I need to keep an eye out for the special puffed pastry though. So far I haven't found it here. Looks fantastic, Cathy!

Jamie said...

Your tarlet looks delicious! I always forget the snazzy one liners the boyfriend throws out about food too!!! :)

jillbert said...

Your Whole Foods seems to be lacking a lot of items...perhaps they should call it Half Foods? At least they came through with the puff pastry. The tartlet looks awesome!

Karen said...

I think my husband would have said something profane as well. :) Glad he liked it though!

Natashya said...

Yep, I would never have been able to tell my hubby how much the puff pastry cost!
Looks great, I love apple too.

bakingwiththeboys said...

So the puff pastry was $12 good, huh? That is how my mother rates everything (e.g. those pants are cute but not $80 cute). It was nice to have an easy week...

chocolatechic said...

Wow! $11 for puff pastry.

I'm almost glad that we don't get that around here.

lasinthekitchen said...

Holy Cow! Your Parisian Apple Tartlet looks delicious! The puff pastry puffed up soo nicely! I'd like to try it with the Dufour pastry, if I could ever find it!

Clivia said...

Another delight I probably won't find in Canada. But I did use an all butter pastry and it was delicious too. Good work on finding the best and naming it so!

Hornedfroggy said...

Thanks so much for baking along with me this week - glad your you & your hubby liked the tartlet! :)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This looks so delicious. Browned to perfection and oozing goodness. The pastry would have been a bargain at thrice the price!

Heather said...

awww. it's a recipe with a fairy tale ending! finding dorie's favorite puff pastry?! it's like seeing a unicorn :)

Katrina said...

How awesome your tart looks! It puffed up more than any I've seen, I MUST be the Dufour! But holy cow--that price! Yikes. I cheated and went a whole different route and used phyllo shells. Why? Because I LOVE puff pastry! Sigh.

Anne said...

I'm glad the puff pastry was as good as Dorie said it was! Your tartlet looks awesome and I'm sure your non chocolate eater loved this one. :)

Di said...

Your tart looks delicious. I'm impressed that you were able to locate the preferred brand of pastry. The price definitely would have put me off--I'm much more willing to spend my time than my money. =) Which is why I do crazy things like make puff pastry dough...

Gabe's Girl said...

I love the stories that accompany your TWD bakes. They are great! You are awesome to have found and bought the puff pastry. I am using the good ole standby, Pepperidge Farm. I had no idea that puff pastry in all its glory could ever cost almost $12! Wow.
Great post.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I hate it when I forget those precious "bon mots" by posting time! If you thought the pp was expensive, try using the recommended "ivoire" white chocolate for the dacquoise (found it at my Whole Foods, btw) - $16 for a full recipe's worth. And that's not counting the cream, pineapple, etc. Great time for a mini!

I think I'm going to take your lead and "stop" making puff pastry too!

Maria said...

Great job! I wish I was eating this for breakfast!

myfamousrecipe said...

I was too timid to splurge on the Dufour, but you're giving it some high praise and the tarts look gorgeous. You only live once, right? I might have to whistle and click my heels through Whole Foods myself!

Pamela said...

Okay, I'll have to look for the "good" puff pastry now and I guess I'll have a showdown in the kitchen between it and PF shells. I'm glad David enjoyed the tart, even if he wasn't too keen on the price spent for the 'Doh!

The Blonde Duck said...

Did the flying pink elephants get lost from the Pond again? I swear, it's like trying to nail jello to a tree. Send them back with a few tarts if you please. :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

WOW $11.99 for on sheet of puff pastry? A month or two ago I wouldn't have flinched either, but i think i would try and wing it with Pepperidge Farm. Your tartlett is total eye candy!

TeaLady said...

he is tooooo funny. Great looking tart.

at $12 I would go back and make my own.

Elra said...

What a delicious apple tart Cathy. I love apple anything.

Jess said...

You can't go wrong with $$$ puff pastry and this recipe. Your tarts look fantastic.

Leslie said...

I love the caramelization around the top, and that's one of the best apples I've seen! I also managed to snag Dorie's preferred brand at WF, though it cost an extra buck (like everything in California).

mike said...

Whole Foods. If we had one, I could have had the Dufour! :) It looks like you used $12 pastry - very delicate, flakey pastry. I'm glad you both liked it - now I'm on an even bigger search for Dufour. Nicely done Cathy!

Teanna said...

Oh. My. God. Seriously. Cathy. Seriously. Best looking tart out there! WHY didn't I think of Whole Foods?! When this came out of the oven, I though: Dorie's food photographers do some serious food photography magic, because there is no way they are that puffy! And LO! Here you come with your fancy pastry!

nick said...

That's the same "awesome" puff pastry we had too - $10 at WF. It was good, but notwithstanding the struggle, homemade still wins in my book.

Engineer Baker said...

Wow, $12?!? Yeah, I'm sticking with PF :) Your tart looks amazing though!

AmyRuth said...

Cathy,
You still amuse me. An Oh! My college age and teenage offspring prohibit me from Facebook. he he Seriously? Nah, I just give them their "stuff," but I Twitter. So how cool is it that you and your sweet hubby Facebook each other. Your first photo is fab for sure! I loved this dessert and how oh so easy it was. A magic trick for sure. Jealous of your Dufour PP.
AmyRuth

Flourchild said...

I love your tarts! Sorry it took me so long to check them out. My computer crashed and I had to go out and get a nice new fancy one!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Great post, as always, you are a great writer - tart looks amazing.

applecrumbles said...

Looks great. Good tip on the DuFour Puff Pastry. I'll have to look for it ..but at that price, maybe keep it for really special occasions and use the regular stuff for last minute dilemmas.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'll be on the lookout for that puff pastry for sure, I might have to sell my firstborn though!

pigpigscorner said...

I would love to try the pastry! I can't stop looking at your first pic, looks so delicious!

Alwayzbakin said...

Your tartlet looks divine! I nominated you for an award on my Paula blog. www.mygirlpaula.blogspot.com Don't feel obligated if you don't want to play along. ;)

Debinhawaii said...

That is one gorgeous apple tart. I'll have to see if my Whole Foods has that puff pastry--maybe I'll splurge for the next Ina PP recipe--as much as she uses it I am sure she will have another soon. ;-)

SUGAR B said...

That looks incredibly AWESOME, Cathy! LOVE IT.

 
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