The phrase “easy as pie” is total crap if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong. I love pie. I love making it, I love eating it. I have a great apple pie recipe that I like to make in the fall. But making a pie isn’t “easy,” especially for beginning bakers. (Okay, Wikipedia just informed me that the phrase is supposed to refer to eating pie, not making it. WHATEVER, JUST GO WITH IT.)
But the idiots over at the National Food Holiday division have named tomorrow, May 13, National Apple Pie Day. Who in their right mind wants to bake an apple pie in the spring? An apple pie doesn’t scream “SUMMER!” No, I’ll reserve my crust-making for greater spring and summer fruits: cherries, blackberries, peaches. But I’m not going to leave National Apple Pie Day hanging entirely. Apples need some year-round lovin’. To keep the doctor away and all that.
You can put this tart together in about 10 minutes if you’re fast with your knife/mandoline skills. And there are only five ingredients. Because, friends, we aren’t making our own puff pastry crust in May. Or ever, maybe. That’s one of those things I keep telling myself I’m going to learn to do before the baby comes, but with less than three months to go and a hot summer ahead, that goal is now seeming kind of laughable.
I can only do what I can do, and some days my priorities are with playing through Fable 3 again because video games are another thing I’m worried will be too time consuming for post-baby life. And since I spent my morning buying all the properties in Bowerstone and shooting hobbes, but still wanted dessert at night, I threw together this tart.
Forget everything you thought you knew about apples needing to be coated with cinnamon in order to be amazing. All they need is a little butter, sugar, and honey (AKA more sugar).
This dessert is basically something that looks so fancy and amazing that everyone will be like, “Holy shitballs, how many hours did you spend on that?!” And you can pretend you slaved away over a hot stove in the warm spring weather, but in reality you just chillaxed on the sofa watching stand-up comedy for a half hour while this puppy baked away.
And if you keep puff pastry and apples stocked and handy (because I know you always have butter and sugar, right?) your mother-in-law or obnoxious neighbor could stop by in the evening to chat and you could just pop this sucker together and have hot, fresh dessert-treats in about 45 minutes. Bonus points.
And if you happen to have half an apple left and you wrap the puff pastry scraps around it and bake it for a few minutes before shoving it in your face, that’s between you and your god.
- One sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 2-3 medium apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced thinly (about 1/16")
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry and roll into a 15x11-inch rectangle. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. With a sharp knife, score a rectangle border about 1-inch wide, but do not cut all the way through the dough. Poke the inner rectangle all over with a fork. Trim any uneven edges so that you have a perfect rectangle.
- Layer the apple slices, overlapping them slightly. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, then the surface with butter cubes.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown, then transfer the pan to a wire rack. Heat honey in a microwave safe for 30 seconds, until thin. Drizzle over the tart, then brush it evenly using a pastry brush. Return to oven for 5 minutes, then transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Transfer the tart to a cutting board by sliding the parchment off the baking sheet and cut into 8 even pieces. Serve.