Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Celebrate apple season with a no-worries tart

Garnish the tart slices with fresh fruit or whipped cream, if desired. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

Recipe: Roasted apples, toasted almonds top a thin crust

I used a mix of sweet-tart apples in the tart. Check out varieties
at the farmers markets this month.
Apples taste so wonderful this time of year, but when baked they often are buried beneath mounds of sugar and cinnamon. Now, I like apple pie as well as the next person, but this tart is a nice change. A no-fuss dessert, it puts the apples front and center. It's also just lightly sweet, so could be served as part of brunch.

The key to this dessert is slow-roasting the apples before they're used in the tart -- an extra step, perhaps, but they can be prepared ahead. The roasting turns the apples "al dente," to borrow a term from pasta cooking, so they're still firm enough to slice but nearly done.

When choosing apples for this recipe, go for sweet-tart varieties, such as Honeycrisp, Empire, Jazz or Braeburn. A mix is nice, too. But Golden Delicious apples would break down too quickly, while Granny Smiths are too tart and too firm for this kind of dessert.

I baked this using a pre-made Pillsbury crust, though with more time I would have made my own pastry. You also could use a puff pastry sheet for a rectangular tart, such as in the Bon Appetit
recipe that inspired this adaptation.

Roasted apple tart
Serves 6-8


1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 sweet-tart apples
1 lemon, halved
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon (or more maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Use a melon ball cutter to core the apple halves.
1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado or other coarse sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 crust for a 9-inch pie, pre-made or homemade
Fresh fruit or whipped cream for garnish, optional

Instructions :

Toast almond slices in a dry, preferably nonstick pan over medium heat, just until some of the slices start to brown and the nuts smell toasty. Pour into a small bowl to cool, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Peel, halve and core the apples. (A melon ball cutter works nicely to core the seed cavities.) Rub the lemon halves over the apple halves to keep the apples from browning too much. Place the apple halves cut side down in a baking dish that fits them. Squeeze the rest of the juice from the lemon halves over the apples.

In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, brandy, vanilla and salt, and add this mixture to the bottom of the baking dish.

Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake apples 60 to 80 minutes, or until apples are tender but still intact. (Test with a toothpick.) Uncover and let the apples cool while you prepare the crust. You could refrigerate the apples at this point if you're cooking them ahead of time.

Turn oven temperature up to 425 degrees. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator to let it warm just a few minutes. Meanwhile, stir the sugar into the cooled almond slices. Remove 1 tablespoon of this mixture to reserve for topping, and stir the 1 tablespoon flour into the rest of it.

The crust is ready for the filling. The apple halves should be
thinly sliced.
Sprinkle a large piece of parchment paper with a little flour. Place the pie crust on it, and cover with another piece of parchment paper. Roll out the crust until it is about 12 inches across. Remove the top paper, and transfer the bottom paper and the crust to a large rimmed baking pan.

Turn the edge of the pie crust over on itself a scant 1/2 inch all around the crust, then push along the back of the rim to make a small ridge. This creates just enough of a crust to hold in the tart ingredients. Brush the edge of the crust with water. (Use a beaten egg white instead, if desired for a glossy edge.)

Sprinkle the nut-flour mixture over the crust. Remove the apples from their dish, reserving the liquid. Thinly slice the apples -- about 1/8-inch-thick -- and arrange the slices over the nuts. Bake the tart for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking until the crust is light golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes.

While the tart is baking, pour the reserved liquid from the apples into a small nonstick saucepan. Cook the liquid until it starts to thicken, 6-8 minutes, to make the glaze. Let cool. (If it gets too thick, thin with a little hot water or more maple syrup.)

A sprinkle of nuts and sugar is the final addition to the tart.
Remove the baked tart to a cooling rack. Brush or drizzle the glaze over the tart. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon of nuts over the center of the tart, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover tart also reheats well in the microwave


0 comments have been posted.

A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.


Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.