Prebake apples for tart?
April 2, 2023 4:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to make an apple tart using puff pastry. The store bought kind. It's a simple tart with a puff pastry base and sliced apples in a single (overlapping) layer. No top pastry. And an apricot jelly glaze. My concern is the pastry will be baked before the apples are cooked through. I don't want al dente slices. Would it help to saute the sliced apples in a bit of butter and then layer them in the pastry? Or am I needlessly concerned?
posted by Czjewel to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Should read prebake apples for tart?
posted by Czjewel at 4:24 AM on April 2

Doesn’t seem to be a problem, here’s a recipe for puff pastry apple tart
posted by koahiatamadl at 4:37 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]

I think sauteeing the apples with butter and some brown sugar would be great as this will help caramelise them. If the apples are sliced thinly enough, then you won't need to saute them, but then the pastry/apple ratio might be off.
posted by essexjan at 5:30 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]

I would prob saute them as you describe to be on the safe side. Not to fully soft, that would make them hard to arrange. Just to warm and start the process, aim for about half cooked. In my view "over cooked" apple can't/won't really be a problem in a tart, but under cooked could be. Especially if you don't want to mess around with careful ultra-thin slicing. (not an expert pastry chef, just don't like under cooked apples either)
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:47 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]

Imho the best thing you could do here is turn it into a tarte tatin.

Spread butter thickly on the bottom of your pan - sprinkle about the same volume of brown sugar on top - then arrange a layer of peeled, quartered & cored apples, curved side down. Put the pan over a high heat for five minutes or so - the butter melts, the sugar caramelises, the apples cook a little bit. When it’s all bubbled up & turned attractively golden brown, take it off the heat & put your rolled out puff pastry on top, trimmed to the size of your pan. Bake in the oven for 15-20mins. When it’s done, put a plate over the top & then flip the pan & plate so it comes out apple-side upwards. My favourite pudding.
posted by rd45 at 6:14 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]

Strongly agree with the tarte tatin suggestion. Raymond Blanc recipe
posted by mumimor at 6:36 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]

Tatre tatin is delicious, easy, and looks stunning and fancy despite being simple to execute. Plus, the apples will be cooked through perfectly. All you need is a pan (like a cast iron one) that can go on both the stovetop and the oven.
posted by Ausamor at 7:16 AM on April 2

I think this depends on how thinly you slice the apples. Will you slice them with a knife, mandolin, or something else? How thin can you get them?
posted by brainwane at 8:21 AM on April 2

I've made slab apple pie many times, using store-bought puff pastry, and have always sauteed the apples in butter and brown sugar before assembling the pie. (Pro tip: Around September or so, Trader Joe's starts stocking their own frozen puff pastry which is made with butter, tastes far superior to the national brands, and as a bonus is easier to work with because it's rolled instead of folded.)
posted by DrGail at 8:27 AM on April 2

As long as you select the right kind of apple, should be straightforward.
posted by Riverine at 8:45 AM on April 2

I find microwaving them works better than sauteing them. That way it won't add butter that may not be in your recipe. You can either microwave them and then make the filling, or make the filling and microwave that, but I think the former is the better idea.
posted by Jane the Brown at 1:56 PM on April 2

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