Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Individual Savory Apple, Blue Cheese & Walnut Tarts


We’ve found that by using puff pastry your dishes can look more professional. Take for instance this Provencal Tomato Tart that we made last summer when juicy vine-ripened tomatoes were in season, served atop puff pastry and can be found here.

Today we’ve made individual savory puff pastry tarts with apples, blue cheese, and walnuts, served for a light lunch with a green salad tossed with a tart lemony vinaigrette (recipe here) & a few grape tomatoes thrown in for color. This savory apple tart would also make a nice starter dish for dinner. We’ve found that guests really like it when they get their own individual tart made just for them.


This apple tart recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks – The Lazy Gourmet, Magnificent Meals Made Easy by Robin Donovan & Juliana Gallin. It’s a cookbook I often turn to for sophisticated recipes that are also easy. You might remember one of my all time favorite dishes to serve for dinner guests - Baked Chicken with Lemons & Olives, which can be found here. Well it happens to be from The Lazy Gourmet too. I recently served it for a small family reunion at our home the week prior to Easter and it was a big hit. One of the best things about this recipe is that the crispy potato wedges bake alongside the chicken at the same temperature and the same cooking time. That alone makes life a whole lot easier for the cook.

The authors suggest several different combinations you might try. What if you substituted figs, apricots or pears for the apple and used Gruyere, a sharp Cheddar, or Manchego in lieu of the blue cheese. Or you could turn this dish into a dessert by using ricotta in place of the blue cheese and omitting the black pepper. Let you imagination be your guide in creating your own individual tarts.

This tart is best served right out of the oven, but if you want to make it ahead an hour or so (or happen to have leftovers), the tarts can be re-heated in a 400 degrees F oven until heated through, about 5 minutes.


Individual Savory Apple, Blue Cheese & Walnut Tarts
Very slightly adapted from The Lazy Gourmet, Magnificent Meals Made Easy by Robin Donovan & Juliana Gallin, makes 4 individual tarts
Printable Recipe

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
A bit of flour for your board
1 medium sweet tart apple, such as a Pink Lady, also known as a Cripps Pink, quartered, cored & sliced into 1/8” thick slices (I used a Cripps Pink, but a Honeycrisp or a Fuji are also excellent)
4 ounces Cambozola (a cheese that’s a combination of a French soft-ripened triple cream & Italian Gorgonzola), or other mild blue cheese of your choice, thinly sliced or crumbled
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper
Beaten egg (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut sheet into 4 squares and place on the prepared baking sheet. Prick the dough with a fork to release steam and prevent it from puffing up, taking care not to prick the 1” outer edge because you want that outer edge to puff up.

Lay 4 apple slices, slightly overlapping in the center of the square. (You may have a few apple slices left over as a cook’s treat.) Follow with the cheese, then the chopped walnuts, a drizzle of honey and lastly a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper over each tart. If you desire a nice brown glaze on the tart, brush the outer edges with a beaten egg as a final step.

Bake the tart in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and nicely puffed up around the edge. Serve warm.

Cook’s note: The tart is best served warm out of the oven. However, it can be made ahead a couple of hours and reheated in a 400 degree F oven for about 5 minutes, until reheated.

For better viewing click photos to enlarge

I will be sharing this dish with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms and Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen’s Full Plate Thursday.

Thank you for visiting My Carolina Kitchen
& we hope you have a nice weekend.

25 comments:

  1. A delicious combination! Those tarts make a great meal.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    http://www.reveriesbramblesscribbles.com/blog/

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  2. I swear, there are not three better ingredients to combine. I made some madeleines with those three and they were divine. Your tart looks perfect...making my mouth water!

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  3. Very snazzy! This would be a special treat for sure:@)

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  4. Well done Sam - looks totally delicious.

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  5. Sounds wonderful! Frozen puff pastry is such a terrific time saver and so versatile.

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  6. I love having puff pastry in the freezer. This looks delicious Sam. Lovely presentation too.

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  7. Perfect! I like having it on hand too Sam:)

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  8. Like money in the bank, I like having puff pastry in the freezer!! This looks and sounds like a delicious dish. First, I need to make a "deposit" to the freezer by picking up some puff pastry!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  9. This looks so good, Sam. It will make an elegant appetizer or lunch entree. I love a blue cheese, apples and walnut combination.

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  10. What a great tart Sam. I like to mix blue cheese with a milder cheese if I can't find a mild blue. I can not wait for tomato season to try your other one.

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  11. I love the combo of apple and blue cheese..these savoury tarts look fabulous, Sam.

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  12. Oh wow, blue cheese, apple and nuts, it cannot get any better than this. Yum yum. Hope you are well, Diane

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  13. I need to use them for savory dishes like this, we tend to only use them for desserts like we did Monday night at a friend's house. I just love that flaky crust.

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  14. These look so amazing! I love the idea of apple and blue cheese together!

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  15. I love having puff pastry in the freezer. You're right Sam, it does make gourmet meals and desserts super simple. I love that you used it in a salad!

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  16. I really like using puff pastry sheets. And I must try this one. Cheese and fruit? You bet!

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  17. Not only pretty but so delicious! I love the combination of sweet and savory ingredients in these adorable tarts. I need to check out that book!

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  18. This is my favorite kind of recipe Sam, heaven on a plate!
    Jenna

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  19. This looks delicious, I would love to try this at home. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. absolutely delicious, I might even try it at home. :0)

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  21. Hi Sam,
    I love using puff pastry, it is so much fun. Your Savory Apple Blue Cheese Individual Tart looks delicious and makes a great presentation. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  22. This is a must try, for sure, Sam! Nothing quite beats blue cheese and with walnuts, is over the top with goodness. Thanks for the recipe!

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  23. What a nice and elegant dish; beautiful. xo Catherine

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