Are you like me and associate apples with the Fall? Perhaps it’s the teacher in me – I always think of apples as being a September “thing” – but did you realise that in Ontario, apples are available nearly year round? Nope, me neither until quite recently. I also hadn’t realised how many different types of apples grow here in Ontario – close to 20 different varieties of apples are grown over 16,000 acres – the major apple-producing areas are found along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay and the top five varieties in Ontario (based on acreage planted) are McIntosh, Empire, Northern Spy, Red Delicious and Gala. Some of you might remember that Neil and I had a wonderful experience recently at Delhaven Orchards learning all about apple growing and production. Delhaven themselves grow 16 varieties of apples! That day we got to taste a few different varieties straight off the tree and for those of you who think an apple is an apple is an apple, well, you’d never realise just how different apples can taste until you’ve done a side by side comparison. My favourite apples for eating are Honey Crisp, Ambrosia and Fuji…
So, for eating purposes, you most likely know what you enjoy when it comes to apples too. But when it comes to baking, using in sauces or salads, do you know which apple is best? Ontario Apples has a handy guide to help you choose which variety of apple to use depending on what it’s for. I’m lucky that my bi-weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery service almost always has Ontario apples available and I make sure to choose different varieties, mostly to eat fresh, but sometimes to make apple sauce, or maybe (my favourite!) a tart. An apple tart can be a true thing of beauty – so simple but perfect for any time of year – not just the fall. Which is why today I’m sharing a recipe for a tart you just might want to make way for on your holiday table…
This is a variation of an Ontario Apples recipe for French Apple Tarts that I think is perfect for holiday entertaining. And since, you know, apples are in season right now, it’s not just tasty but also, seasonal!
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 4 large Ontario apples (For best results, use Ontario Empire, Cortland, Crispin, Golden Delicious, Idared, Northern Spy, or Spartan apples), peeled and sliced
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 8 tablespoons plain Greek yoghurt
- ¼ cup apricot of passionfruit jelly/ jam
- On lightly floured surface roll out half of puff pastry dough into a 9 inch (23 cm) square. Cut dough into four 4.5 inch (11.5 cm) squares; place on baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place baking trays in the fridge while you prepare the apples.
- In large bowl toss apple slices with lemon juice and sugar.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and brush the beaten egg over, coating to the edges.
- Spread the Greek yoghurt over the pastry squares, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Lay the apple slices on pastry, overlapping slightly.
- Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, then sprinkle a little more sugar over the apples.
- Return tarts to oven and bake about 10 minutes longer or until pastry is puffed and golden.
- Prepare glaze:
- When the tarts are baked, brush the glaze over the top of the apples and the edges of the pastry.
- Serve the tarts warm or at room temperature.
I was very impressed with both the ease of preparation as well as the elegance of the appearance of these tarts. I know my “apple arranging” could use some work but I love the rustic look as those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will know, so we’ll go with “rustic” apple tarts! These were so good I feel they will be making an appearance at my own family holiday dessert table – but shh – don’t tell anyone how easy they are!
Disclosure: I received compensation from the Ontario Apple Growers for writing this post, however, all opinions are 100% my own.
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