Crispy puff pastry surrounds a layer of almond paste and cinnamon baked apples. It’s as elegant as it is easy and perfect for a holiday breakfast, brunch or dinner.
Every time I make these it almost feels like cheating when I unleash the simplicity of this recipe. It takes the best elements of apple pie and simplifies it down to about ten minutes of prep work. Around the holidays there’s nothing better than having a backup for dessert, or saving yourself a boatload of time. Am I right?
Personally I believe homemade almond paste absolutely elevates this simple dish. I have a great tutorial that allows you to make your own from real almonds (not peach kernels like the store bought variety) that saves you tons of money, and tastes so much better. But if you’re running short on time, buy the best almond paste you can find and afford for this recipe.
The last tidbit of advice I share with you is leave the apple skins on. Not only does it save you time, but it helps make the end presentation more colorful. No one I ever served this too complained about the skins as they’re sliced so thin, but of course take them off if you so desire. It won’t hurt my feelings!
Say you’re not into almonds, or apples, then what? Here’s some suggestions of other variations to try:
- Use another nut paste – Currently I know of pistachio and hazelnut praline to swap out in recipes calling for almond paste.
- Use berries – you can either bake them of course, but I think they’d also be delicious (if in season) to top the tart once it has cooled (omit the cinnamon and sprinkle with powdered sugar).
- Use another fruit – peaches, pears, nectarines, bananas and even pineapple would be delicious. Same with the berries, you can opt to bake them or not depending on their ripeness.
- Use something other than cinnamon and sugar – consider a simple swap of apple pie spice or even maple sugar, or go a little more wild with cocoa powder or fruit juice powder.
- Go to the extreme – consider this recipe as your base for endless inspiration. Let your imagination have free reign by swapping almond paste for cream cheese, peanut butter or even Nutella (these may run as they bake so pipe between plastic wrap and freeze before cooking). Or consider topping your tart with browned nuts, toffee pieces, caramel, coconut or even shaved chocolate.
That’s it! Endless inspiration and a quick go to recipe to enjoy with your family and loved ones.
To full plates and eating your tarte out,
- 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 2 small apples or 1 large apple (Gala, Cortland and Granny Smith work great)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 cup or about 8 oz of almond paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold puff pastry sheet into thirds and place them onto your baking sheet.
- Cut your apple(s) into quarters. With a paring knife remove the core. Slice your remaining quarters very thinly and place into a bowl. Add cinnamon to bowl and coat pieces evenly.
- Divide your almond paste into three semi-equal pieces. Place one piece at a time between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out. You want each piece to cover your puff pastry so it comes to about 1/2"-3/4" from the edge on each side. Place onto puff pastry sheet and repeat with remaining pieces.
- Take your apple slices and lie them onto your almond paste with the skin side out, overlapping each piece slightly (see picture).
- Sprinkle each pastry with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
- Place into oven and bake for 40 minutes or until edges of puff pastry are golden brown. Remove from oven. This tart can be served warm with ice cream or mascarpone, or it can also be served at room temperature.
- If you forgot to thaw your puff pastry, that's okay! It'll just need to bake a little longer. You should still be able to unfold into thirds even when rock solid.
- Don't worry about the unevenness of the puff pastry edges. When this bakes it will all even out.