Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Parisian Apple Tartlet


An easy apple tart made with puff pastry shells.

Whenever I get an e-mail asking if I'd like a certain cookbook, first I think about how the book would fit my South Beach Diet lifestyle. Sometimes I politely decline, especially if it's a book for a different type of diet. Other times I say they can send the book and I might review it, but only if I find something I can adapt to my way of eating.

When Sara from I Like to Cook asked me if I wanted to get a copy of Dorie Greenspan's new book Baking From My Home to Yours, at first I told her I didn't think the book would be right for me. You don't have to read this blog very long to realize I'm not really into baking, and since I don't regularly eat white flour or sugar, I didn't think there would be much in this book that would be South Beach Diet approved. I was definitely right about that.

This is not a book for dieters of any kind. It's loaded with sugary baked goods that are beautifully photographed and sound like they would taste amazing. Just reading the book might cause you to gain a few pounds.

However, with that warning in mind, without doubt this is a gorgeous book. I decided to write about the book because not everyone who reads my blog is a South Beach Dieter, and if you're a baker, or know someone who is, this is a first-class cookbook in every way. The recipes are clearly written, and start and end on the same page, or two opposing pages, something that I always consider the sign of a well-planned cookbook. I've already mentioned the incredible photos, which are plentiful, although not every dish has a photograph. The book is has chapters on breakfast sweets, cookies, cakes, pies and tarts, spoon desserts, and what Dorie Greenspan calls indispensables for baking.

I wanted to try at least one recipe from the book, so I searched for the most South Beach Diet friendly recipe I could find and settled on this one for Parisian Apple Tartlets (page 319). It's a simple recipe with only puff pastry circles, apples, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and a tiny bit of butter. Although puff pastry is hardly a diet food, it's actually fairly low in carbs, therefore lower on the glycemic index compared to other foods containing white flour. This is something I might eat once in a while as a treat, keeping in mind that I'm on phase three of the diet.

Remember, I'm not a baker so please don't be too critical of the fact that my puff pastry didn't rise as evenly as it could have (antique oven!) or that I got carried away talking to friends and let the bottom of the tartlets get a bit too brown. Even with my lack of expertise, this tasted wonderful. Next time I might sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, but otherwise this is a keeper.


Parisian Apple Tartlet
(Makes 2 servings; adapted only slightly from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

Ingredients:
2 puff pastry circles (I used Pepperidge Farm, but Dufour Brand is recommended)
1 apple
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Put a piece of parchment paper, a silicone mat, or foil on a baking sheet. (I used foil which worked fine.) Peel apple, then cut in half crosswise. I then used an apple cutter to remove the core and cut the apple into 8 pieces. If you don't have this tool, just cut the apple into four pieces and cut out the core. (My apple was cut in 8 pieces and I removed one piece from each apple to fit it on the puff pastry better.) Center apple chunks on the puff pastry circle, dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake about 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is deeply browned and apple can be pierced easily with a knife.

It would be tempting to top this with a bit of vanilla ice cream, but since I never have ice cream in my freezer, I managed to resist that temptation.


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17 comments:

joey said...

I think your tartlet looks great :) As a non-south beach diet lurker (I live in the Philippines...land of rice and carbs) the recipe is appreciated :) But all your dishes are very yummy looking and things that I wouldn't really think of as "diet food"...which is great!

Kalyn said...

Joey, thanks for de-lurking. You can't imagine how happy it makes me to hear that you don't think of my food as "diet food." That's always my goal, to create the kind of recipes that people would enjoy eating whether they are on South Beach or not.

Becky said...

I have to admit it was a bit of a shock to open up your blog and see a big picture of an apple tart! :) It looks delicious!

sher said...

I also think they look fabulous! I've heard good things about that cookbook.

gattina said...

sound like a good cookbook at least in the production's point of view. A bit of brown sugar (yes, cinnamon) on apple, can't go wrong with that! Kalyn, I think your tartlets are wonderful!

Maria said...

I love to bake and appreciated this recipe on your blog!! Thanks for sharing...the tarlets look great!!

Anonymous said...

That's so funny! I bought puff pastry circles in stead of sheets today by mistake. When I opened the box and saw the circles, I thought "what can I do with those?" Perfect timing Kalyn, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I just thot u are just more into healthy food.. but nice to see u baking applets. recently I was hunting a pie less apple pie, as i love the apples in the apple pie more than the pie, so finally ended up making a crumble!

Kalyn said...

Becky, it was delicious, but my friends were also shocked that I made it.

Sher and Gattina, the book is fantastic.

Maria, come over and borrow the book any time. (Maria's my neighbor!)

Burcu, glad the timing was good for you.

Shaheen, it's true that I'm much more into veggies and salads than desserts, but this did taste good.

christine said...

Imagine my shock when I clicked on your blog and the first thing I see is baked apples on puff pastry. Blinking, I thought, did I go to the right blog? Then I thought, wow!, can low-carbers really have that for dessert?
Wonderful post! Leave it to you to find something in a cookbook full of sugar, spice and everything carbs that we carb conscious folk can have once in a while.

Meeta said...

Fantastic Kalyn. I was unaware that this would be something that would suit the diet here. I was really looking forward to seeing what you would be picking. I love the photos!
Great book isn't it?

Tanna said...

Yes, I would have to say this is not a diet book but it is beautiful. And tasty.
Your tart is picture perfect - no appologies necessary.
Your blog may talk and think diet but your food doesn't.

Ellie said...

Looks fantastic, and this dish looks easy enough to assemble for when you want a sweet little something without spending a lifetime in the kitchen!

Alanna said...

Here's to new horizons, desserts and all!

Bruno said...

Those tartlets look mighty good! I love baked apples, and w/ puff pastry no less... WOW!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kalyn,
I tried this recipe last night and it was great--although mine didn't look as good as yours. I made a mess on top placing the apples :)
And I totally agree with you: they were great with vanilla ice cream.
Thanks for the recipe.

HowToMe said...

Yum! Thanks for sharing these ideas!

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