These little individual pastries are the perfect accompaniment to bring to a lazy Sunday brunch or to serve as dessert at a weeknight dinner party since they can be made ahead of time and their beautiful presentation always wows the audience. Your friends and family will definitely ‘ooo’ and ‘ahh’ over these sweet and flaky tartlets sweetened with Manuka honey from New Zealand. Each delectable bite offers a subtle hint of sweet almond flavor from a thin layer of almond paste. When everyone asks you for the name of the bakery, you can tell them these apple tartlets were actually homemade with love from your very own kitchen!
If you’re feeling ambitious and in the mood for some variety, simply substitute the baby apples for baby pears, apricots, peaches, or nectarines. Now that I think about it, banana tartlets with semisweet dark chocolate chips sounds like it could be a winner as well! Consider this to be a recipe in development, so stay tuned!
|PREP TIME||40 Min|
|COOK TIME||30 Min|
|READY IN||1 Hr 30 Min|
|2||sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed|
|3||tablespoons almond paste|
|2||baby Gala apples|
|1||teaspoon lemon juice|
|3||tablespoons Manuka (or dark) honey|
|1 1/2||tablespoons unsalted butter|
|1/4||teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|flour for dusting|
|Large cutting board|
|Two round biscuit cutters (3 1/2-inch- and 2 1/2-inch-diameter rounds)|
|Lined baking sheet (See the Guide)|
|Apple corer (optional)|
|Small microwavable bowl|
- Lightly flour a large cutting board or surface. Roll out each puff pastry sheet to an 11-inch square. Using a 3 1/2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter or bowl, cut out 9 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 18 rounds total.
- Using a 2 1/2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from the center of 9 rounds to form 3 1/2-inch-diameter rings.
- Place the remaining 9 whole rounds onto a lined baking sheet and pierce all over with a fork. Using the same fork, beat the egg in a small bowl. Brush the outer 1/2-inch edges of the 3 1/2-inch rounds with the beaten egg wash and top each with one of the 3 1/2-inch-diameter rings. Freeze at least 30 minutes. To ensure an extra flaky crust, store the pastry rounds in the freezer until you are ready to assemble the apple tartlet. (The prepared puff pastry rounds can be made one day ahead, covered, and kept frozen until ready to bake.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Melt the honey and butter in a small microwavable bowl for 15-20 seconds on high. Stir to combine and set aside.
- Core and slice apples into 1/8-inch-thin slices and toss with lemon juice to slow the oxidation process and prevent browning.
- Using your hands, roll the almond paste into 9 small balls (approximately 1 teaspoon each) and flatten into 2 1/2-inch discs. Remove the pastry rounds from the freezer and place an almond paste disc inside the ring of each frozen pastry round. Overlap 5 apple slices atop the almond paste disc for each pastry round.
- Brush some of the honey mixture over the apple tartlets and lightly dust with cinnamon. Reserve the rest of the honey mixture.
- Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle reserved honey mixture over each apple tartlet. Serve warm or at room temperature.**
- The tartlets can be baked four to six hours ahead, and then stored uncovered at room temperature. Simply re-warm in a 350°F oven for 5-10 minutes. Drizzle the tartlets with the reserved honey mixture just before serving.