My Recipe Box

Upside-Down Apple-Cheddar Tarts with Frisée and Toasted Walnuts


Serves 8

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 107

Though this update of the classic Tarte Tatin is more of a dessert-and-cheese course, it would be great served as an appetizer as well. If you can’t find Fuji apples, use another sweet apple variety instead, such as Gala or Braeburn.

  • All-purpose flour as needed for rolling
  • 1 9-1/2 oz. sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 4 medium Fuji apples
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 8 thin slices sharp white Cheddar (about 3 inches square and 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1 small head frisée, torn into small pieces (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 12x15-inch rectangle.

With a 3-1/2- to 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 disks of puff pastry. Prick each disk all over with a fork. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat or parchment and bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool. Peel and core the apples with an apple corer. Cut off about 1/2 inch from both ends to create two flat surfaces, and then cut the apple in half along the equator. You should have eight 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick apple rings. If the rings are wider than 3 inches, use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to trim them down.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 of the rings until light golden-brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and 4 apple rings. Flip the apples in the pan and add to them the first batch of apples, browned side up. Bake the apples at 350°F until soft and slightly caramelized, 40 to 45 minutes. Put 1 slice of the cheese on top of each apple and bake until slightly melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Place a disk of puff pastry over the cheese and bake until heated through and the cheese has fully melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the tarts with a spatula to individual salad plates, turning them over so the apple is on top

In a large bowl, toss the frisée with the walnuts. Whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Distribute the salad among the plates and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : Per Tart, Calories (kcal): 390, Fat (kcal): 30, Fat Calories (g): 260, Saturated Fat (g): 10, Protein (g): 7, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12, Carbohydrates (mg): 26, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 6, Sodium (g): 310, Cholesterol (g): 30, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

12/2014 - I made these as a 1st course for our Christmas dinner - EXCELLENT! My cookie cutter was probably 3-3 1/2-inches and I didn't have to roll the pastry much for 7 rounds. They really puff up but sort of get smaller in diameter but in the end didn't matter. I made the puff a day ahead and stored in a ziplock. We didn't have an oven available to I sauteed the apples until caramelized which worked great. The cheese you get in packages is too thin so did too to get the 1/8-inch and it needed it. I served with enough greens to make this a salad/first course and everyone love it. pretty simple too. did not serve with the walnuts but it would have been a good addition.

This wasn't terrible, but it was just puffed pastry and baked apples with a slice of cheese. Not anywhere close to the complexity of creation and flavors that the Classic version is. Read my full review at:

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