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

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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 (g): fat g 30; Fat Calories (kcal): 260; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 10; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 26; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 310; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 30; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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: http://themomchef.blogspot.com/2010/11/upside-down-apple-cheddar-tarts-with.html

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