Monthly Archives: November 2011

Puff Pastry Apple Tart

Looking for a quick dessert that looks elegant but takes very little effort? Look no further. This apple tart (thanks, P-Dub) is a winner! It’s another treat I made for our Community Group, and slightly healthier than the Chile con Queso. I mean, it has to be . . . right?

Anyway! Slice up some apples, mix ’em with a little sugar and stuff, slap ’em on some puff pastry and voilà, ma chérie!

If you’re unconcerned about the health factor, slather on some caramel sauce or whipped cream. Even spiked whipped cream, with a little Amarula and a sprinkle of cinnamon! Now that would be heavenly.


(Serves 6-8)

2 sheets puff pastry (1 package)
3-4 apples
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: powdered sugar, ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce

Thaw the sheets of puff pastry for the amount of time specified on the package (usually 15-20 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 415 F. Halve and core the apples, and slice them as thinly as possible into half-moons . . .

. . . and try not to break your melon baller while you’re at it.


You can peel the apples if you want beforehand, but I like them with the peel on. Plus, less work for me.

And please try to get them just a little thinner than I did–though they’ll taste great either way.

Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice, sugar, and salt.

Let them sit for a few minutes, stirring the juicy sugar around a few times so that the apples are evenly coated.

Spray a large baking sheet with baking or cooking spray . . .

. . . cut the sheets of puff pastry in half, and place the 4 rectangles on the baking sheet. Leaving about an inch margin on all sides, arrange the apple slices in an overlapping row down the middle of each puff pastry rectangle.

I also experimented with cutting the sheet of puff pastry into thirds, like so:

However, I prefer a lot of puff in my puff pastry. I mean, what’s the point of puff pastry without the puff? Right? So the halved sheets were the clear winners.

Bake the tarts for 18-20 minutes, until the puff pastry is puffed and golden brown. Here’s the not-so-puffy version (still great, mind you):

And here’s the puffity-puff-puff-puffatron!

Can you tell that I love the word “puff”? I think I just used it a record amount of times. Call up Mr. Guinness!

Remove the tarts from the baking sheet and place on a serving dish (I like to use my cutting board). Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, with ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce. Mmmm.

 If you have leftover apple slices that didn’t fit on the puff pastry, dice them, store them in a little baggy in the fridge, and use them for a delicious oatmeal topping the next morning. Or force your husband to use them as a delicious oatmeal topping the next morning! Or stir them into your yoghurt, along with some wheat germ! The possibilities are countless.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Puff Pastry Apple Tart

You’re invited . . . to a ball!

It’s that time, my son.

I promised last year that I would make a special announcement when the time rolled around again for . . .

. . . the annual Regency ball!

Here’s the 4-1-1: it’s in South Bend, Indiana at the Palais Royale. Everyone stop for a moment and say “Palaaaay Roiyaaaal” in your snootiest French accent. Please and thank you. It’s from 11am-3pm Saturday, March 24th. You will learn period dance after period dance, to the tune of excellent live music, with a dance master calling out the steps all the while and helping everyone keep it together. You will learn arm-over-arm thingies, steppity-step thingamagings, and patterns that make your brain twist around and do the polka on its side. You will get a work out. You will sweat. You will laugh. Etcetera. And tickets went on sale Friday!

The catch: you have to come in costume! Or rather, it is “requested” that you come in costume. For a guy, this can be as simple as coming in a shirt and pants and tying a piece of fabric around his neck (the oh-so-sexy ‘cravat’). If you want to take it to the next level, add gloves, a vest, hem and cinch the pants so that they come right below the knees, and wear white knee-high socks (this is the level that I took it to for my husband). Even more committed? Then grow some sideburns, and add a hat and jacket if you want to be nominated Mr. Regency Himself 2012. And of course, you can even get crazier and purchase or sew a full-out costume.

Confused? Let me provide a visual.

Here’s what Eric looked like all dolled up last year:

For the girls, at the most basic level, the costume simply involves a long, empire waist dress. Want a little more? Add some gloves, a wrap, and a hairdo with (if possible) little curls. From what I hear, little curls were all the rage in those days.

Here’s Carrie’s costume, made by Nimblefingers the Great (a.k.a. the blonde one).


You can read all about our experience last year in these posts:

1) The post announcing our upcoming Regency plans, which we were forced into by my dear friend Carrie.

2) The post chronicling Carrie’s and my road trip to Erica’s house, who agreed to be our seamstress and sew us up some dresses.

3) A post about a hairdo that got a little out control.

4) A post with some beautiful pictures of Carrie and some awkwardly painful pictures of me, highlighting our lovely costumes. Be forewarned: alien space-doll Jenna makes her first appearance . . . which will also be her last appearance. Or at least let’s hope.

5) A post about the dance itself.

Sadly, this may be the last year for the ball. Even though attendance looked great to my eyes last year, I guess they need more ticket sales to actually get into the black. So come one come all, and save the Regency Ball!

Anyone up for it? Here’s the link to buy tickets–the price is $35 through February 24th (that includes “luncheon refreshments” made by a 5-star chef with “period recipes”), and the price goes up after that. Let me know if you can come! (Erica? Dave? Rowenna and Randy? Nudge nudge?)

If you need further convincing, just look at Eric and Carrie!

So in love. So happy. So at home in their garb. If you come, you will also be in love, happy, and at home in your garb.

Thus endeth my sales pitch.