In 1988, I took my mom out for dinner at the Union Square Cafe. We had Apple Tart for dessert, and the restaurant became out favorite special occasion restaurant. I haven't seen the Apple Tart on the menu in a while, but the recipe is in the Union Square Cafe cookbook. I made smaller tarts and used Lady apples, a beautiful tiny apple that appeared on my husband and my wedding cake and also tastes delicious. The crust is puff pastry, which the U.S.C. brushes with apple butter. I used orange marmalade instead (not an apple butter fan). The "clever" things about this recipe are using store bought puff pastry, which means you can make them for an unexpected guest or occasion, and cutting out the pastry with a biscuit cutter so that you have tiny, cookie sized tarts. —luvcookbooks
Test Kitchen Notes
This recipe's versatility, combined with minimal dependence on exact measurements, makes this a surefire favorite for even novice cooks. The extraordinary flavor comes exclusively from the apples, the brushed melted butter, and finally the citrus-y trace of the marmalade brushed over the pastry. Using a mandoline adjusted to a fine setting creates perfect star-centered apple slices and is worth the extra effort. —Panfusine
In This Recipe
Cut the lady apples thinly along their horizontal axis (not the stem axis). The very thin slices can be seeded without cutting out the center. Sprinkle each slice with lemon juice.
Take the sheet of puff pastry and use a biscuit cutter to cut out tart shells. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with orange marmalade. Refrigerate the tart shells while the oven pre heats.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Fan the slices of apple over the tart shells. Brush with half of the melted butter.
Bake for 25 minutes. Brush with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter. Bake for 12 more minutes. The apple slices will be brown at the edges.
As soon as the tarts come out of the oven, sprinkle each one with a half teaspoonful of sugar. Drop a few drops of lemon juice onto each tart. Serve with whipped cream or a tiny scoop of ice cream.