Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rustic Cream Cheese Apple Tarts

This is a delicious pastry that can easily be made with your favorite in- season fruits

I just happened to have some fantastic organic granny smith apples from the market. 

I've been watching as many of our gardening friends from around the countryside are sharing such wonderful pictures of their baskets full of fresh harvested apples as of late. 

These were the first of the season apples that inspired my tart making with the pure sweet essence of a real apple scent. I couldn't resist the fragrance as well as the need to curb my sweet tooth.

The rustic tarts are fun and easy to make. Each one will have its own unique artisan personality, but all will share the same wonderful taste. 

The crust is what brings in the cream cheese goodness and makes the dough quite easy to work with. 

The filling is really a matter of your own personal preference to flavors and depend on what fruits you are using. Some of this recipe has no exact measurements, but for you at home bakers, I'm sure you understand.

If you happened to try my heirloom tomato quiche recipe, then you will already be familiar with my favorite pie crust recipe.

1 cup organic unbleached flour
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 oz. cold organic cream cheese
Pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt

 Whisk the flour and salt together. Cut in the butter and cream cheese until coarse, fine and crumbly.

Squeeze and work it into a nice dough ball. Divide the dough into 4 pieces for rustic tart shells. Roll into a ball and pat out into a round disk. Roll out as thin as possible.

Where dough splits on outer circles, mold with your fingers making a fairly nice edge as you would do for a regular pie crust. Fill the centers with your fruit mixture.

Pull up a section of the crust over the filling, reaching almost to the center. Bring up another section with a bit of a fold.

Continue your way all the way around, leaving some filling to show in the center. It does not need to be perfectly shaped, that is part of the artisan fun.

But you want to be sure there are no holes in the bottom of the crust or at least 3/4 of the way up so that your filling does not leak out while baking.

Apple Filling

6 Granny Smith Apples
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Handful of Raisins (I used Chilean)
Couple dashes of ground cinnamon
A dash of Allspice
A squirt of lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Walnut halves

Slice and peel the apples. Coat the apples with the lemon juice and the spices and sugar..Place in medium size saucepan with butter and raisins.Slowly cook on medium heat.

Once the filling is beginning to warm and the butter has melted put on a lid and turn on low. Stir occasionally until it is nice and tender and still has juice. Keep it moist and juicy by not over cooking it.

Brush the tops with a little milk and sprinkle a little Coconut Palm Sugar on top before baking. Also I placed a walnut halve on the top of each tart.

Bake your tarts on 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them to not over bake. They will have a nice brown top. The pastry is nice and flaky. Enjoy!

Happy Gardening!

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