“I love apple desserts,” says Chef Traci Des Jardins of San Francisco, “and the Apple Ice is easy and delicious.” Her classical training comes through in the frangipane paste, traditional in French tarts.
What to buy: Frangipane is a pastry cream that has ground almonds, almond paste, or almond flour added. It can be found in gourmet grocery stores or specialty baking stores.
If you are having a hard time finding frangipane, you can substitute almond paste. Look for pure almond paste in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. We prefer Odense brand.
- 1Heat the oven to 400°F. Roll the puff pastry to a thickness of 1/4 inch (the store-bought variety will most likely already be this thickness). With a 5-inch cookie cutter, or using a dish and a knife, cut the dough into 8 circles, 5 inches in diameter, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Poke a few holes in each pastry round with a fork, and place the baking sheets in the refrigerator so that the dough can rest.
- 2Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple in half and slice very thinly with a knife. Brush each slice with lemon juice and set aside. Make an egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl.
- 3Remove the pastry rounds from the fridge and brush the surface of each with egg wash. Roll a teaspoon of almond paste into a ball, flatten it like a coin, and place it in the center of a pastry round; repeat with the other rounds. Using about 3/4 of an apple per tart, layer apple slices around the almond paste, creating a circular fan of apples around the tart and leaving most of the almond paste center exposed. Place tarts in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
- 4Remove the tarts from the refrigerator and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Dust each tart with powdered sugar and drizzle with Caramel Sauce. Serve some Apple Ice with each tart.
Beverage pairing: Lustau Pedro Ximénez San Emilio Sherry, Spain. Because of the marzipan and caramel sauce, the wine for this dish should not emphasize fruit, but rather more nutty, cooked flavors. This sweet sherry made from the Pedro Ximénez grape tastes of dried figs, hazelnuts, and caramel. It’s thick and rich, but kept from being cloying by surprising acidity.