A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.- author unknown
There is something incredibly romantic about an apple orchard in the fall. I don’t know what it is about them that make me think of a simpler time but they always do. Maybe it’s the way the sunlight falls on the apples in just the right places making them look like sun streaked rubies. Or maybe it’s the way they tumble to the ground, when fully ripe, reminding us that all things which come from nature will be returned back to her when the time is right.
Timing is everything, isn’t it? Speaking of timing, late fall in Michigan is the perfect time of year to head to an apple orchard to pick up your very own bushel of apples for turning into a pie, cobbler or tart.
And with the resurgence of many heritage apple varieties at hobby orchards in Michigan and around the country, there couldn’t be a better time to experiment with apple recipes. Heritage apples or “heirloom” varieties, with names like Blenheim Orange, Emperor Alexander and Tompkins County King, were common as far back as the colonial era but fell out of favor after WWII. Now, thanks to the farm-to-table movement they couldn’t be more popular.
We were fortunate enough to find an orchard right in our own backyard that specializes in these unique heirloom varieties. Moore Orchards, in Midland, Michigan, has 2,500 apple trees and more than 100 varieties on 22 acres of trees. For a foodie like me, visiting this orchard was heaven.
After a great deal of apple sampling at the Moore Apple Haus, we settled on the Cox Orange Pippin, which originated in England in 1830, for the apple tart we were going to make.
The Orange Pippin’s juicy, nutty taste made it the perfect choice for Martha Stewart’s Rustic Apple Tart from her new One Pot Cookbook that we’ve been cooking out of like crazy! The recipe was incredibly easy and the crust for the tart was a sheet of frozen puff pastry which was as light as air and flaky in all the right places.
If you’re looking for a new apple recipe to try, I know you’ll absolutely love this one. It’s quick, doesn’t have a lot of prep and is the perfect ending to a fall meal. We’ll definitely be making it again!
Rustic Apple Tart
Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Serves: 6
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
(from a standard 17.3-
ounce package), thawed
All-purpose flour, for work surface
3 Granny Smith apples or apples of your choice
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons unsalted
2 tablespoons apple jelly,
or apricot jam
Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out folded pastry sheet to an 8-by-14-inch rectangle. Trim edges with a sharp knife. Transfer to a baking sheet; chill in freezer. Peel, core, and slice apples ¼ inch thick; toss with sugar.
Beat egg yolk; then whisk in the teaspoon of water. Brush pastry with egg wash. Use a sharp paring knife to score a ¼-inch border around pastry (do not cut all the way through). Arrange apples inside border, and dot with butter. Bake until pastry is golden and apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Heat jelly with the tablespoon of water until melted. Brush apples with glaze. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve tart warm or at room temperature.