The best thing about this tart? Oh, besides the fact that it's delicious? Besides the fact that it's beautiful? Besides the fact that a five-year-old could make it in about 45 minutes? Besides all those? Well, it's made almost entirely from ingredients I found in the middle of winter at our local farmer's market.
See, not only Californians can make great meals from local ingredients during February! And I loved this tart. I didn't take a picture after it was sliced, but there's a thin layer of goat cheese between the apples and the puff pastry, which makes this dish fall somewhere into that delicious grey area between sweet and savory. The honey and butter mixed perfectly with the goat cheese, and the apples were soft, sweet, and delicious.
On another note, I recently purchased The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters, and it's really a wonderful book. It's not so much a cookbook as a textbook on how to cook and eat, full of excellent tips and suggestions, and succinct and informative explanations. It's on my nightstand to read before I go to bed at night and, let me tell you, there's a reason I've been sleep deprived all week. I'm sure that many of you already own it, but for those of you that don't, let me add my voice to the masses: it's really quite wonderful.
Apple, Honey and Goat Cheese Tart
1 sheet puff pastry (about 8.5 ounces)
2 small apples (I think I used Cortland, but I really just asked the farmer what type were best for a tart. You would be totally safe using a golden delicious apple, for sure)
A little lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp butter, melted (mine was mostly melted)
6 ounces fresh goat cheese (as soft and spreadable as you can find -- *not* crumbles)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Core, peel and slice the apples into thin half-moons. Set aside in a bowl with a teaspoon or two of lemon juice, to prevent them from browning.
3. Roll out puff pastry to about 1/4" thick, so that it covers a 9" square tart pan. Roll puff pastry onto your rolling pin and lay it down on top of the tart pan. Press the dough into the corners and crevices to create a fluted crust.5. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese over the bottom of the puff pastry in the tart dish. I used my fingers (with very washed hands) to spread it gently, because even a cheese knife risked breaking the puff pastry.
4. Toss the apples with butter and honey to coat evenly. Spread in a uniform layer over the goat cheese.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until apples are lightly browned and honey is bubbling. Remove, cool for ten minutes, and serve.
Serves about 6 as a first course and dessert, or 12 as hors d'oeuvres.