These blackberry and apple tarts are made using everyday ingredients (& store-bought puff pastry!) for a simple yet elegant dessert!
In an ideal scenario, I would have all the time in the world to make puff pastry from scratch. I remember making it in the dim and distant past, all that turning, then chilling, and rolling, then chilling again – it’s definitely a labour of love.
Nowadays though, real life beckons – time seems to spin ever faster, mortgages and bills need to be paid, and dishes don’t miraculously wash themselves (why, oh why don’t they?)
It’s not often now that I opt for a ready-made product rather than making a homemade version – I like to know exactly what goes into the food I eat – but with limited counter/fridge space and more demands on my time than ever before, an occasional packet of store-bought puff pastry can save the day (or at least several hours of it!)
When buying pastry, I prefer to look for an all-butter version (I’m a big fan of proper butter…) The all-butter versions I’ve found in-store tend to be a little more expensive, but if I’m going to buy something ready-made you’d better believe I want to be able to recognise (and pronounce) the list of ingredients!
A packet of ready-made puff pastry is a versatile standby, lending its golden flaky talent to savoury and sweet dishes equally well. I originally bought some to use in making individual chicken & mushroom pies. (Although delicious, the recipe hasn’t made it to the blog yet – ahh, food photography, how I struggle with you…)
In the meantime?
These gorgeous blackberry and apple tarts made good use of the leftover pastry!
Blackberries and apples work beautifully together. When I first made this recipe, the aim was simply to use up the excess pastry as well as a batch of frozen berries tucked away in the back of my freezer.
Of course – after the first taste, I promptly went to the store to buy more blackberries…and apples…and pastry…it’s not just me who does that, is it?
Yeah, I know…the problems of food blogging, huh? Plus, more blackberries + apples + pastry = more ice cream needed…obviously…
Do you see a theme developing here?
Originally, I tried simply tossing the apple slices with the syrup & spices and then laying them over the blackberry sauce without softening them first. It tasted nice, but the apples dried out more than I would have liked (and they looked kinda boring too!)
I fixed that in the second version. Gently warming the apple slices takes a little more effort, but it means they have a chance to soften and absorb all that extra flavour, while still holding their shape (gotta make sure they look pretty!)
The finishing touch was painting the apple slices with some of the leftover blackberry sauce, I had to find a way to show off that ruby red deliciousness, it was a crime to hide it under all that apple…
Is deliciousness even a word? – I don’t know, but I’m declaring it should be!
I made this into four rather generous individual tarts (okay, actually they’re huge, I struggled to finish mine, but don’t worry, I managed it!) but if you prefer you could make one giant tart…or two large…or six smaller ones… it’s your choice!
The tarts are best eaten fresh, hot from the oven. If you want to, the fruit can be prepared in advance, then simply keep everything chilled until ready to assemble.
If you’re looking for a gorgeously eye catching dessert that’s low on effort, but high on prettiness?
These quick and easy blackberry and apple tarts certainly fit the bill!
(And they taste pretty good too!)
- 3 large apples (I use a sweet variety like Jazz)
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup - divided
- 1½ cups (200g) blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 sheet store-bought puff pastry (defrosted if necessary)
- Egg wash (or a little milk)
- Core and finely slice the apples (no need to peel!) and place in a saucepan with the butter, ground ginger, cinnamon (if used) and one tablespoon of the maple syrup.
- Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to soften but are still holding their shape. Remove from the heat, spoon the apples into a bowl and allow them to completely cool.
- In the now empty saucepan, combine the blackberries, remaining maple syrup and lemon juice. Sprinkle over the cornflour and stir in.
- Heat gently, stirring, until the blackberries are broken down into a rough sauce (you may need to adjust the maple syrup - depending on the sweetness of your blackberries) then remove from the heat and allow to completely cool (if you prefer, you can also use a stick blender to create a smoother sauce or even sieve it if blackberry seeds drive you nuts like me!).
- While the fruits are cooling, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (400F degrees). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- After allowing the pastry to sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes (this makes it easier to handle), cut the pastry into four equal pieces and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Score a one inch border around each piece of pastry then spread the middle section of each piece with ⅔ of the blackberry sauce, keeping it within the scored border.
- Lay the cooled apple slices on top, then using a pastry brush, paint them with some of the remaining blackberry sauce.
- Brush the pastry border with egg wash and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.
- The tarts are best served immediately, hot from the oven with vanilla ice-cream or lightly whipped cream, and any remaining blackberry sauce.
Recipe adapted from Peach Tarts by Lovely Little Kitchen.