October 24, 2017
Award Winning Dessert Recipe - And Guess Who Won the Kitchen Aid Mixer!
Posted by: Nancy Skee
Do you remember my post about our newest dessert chosen as a finalist in a local recipe contest? Although we didn't get first place, we did win gift certificates to our local Stauffers grocery store and to a great restaurant. AND our recipe, along with those of the other winners, will be published in Susquehanna Style Magazine in November or December! So cool! I'll let you know when. These little Apple Tart Bites are full of the same rich flakiness I remember from my mother's buttery, crisp apple strudel. The gala apples, citrusy cranberries and crunchy walnuts are the perfect foil to the rich brandied caramel sauce that tops the pastry. What is so fantastic about this recipe is that it is so easy and pretty much a no-fail. As long as you don't walk away and go play a game of football or get lost in a book, when you pull these out of the oven in 20 minutes and top with brandied caramel sauce, you're golden.
Apple Tart Bites with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Caramel Brandy Sauce
Yield: 24 large, 48 small. Bake time: 20 min at 400
- Two sheets (one box) of frozen puff pastry such as Pepperidge Farm, thawed according to package directions.
- 3-4 apples. Gala, Fugi, Pink Lady, etc. work well because they are firm and have a hint of tartness
- ½ c. packed dark brown sugar
- 1 T flour
- Melted butter to brush on pastry
- 3 T butter
- 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
- 3-4 T (about ¼ c.) apricot brandy or orange juice
- 1/3 c. dried cranberries (or raisins if you prefer)
- ½ - 3/4c. of walnuts broken into small pieces
- Core and half each apple, then cut into thin slices, leaving on the peel for color.
- Places slices into a large bowl and sprinkle with brown sugar and flour, tossing to coat each piece.
- Once pastry is ready to use, unfold each sheet and cut into thirds lengthwise, then cut each strip into four equal pieces. For smaller bites, cut each of the 12 in half to make 24.
- Put the pieces of pastry on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.
- Arrange 4-5 slices of apple on each pastry, overlapping the apples, 3 pieces on smaller pastries if you’re making those.
- If the pastry gets warm while you're working, put it back in the fridge to chill before popping in the oven. That will help the pastry to puff up in the oven.
- Bake in a preheated 400 oven for 20 minutes in the top half of the oven until pastry has browned.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- To make the sauce, melt butter over med/low heat in a small saucepan.
- Add brown sugar, stirring to help dissolve sugar.
- As mixture begins to bubble, stir in half the liquid and continue to cook.
- As mixture thickens, stir in the rest of the liquid and toss in the cranberries. Cook down until brandy sauce again thickens and coats the spoon.
- Cool slightly. Mixture will thicken as it cools; if it becomes too thick, reheat and add a little more brandy.
To Serve: Drizzle each tart with the brandy sauce and cranberries. Top with walnuts. Inhale. De-lish! And who won the beautiful cobalt blue Kitchen Aid mixer? My grandson Parker was the one pulling names for the drawing. I told him to pick Nana's name. He didn't, but he pulled Joan's!! Later we all went into the Stauffer's where the contest was held, and she bought Parker and Easton matchbox trucks. Pretty good trade, right?!!