Over the last little while I have been having fun experimenting with using puff pastry to make tarts. The thing that I like so much about using puff pastry for tarts is that you pretty much just have to thaw it, roll it, top it and bake it for a few minutes and you are done. Deciding what to top the tart with is probably the hardest part of making them as there are just so many great flavours to choose from. While I was flipping through the latest edition of the Food and Drink magazine I came across a new version of a puff pastry tart, the apple and cheddar tart. Apple and cheddar is one of those great flavour combinations and I knew immediately that I would have to try making the tart.
I had hesitated using apples on a tart like this as I was concerned that they would not be in the oven long enough to get tender. Food and Drinks answer to that was to simmer the apples in cider until they just start to turn tender and then place them on the tart. After the cider is used to precook the apples it is reduced to a syrupy consistency and then the apple slices are tossed in it along with a herb and I decided to go with some rosemary. As soon as I saw the recipe I knew that I would be adding a layer of mustard under the apples to add a bit of bite to the tart. The tart turned out really well and the apple, cheddar, mustard and rosemary flavour combination was certainly a winner all being held together by the light, flaky and buttery good pastry. As suggested in the recipe, I served the tart topped with some baby arugula that was tossed in a simple oil and lemon vinaigrette and it added an amazing freshness to the dish that is not to be missed. The next time that I make this tart, and there will definitely be a next time, I think that I might sprinkle it with some chopped walnuts.
Apple and Cheddar Tart
- 2 large apples (cored and sliced thinly)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 teaspoon rosemary (chopped)
- 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed according to the packages directions)
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 cups strong cheddar (grated)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Simmer the apple slices in the cider until they just start to turn tender, about 2-3 minutes, remove and set them aside.
- Simmer the remaining cider to reduce to about 2 tablespoons.
- Toss the apple slices in the reduced cider and rosemary.
- Roll the puff pastry out to a 16×10 inch rectangle.
- Score a line around the puff pastry about 1/2 inch from the edge.
- Spread the mustard over the pastry inside the scored line followed by 3/4 of the cheese.
- Spread the apple slices over the cheese and mustard followed by the remaining cheese.
- Brush the outer edge of the pastry with the olive oil.
- Bake in a preheated 375F/190C oven until the cheese has melted and the pastry is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile toss the arugula in the oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the apple tart topped with the arugula and enjoy.
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