Autumn without apple desserts? Impossible. Here are recipes for two easy apple desserts. Both are best served warm. Time them to finish cooking about 15 minutes before serving.
The first is adapted from "Stars Desserts" by Emily Luchetti (HarperCollins, 1991).
French Apple Tartlets
Makes 8 tartlets
7 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter or margarine
optional: 1 tablespoon Calvados (apple brandy)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound frozen puff pastry
Place apples, sugar, butter, Calvados and lemon juice in a large skillet. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are tender-crisp. Taste; if too tart, add a little more sugar and stir to dissolve it over low heat. Transfer to jelly-roll pan and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, remove puff pastry from freezer and defrost for 20 minutes. Dust work surface with flour and roll out 1 sheet of pastry, about 1/8 -inch thick. Cut into 4 (5-inch) squares and place on baking sheet so squares are not touching. Repeat with second sheet of pastry.
Place about 1/2 cup of apples in center of each square. Fold in 4 corners over apples toward the center of the tart but do not seal.
Bake in a 375-degree oven 30 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Tartlets are best served warm, about 15 minutes after removal from oven. Serve warm accompanied with whipped cream, ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Per serving: calories, 453; protein, 5 g; fat, 20 g; sodium, 190 mg; carbohydrates, 52 g.
This recipe is adapted from "The Natural Cuisine of Georges Blanc" by Georges Blanc (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 1987).
Double Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon
Makes 8 servings
4 medium Golden Delicious apples, cut in half crosswise
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided use
zest of 2 lemons
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and grated
3 tablespoons whipping cream
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
brown sugar, about 2 to 3 tablespoons
To create a simple sauce, remove cooked apples from cooking liquid. Pour liquid in a small saucepan; add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons brandy. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, or until mixture is slightly thickened.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter.
Remove the core and seeds from the halved apples, cutting a cavity large enough to hold filling. Place apples, cut side up, in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with 6 tablespoons granulated sugar. Pour 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Leave oven on.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine lemon zest, grated apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cream, 2 egg yolks, salt and cinnamon. Stuff apple cavities with mixture and dot with bits of butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until tops are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve warm or cold. If making sauce, pour sauce onto dessert plates. Top with apples, brown sugar topping side up.
Per serving: calories, 173; protein, 1 g; fat, 6 g; sodium, 230 mg; carbohydrates, 32 g.