I admit I enjoy the detailed work of an elaborate dessert or cake on occasion. I was a fine arts major who couldn’t paint or draw particularly well, but loved being in the midst of all that creativity in the art department. It wasn’t until I found myself in a pastry kitchen that I realized food was the medium that allowed me to express myself. Fussing over gum paste and fondant is relaxing to me. But, there are times I want to create something that is just pure and simple. When flavors are the end all and their natural beauty unadorned.
I’ve been reading A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis. The executive chef from Chez Panisse who has the most enviable career I’ve ever heard of. He spends 6 months of the year cooking at Alice Water’s acclaimed restaurant and the remainder of his time in France. Just one chapter in and you can’t help but hate him for having figured out the perfect life. He eloquently describes shopping in the morning at the outdoor produce market and then cooking with his friends while drinking local wines and nibbling on aged cheeses. His entire philosophy is simplicity. In fact, the book’s one downfall for me is that there is no challenge in any of his desserts, they are all simple to a fault. Gorgeous and as delicious as a fresh fig, but where is all of the fussy detail that I often crave. 😉
I want to be David Tanis when I grow up! Well at least I want his lifestyle. In an effort to get closer to that goal I created this ultra simple apple blossom blackberry tart. I live in Minneapolis, not Paris, and there are still patches of snow on the ground. This is a difficult time of year to get ripe fresh fruit. To create something that feels like spring I combined the always reliable granny smith apple with blackberries, on a sheet of homemade puff pastry. I glazed the tart with the most glorious apple blossom honey I’ve ever tasted. A dollop of lightly whipped cream and that is it.
Apple Blossom Blackberry Tart:
1 sheet of puff pastry 1/8-inch think and about 10×15-inches. (Homemade or frozen)
1/2 cup of blackberry or other berry preserves
4 granny smith apples, cut into very thin slices
1/3 cup apple blossom honey, some to brush on the tart before baking and some to coat the berries.
egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)
sugar for sprinkling the edge of the crust
pint of fresh or frozen blackberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
If you are using homemade or frozen puff pastry you will still need to roll the dough out to fit the pan. Don’t roll it any thinner than an 1/8-inch thick. It is important not to roll over the edges or you will seal the layers of the puff pastry and it won’t rise well.
place the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spread a thin layer of the preserves over the dough. Leave about an inch border around the outside edge.
Arrange the apple slices over the preserves. Heat up the honey just to warm it and use a pastry brush to glaze the apple slices with it, reserve the rest for the berries. Brush the edge of the puff pastry with the egg wash and then sprinkle the edge with sugar.
Put the tart into the oven and turn the heat down to 400 degrees. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the edge of the tart crust is golden brown and the apples are tender.
While the tart is baking gently heat the remaining honey again and add the blackberries to the pan. Just heat for a moment to coat the berries and to release some of their juices. They shouldn’t be boiled.
Gently whip the cream with the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Serve with the honey coated blackberries and whipped cream.
35 thoughts to “Apple Blossom Blackberry Tart with Homemade Puff Pastry (two Le Creuset winners!)”
What a gorgeous tart! Would love to try that apple blossom honey. I already love leatherwood, orange blossom and chestnut flower honeys.
i can’t deny the jealousy of his lifestyle, it’s true, but it is a marvelous cookbook 🙂 By the way, I continue to see that Artisan Bread is rocking out Amazon rankings. Congrats!
That looks fantastic! I can’t wait for more fruits to come into season here so I can make tarts, too. I finally got the puff pastry down, now to make them nice and neat like yours!
Just beautiful! Apples and blackberries are so perfect together. A great way to use puff pastry, which is probably my favorite shortcut ingredient in the world.
The tart looks so nice. Been meaning to browse David Tanis’ book for a while.
That looks fantastic. I will have to remember this when the apples are ripe.
I hate to admit but I quit reading after the second paragraph. Right now I am stuck in a dungeon staring at a cubicle wall and I know outdoors it is cold and rainy.
His life was making me jealous.
This looks beautiful!
The Tabis book is well worth a read. sue
I just found your blog, and wanted to tell you a few things…A) your tart is absolutely beautiful, and I too thrive on time consuming, detail oriented projects : ). B)I worked with David Tanis at Chez Panisse, and even helped do the food for the book signing at the restaurant. This man is my idol. Envy him I do, but more so for his generous, educative attitude in the kitchen. Such a genuinely flamboyant and warm soul! I’ll tell him people are talking about him next time I see him ; ) Anywho…keep up the beautiful baking!
Zoe, the tart is beautiful and sounds delicious – very high on the “to bake” list for me.
Wow. That is beautiful. I have some blackberries sitting on my counter that might turn into that tomorrow…
I can’t wait for Spring, and like you am envious of David Tanis’ life! Thanks for the tip about the book; I’ll check it out. This looks like a wonderful tart! I just made some puff pastry and have some leftovers….Do you make your own or buy it? I can’t find frozen puff pastry here, just filo/phyllo dough. Looks delicious!
another beauty. fruit tarts are one of my favorites….and great photography captures it well.
The color is stunning- so pretty!
Thank you!! I’m so excited to have won the Le Creuset – now I’ll have to start looking for good recipes for it! Too bad I can’t make this tart – do you think I could just cram the whole thing in there? ;o)
beautiful color. nothing beats a simple apple tart like this. gorgeous!
Thanks everyone! Happy spring!
Jenny, what an incredible opportunity you had. I’m so pleased to know that he is so wonderful to work.
Zoe, I laughed when I read this because I want to be Zoe Francois when I grow up! 🙂
This is just gorgeous. Every single apple slice is perfectly uniform. You are such an artist!
Oh.My.God, that is one stunning tart!! I’m bookmarking this right now – I only hope it turns out as beautiful as yours!
Beautiful color and delicious!!
Great looking tart!
I’ll have to try out apple blossom honey. I don’t usually bake with honey!
What a beautiful spring time dessert.
I totally love how the apple slices look so groovy lined up so prettily! Great colours!
This tart looks incredible. Not only is it totally aesthetically-pleasing, but it looks just delicious. I wish I could have a slice right now!
Looks lovely! I love how the jam come up and colors the apples. Beautiful!
I picked up that cookbook at the bookstore the other day and considered a purchase. Guess I should have done so!
I love how you flipflopped the apple rows so the decor of this beautiful dessert is eye-catching. Pretty!
This tart looks and sounds sooo good especially with homemade puff pasty! 🙂
Beautiful tart!!! My favorite kind of dessert, so pretty, with fresh fruit and lovely pastry. You are an artist!!
Wow, Zoe! That looks like an awesome tart! I love the colors!
Great take on a classic dessert. I love the thought of apples over a tart layer of berry preserves. I’m also a big fan of Tanis’s Platter of Figs.
Ooooh Zoe!! What a wonderful tarte!! excellente!
I was so excited to try this beautiful tart and worked out perfectly! Gorgeous to look at, gorgeous to eat. Thanks for sharing the recipe.