Apple and Goat Cheese Tart
Fruit tarts aren’t always sweet. A perfect example is Apple and Goat Cheese Tart. It combines sweet apples with onion-like shallots and creamy goat cheese for a delicious lunch, brunch, or appetizer.
A recent visit to my mother-in-law’s home reminded me of how good farm-fresh fruit tastes. She has several different types of pear, fig, plum, and apple trees on her property. I felt like an eight-year-old version of myself, picking things off of trees, devouring them immediately, and tossing the seeds and pits on the grass.
One of the apple trees with the heaviest load of fruit: Gravenstein.
Despite it being popular for applesauce and cider production in the early 20th century, the Gravenstein cultivar is not found in most grocery stores anymore. It is considered a heritage food and there are efforts to preserve it, along with other lesser-known apple varieties.
There are so many uses for apples, but I decided to use them in a tart. Although it includes apples it isn’t exactly sweet. It’s savory.
What does savory actually mean? I’ve always assumed that it means “not sweet.” It actually encompasses a little more than that.
Originally, the four basic tastes were bitter, salty, sour, and sweet. After a Japanese scientist discovered the amino acids and nucleotides that produce the savory taste, the term umami was added as a fifth element. Umami is the Japanese word that means savoriness.
When used in cooking, the term savory refers to something that is rich, salty, spicy, or meaty. Examples of savory foods include aged cheeses, cured or dried meats, and nuts. Things that are aged, cured, fermented, or slow-cooked are usually going to fall into this category.
Most vegetables are also considered savory. Like, shallots.
I thought shallots were for real chefs and people who knew what they were doing in the kitchen. But once I started using them, I found them to be a versatile way to add mild oniony flavor without being overpowering. They are great raw or cooked.
They are cousins to the onion, you know, so they can make you tear up when you cut them. The papery lavender skin conceals a white and pale purple bulb that looks like an overgrown garlic clove. Once cut, the inside consists of layers similar to an onion.
My favorite ways to use them are in fish dishes, salad dressings, sauces, and anywhere I want an onion flavor that isn’t too strong.
- We’ve all heard Paul Hollywood say sha-LOT with the accent on the second syllable rather than the first. We all panicked thinking we’d pronounced it wrong for years. But the British also pronounce oregano and tomato very differently than we do on this side of the Atlantic. I say SHALL-it, but you are an adult, so pronounce it however you want.
- Not a fan of goat cheese? Swap it out for bleu cheese, gorgonzola, or feta. Any soft cheese will work here.
- Consider doubling the recipe. This is delicious and disappears fast.
Many thanks to New York Times cooking for their savory apple tart recipe inspiration.Print
- 1 sheet puff pastry (½ pkg of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry)
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 Tablespoons goat cheese
- 3 Tablespoons chopped herbs (parsley, rosemary, oregano)
- 1 egg
- Honey for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/204 C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut along the fold lines to make 3 equal size rectangles and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Use a paring knife or pizza cutter to lightly score a one-quarter-inch border around each rectangle being careful not to cut the pastry all the way through to the parchment.
- Place the sliced apples on each pastry rectangle inside the score marks. Top with the shallots. Dot the goat cheese evenly over everything and top with the chopped herbs.
- Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make the egg wash. Paint the outside borders of the pastry with egg wash.
- Bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before drizzling with honey and cutting into serving pieces.