how I almost burned my house down making an apple tart

Pretty excited about all the apples in the CSA box each week.  The only thing is that I am generally the only one (and, on occasion, my son) in my house that eats them.  I love apples.  I really do. But I can usually only polish off the proverbial one apple per day.  So when I receive ten apples in one week’s bounty…well then, that calls for dessert!

Dessert and, if you are unlucky like me, an oven fire.

Yep, you read correctly.  As my husband said afterward, glad to know the fire extinguisher works but didn’t think we’d actually ever have to use it.  I prepared and baked the tart on a flat cookie sheet.  As the butter melted and the juices from the apple started to flow, it dripped (poured really) down into my gas oven.  As flames crept out of the side, my shouts to my husband to get the fire extinguisher caused the kids to come running.

The fire was extinguished, the oven turned off, and the tart sat in the oven covered in a layer of thick, gray chemical dust.  Slider and front door propped open, the dust-filled smoke billowed out of the house until it dissipated.  Before it had even cleared, both kids had spread the drama by texting their friends.  I hadn’t even had a chance to swear them to secrecy!

Learn from my lesson.  Use a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with sides to avoid a mess or, worse, a fire hazard.

apple tart

One sheet puff pastry dough

4 firm, tart apples (such as granny smith)

1/2 cup sugar

4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced into small pieces

1/2 cup apricot jelly

2 Tbsp Grand Marnier liquer (you can substitute rum or water, if you don’t want to use alcohol)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie (with sides!) with parchment paper.  Roll out your puff pastry to about 10 x 14 inches.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect rectangle. Place the puff pastry on the parchment paper.  There are two ways to prepare your apples.  First is to cut them in half through the stem and remove the core with a sharp knife.  Peel the apples and slice them into thin wedges approximately 1/4 inch thick.  The second is to core and section your apples like I did, using one of these.  Peel and then slice your sections thin.  Starting in the middle of your pastry, lay the apples diagonally in a row from corner to corner, slightly overlapping them.  Continue laying the apples diagonally on either side of the center row until you reach the outer edges of the pastry.  You may have to cut a few slices of the apple to make it fit in the corner.  Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of sugar over the apples and dot with the diced butter.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the pastry is brown and the edges of the apples begin to brown, rotating the pan halfway through during baking.  Remove from oven.  Heat apricot jelly with 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier until thin.  Brush the entire tart with this mixture.  Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

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5 responses to “how I almost burned my house down making an apple tart

  1. YIKES!!!!!!

  2. Glad to hear I’m not the only person with kitchen problems such as these! Glad to hear you’ve got a fire extinguisher on hand… tee hee!

    • Forgot to mention that it took a few seconds to figure out how to work it. I wracked my brain trying to remember the acronym for PASS that we learned in fire safety class at work. P=pull the pin, A= what? I know S=squeeze the trigger handle and S=sweep in over the fire…but what the heck does that “A” mean?!!!

  3. That looks fantastic. I’ve got loads of apples and pears in my farm box this week so I think I might adapt this recipe!

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