Entertain with Style (Recipe)

So you've invited friends (or family) over to dinner. You're confident with your main and your apps, but dessert isn't your strong point. You don't really want to buy something because you'd like to put together the whole dinner, but you're worried you won't be able to pull off a dessert the first time and succeed.

Well, good news for you! I am a huge baker and try a ton of different recipes. And this recipe is so simple and easy - virtually fool-proof. Every time I've made it, I get "oohs and ahhs" at the table. And, as you can see from the picture above, it looks really impressive, but I promise you, it's pretty easy to pull off.

Here's the recipe (adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics French Apple Tart). I'm allergic to dairy, so I have created a vegan version.

French Apple Tart (vegan)


1 sheet, frozen Tenderflake Puff Pastry (defrosted)
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Earth Balance margarine, small diced
1/2 cup warm sieved apricot jam (I like Bonne Maman)
2 tablespoons rum or water

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line pan with parchment paper. (Don't skip this step as it's very difficult to remove the pastry without breaking if you don't use parchment paper).

Roll the puff pastry out to slightly bigger than 10 by 14-inches. Place dough on the sheet pan and fold over excess pastry to create an edging all around the sides of the tart. This will create a border to prevent the juices from leaking out and burning the bottom of the tart. I learned this lesson the hard way...

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores (to create the rounded shape, remove cores with a melon baller). Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the margarine.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown. Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Once you've taken the pastry out of the oven, heat the apricot jam together with the rum or water, Then sieve the warm mixture and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the apricot mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper.

Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

What's your favourite go-to recipe when company's coming over?


  1. This looks delicious! I'm definitely going to try this. Usually when we have guests, we go to the local bakery for deserts. Sad but true - I have a goal to learn to bake better and serve some home made goodness moving forward!

  2. This is my new favourite "need dessert quickly!" recipe -- I made it last night for a BBQ and it was amazing. I made it round so that I could serve it on my cakestand. I used the whole package of puff pastry and made a pretty thick crust so that the juices wouldn't spill out. I mixed cinnamon with the sugar before sprinkling over the apples, and I melted butter and brushed the crust then sprinkled the cinn-sugar overtop (since I sometimes find pastry is so bland and uninteresting). I bought cream to serve with it, but it didn't need it, it was so rich on its own, as you recommended! Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  3. This is such a great recipe -- I just adapted it to make it with peaches & blueberries! It looks pretty and was just as easy!

  4. @chantelsimmons

    So glad to hear it is versatile. With all this summer fruit available, I'm going to try a different combo as well!

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