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Spiced Apple Squares with Maple Whipped Cream

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If the aroma doesn’t sell you on these sweet squares, the fact that you don’t have to roll out pie crust will. Ready-made puff pastry becomes a flaky base for a pile of tender sautéed apples doused with hard cider syrup. Choose apples that hold their shape when cooked; look for Granny Smith, Jonagold or Gala varieties.

Makes: 9

Ingredients:
  • 1 12-ounce bottle standard cider
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 medium apples, peeled (optional) and thinly sliced
  • 112 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 112 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 12 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 piece frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 12 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the cider to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 12 minutes, watching carefully near the end so the syrup doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat the butter and cinnamon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the apples, sugar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cider syrup, nuts and salt.

4. Place the puff pastry on the prepared baking sheet. Pour the apples and their sauce into the center of the pastry, and distribute them evenly, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. Bake until the tart is browned at the edges, about 30 minutes. Transfer the tart on the parchment to a cooling rack and let cool 10 minutes. 

5. Combine the whipping cream and 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste) and beat until soft peaks form. Cut the tart into 9 squares, and serve each slice with a dollop of the maple whipped cream.


 

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