Your average apple wonâ€™t withstand being peeled, cored and simmered in beer, but tart, green Granny Smiths hold their own in this gorgeous tart thatâ€™s simpler than it looks. Choose a spiced ale (usually called â€śChristmas aleâ€ť this time of year), loaded with clove, cinnamon and nutmeg, and opt for Vietnamese cinnamonâ€”itâ€™s more robust than the standard stuff. If you love the look of a shiny tart, brush the top with about 1 tablespoon raw honey mixed with a dash of that cinnamon before baking.
Makes: 8 servingsIngredients:
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 3⁄4 cup whole milk
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 22-ounce bottle spiced ale (or 2 12-ounce bottles), divided
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Line a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with the pastry; trim the excess. Using a fork, prick the bottom of the tart shell several times. Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.
3. In a saucepan off heat, whisk together the milk, cream, vanilla, yolks, ¼ cup of the beer, sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Place over medium-high heat and whisk until the mixture is thickened to a puddinglike consistency, about 10 minutes. Pour into the tart shell and chill until set, about 2 hours.
4. Place the apple slices in a pot over medium heat. Cover with 2 cups of the beer. Simmer until the apples are fork-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the apples and allow to dry on paper towels 10 minutes.
5. Working in a circular pattern, arrange the apples atop the tart. Chill until ready to serve.
SERVE IT WITH: Something spiced. A witbier’s coriander tones add a new dynamic to the spice profile, while a seasonal spice ale turns up the classics.