This is one of those recipes you must keep in your arsenal of “emergency go-to” dishes.  Oh please don’t tell me you don’t have an emergency list of go-to dishes.  You know the ones when someone is dropping by on short notice or you are just too tired to make a fancy dessert.  This tart looks elegant and more importantly tastes fantastic.  You can use any fruit you like, be adventurous and experiment with different types flavors. 

I started putting grapes in mine a few years back. Baked grapes are superb.  The sweetness concentrates as the grapes cook down.  They also keep the tart very moist, so add them to whatever fruit you like. Just watch the moisture content of the fruit. Too much liquid and your pastry won’t puff up. You will need to compensate by adding an ingredient to absorb this excess liquid. At the PC Cooking Schools I make a strudel using apples and raisins, but always crumble some vanilla or other simple flavored cookies into the mix to absorb this liquid released during the mixing process. More recently, in the “Tribute” class, I discovered the joy of putting sponge/pound cake as a base before I add my fruit. Try it out for yourself. A simple recipe with great flavor. As always – enjoy!

2 honey crisp or royal gala apples, cut into wedges or chunks
2 nectarines (or pears), cut into wedges or chunks – but the same as the apples
1/2 cup grapes, whole or halved
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar – depends on how sweet the fruit is
1 lemon – zested and juiced – 2 tbsp. required, save the rest for a Margarita or something else like that
1 roll puff pastry, PC Puff brand comes 2 to a package (make both, trust me, one will not be enough!)
Coarse sugar for the crust
2 tbsp. cream
2 slices of pound cake cut into cubes or 6 biscuits – optional if there is excess liquid in the mixed fruit

Preheat the oven to 400F
Thaw the puff pastry in the fridge – if it is too warm i.e. room temperature, it will tear while filling and rolling, so keep it in the fridge until ready to fill
Cut the apples, nectarines or pears into wedges or chunks
Add the grapes, the brown sugar, zest, cinnamon and lemon juice – stir gently so as not to break the fruit – taste, season and taste the fruit to ensure it is to your liking
Unroll the pastry (it comes wrapped in parchment/wax paper) onto a baking sheet
If a lot of moisture is released from the mixed fruit, use the sponge cake or cookies as a base directly onto the puff pastry before adding the fruit
Pile the fruit into the middle and roll up the edges – rustic style, using a bit of water to stick the edges where they meet – if the pastry is too soft, put it back in the fridge before baking it
Paint the surface of the pastry with the cream and sprinkle with the coarse sugar
Bake for 17 – 20 minutes – the crust should be nicely browned and puffed
Remove from the oven and cool slightly – dust with icing sugar, slice and serve



Rustic Apple, Nectarine and Grape Tart in Puff Pastry