Serendipity... A really really good restaurant in NYC (among my favorites, actually it's called Serendipity 3)
It's also a fair chic flic movie with John Cusack (The movie is called Serendipity, and is one of my wife's favorite movies (but she has yet to sit through the Dirty Dozen, so that could change in the future) and they have a date at Serendipity 3)... But I digress...
Serendipity for me was seeing this recipe on the Lake Lure Cottage blog and realizing I had all the ingredients in my pantry to make this...
Easy Pastry Shop Apple Tart!
Penny's original recipe was for a full size pie. I sliced her recipe in half and made a much smaller tart. After hosting a series of meals for our friends and neighbors (I missed em all, and needed to catch up), I am under orders to not entertain for awhile. So, just Jackie and me means, just a small dessert.
This reminds me of my eating out days. I loved those pie shops that had dozens of choices. My favorite was the Dutch Apple Cream Cheese cake. A nice thick crust, crispy on the outside, sweet and soft on the inside baked cinnamon apples sitting on a bed of sweet cream cheese filling.
And a spiral presentation for high impact and you have a winner...
Here's what I did...
For the crust:
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup all purpose Flour
For the Cream Cheese filling:
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/8 cup Sugar
For the top:
1 Apple, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8th cup Sugar
Slivered Almonds to garnish
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cream the butter and sugar
- stir in the vanilla and then the flour to make a smooth dough
- Press into the bottom of a well greased baking dish (Penny used a spring form pan), giving it a 1 inch rim.
- Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly brown
To make the top and filling (easily done in the 15 minutes the crust cooks):
- Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
- Toss the apple slices with cinnamon and sugar (as I sliced the apple, I put them in a bath of lemon juice, to prevent them from browning. So I added a slight citrus flavor)
Assemble and bake:
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the tart shell
- Arrange the apple slices in spiral pattern on the top
- Bake until apples are golden and tender... about 40 minutes
- I garnished with raw slivered almonds after the tart was baked. Penny baked hers with the almonds already added.
And there you go. Mine came out just a bit more caramelized (Jackie laughs at me when I called just a little burnt, caramelized) than Penny's photo showed hers. I cooked by time, and not color. So if you have a wife that won't let you get away with calling something just a tad overcooked caramelized, keep an eye on the oven in the last 10 minutes.
BUT, the tart tasted great. The apples had a slight crunch that worked well with the soft cheesecake center.
I loved every bit of this recipe, and it is a keeper!