Make this simple and beautifully rustic chèvre and apple tart with fresh thyme as a last-minute party app or side for holiday gatherings.
My last post of the year was delayed slightly by a mild cold, but at last I’m popping in to wish you a restful and happy holiday. Let us hope that this year, the prayer for peace on earth and good will toward all people will reverberate powerfully. Take care, my friends. I’ll see you in the new year.
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I’ve made many tarts this year and have grown to love the ease of all butter store-bought pastry, phyllo, and even good old Pepperidge Farm. I make homemade dough when I can, but especially this time of year, it’s good to have a shortcut. I’ve made tarts for brunches, a fancy barn party, and countless party appetizers. Whether sweet or savory, this versatile savory tart is a good recipe to know by heart.
This goat cheese and apple tart is both sweet and savory. Sweet, tangy apples and bright, earthy goat cheese with lots of fresh thyme is a winning combination. Not quite a dessert, but definitely a delicious last minute party app or side dish on the buffet table.
A Quick and Simple Chèvre and Apple Tart
To make it, you’ll need homemade or store-bought puff pastry. The more expensive all-butter kind is best, but use what you can find! Then layer apple butter or apricot jam, crumbled chèvre, fresh thyme leaves, and little bunches of sweet-tart apples tossed with lemon zest and sugar. Brush with egg, crimp the edges, and add a bit more sugar on top. Bake 25 minutes, and voilà! You have a lovely little app in minutes flat.
Change It Up
And please, play with the flavors! Sliced pears would be delicious, as would cheddar, Manchego, Gruyere, or brie. Sub a bit of sage or rosemary for the thyme. Add caramelized onions, whether a store-bought jam or homemade, toasted chopped nuts, or dried cherries, currants, or cranberries.
Start with Flavorful Fruit
Whatever additions you add, fruit is at the center of this tart, and I recommend a flavorful baking apple that’s more tart than sweet. Granny Smith apples will work well. But if you can find it, a sweeter, more flavorful apple is ideal. I used Ginger Gold apples and they were wonderful. Or try Crispin, Pippin, Mutsu, or Pink Lady apples. If using pears, go with slightly under ripe Bartlett, Comice, or Seckel.
Make this simple and beautifully rustic chèvre and apple tart with fresh thyme as a last-minute party app or side for holiday gatherings. Use homemade or store bought puff pastry dough.
- 1 sheet of homemade or store bought puff pastry, thawed, preferably all-butter
- 4 medium apples, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons sugar, divided (preferably a large-grain sugar like turbinado)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons apple butter or apricot jam
- 2 ounces chèvre, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus several sprigs for garnish
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Set the cold, thawed dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment. Roll into a rough 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Trim any extra dough and patch up any holes. Reserve any leftover dough.
In a small bowl, toss apples with zest, 3 tablespoons sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Move the dough and parchment to a large baking sheet and assemble the tart. Spread the apple butter or jam in the center, leaving a 2-inch border on all sides. Scatter the goat cheese and thyme, leaving the same 2-inch border. Arrange the apples in bunches of 4 - 5 slices, alternating directions.
Brush the pastry border with egg wash, fold the long sides up and then the short sides. Press to crimp the folded edges firmly together. Brush the edges with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 25 - 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown, and the apples have softened with the filling bubbling all around. The crust may bubble up in the center – gently press down with a spatula or just let it deflate as the tart cools.
Cool 20 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, slice, and serve.
Tart can also be made a day ahead and rewarmed in a 300 degree oven for 15 - 20 minutes.