Bring on the long weekend, don’t you love them? Actually for myself they don’t really make a difference because I don’t have to commute or go and work in an office. Being a stay-at-home dad does have its advantages, actually it has a lot..okay it’s amazing!. I  But I still look forward to things like long weekends because I can see how excited everyone else becomes. This includes the kids who, if not kept busy will drive me to pull the Chardonnay from the fridge earlier than normal.

My plan is to take them both to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum and then test them on the way home. Okay that last part isn’t true but there’s so many awesome exhibits to see and the icing on the cake…everything on display is behind glass and under lock and key which means my two year old won’t be surprising me by waving a dinosaur bone in my face or trying to ride on a stuffed black rhinoceros. Trust me, if he could…he would.

Skillet French Apple Tart

There’s nothing rare or old about this apple tart. It’s baked in a tiny skillet and could also be made with peaches, plums or even pears. The cooking times would need to be adjusted as these fruits are softer than apples. The hardest part is making the pastry cream filling but even that’s a breeze! Use frozen puff pastry and keep your sanity in check. Granny Smith apples are my top choice due to the way they can stand up to being cooked and not turn into mush and the tart, sour flavor tastes great with the sweet cream filling. I ate this missing piece drizzled with salted caramel sauce but a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be the business too!

Skillet French Apple Tart

Recipe for Skillet French Apple Tart::

Prep Time- 25 minutes    Bake Time- 45 minutes    Serves- 2

For the pastry cream– from Martha Stewart

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon butter

In a small saucepan heat the milk, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, vanilla and salt until it starts to simmer. In another bowl using a hand whisk, mix the egg yolks, rest of the sugar and cornstarch until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour about a quarter cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs stirring continuously. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over a low heat until the mixture thickens. Add the butter and stir until melted. Set aside in the fridge to firm up.

For the tart

Frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, quartered and sliced thinly
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut out a disc of the puff pastry the same diameter as the base of your skillet. My skillet was five inches wide. Place the butter in the skillet and melt over a low heat.

Once the butter has melted, place the pastry into the skillet. Add about three tablespoons of the pastry cream to the center of the pastry dough and spread it out like you would put the sauce on a pizza.

Layer some apple slices on top of the cream until it’s all covered. Sprinkle generously with the sugar and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the apples start to brown.

Mix two tablespoon of sugar with 2 tablespoon water and microwave until very hot. Using a pastry brush, glaze the tart until shiny.