It’s hard out there for a
pimp healthy cooking enthusiast. Everyday, we’re faced with the Paula Deens and Mario Batalis of the world, tempting us with rich sauces, heavy starches, and sticks upon sticks of glorious butter. Everyday, we attempt to resist them, substituting fruit for flan and carrots for spaghetti carbonara. And everyday, our resolve crumbles a bit more.
Of course, reading a bajillion cooking blogs doesn’t help. Especially when one of them is The Pioneer Woman Cooks.
I’ve been following Ree Drummond’s recipe site for about a year and a half now, and it’s been an exercise in envy. See, while every recipe is undeniably enticing, none have been low-calorie enough for my nefarious blogging purposes. So usually, I just sit, scroll, and attempt not to short out my keyboard with incessant drooling.
Then, a few weeks ago, she posted her Quick & Easy Apple Tart. And all was right in the world.
Made of five simple ingredients (puff pastry, apples, brown sugar, lemon, and salt), it looked to be an attractive, simple dessert. Further research revealed that when split into six portions, each serving hovered around 270 calories and 11 grams of fat. Not too shabby for what’s essentially an open-faced apple turnover.
When I made it myself, I changed two small things based on feedback from Pioneer Woman commenters. First, the recipe asks for 3 or 4 apples, but I found 2 was sufficient. Second, I scaled the brown sugar back by about a third, to prevent it from overflowing and burning to the pan. The result was still plenty sweet, and I avoided some extra scrubbing.
In the end: victory. Delicious, seemingly indulgent victory. If you’ve got a few minutes, I highly suggest trying it yourself. Then, try some of those other dishes. If you let me live vicariously through you, I promise I won't tell anyone.
- 1 sheet puff pastry, mostly thawed and cut in halves or thirds
- 2 medium baking apples, cored, halved, and sliced (but not peeled)
- 1/2 lemon
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 415°F.
Place puff pastry rectangles on a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray.
Squeeze lemon over apples and stir gently. Add sugar and salt to apples. Stir gently to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
Arrange apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Remove from pan immediately and place on a serving platter. Serve plain, with caramel topping, whipped cream, or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.