Draw a design on the puff pastry tops with the point of a sharp knife. Be inventive!
Divide the apples equally among the tart shells.
Top each tart with the puff pastry circles, leaving the sides unsealed.
Spago's Individual Apple Pies
Makes eight 4-inch tarts
This has always been one of our most popular desserts at Spago. Guests seem to love the fact that everyone gets their own complete apple pie. The combination of the two pastries provides different textures although the puff pastry that tops these apples tartlettes can be replaced with sugar dough.
1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water, beaten lightly for egg wash
Vanilla ice cream
Roll the sugar dough into two 11-inch squares. Put each on a parchment paper-lined tray and chill for 20 minutes. Cut eight 5-inch circles and fit them into eight 4 x 1/2-inch tartlette tins or flan rings. Trim away any extra dough and chill the tins in the refrigerator.
Peel, core and slice the apples 1/4-inch thick.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium high heat, add the apples and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook quickly, for 2 or 3 minutes so that the sugar caramelizes, but the apples remain slightly crunchy.
Pour the Calvados over the apples and let the alcohol cook off for a few seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. With a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut 8 circles, rerolling scraps if necessary. With the tip of a small sharp knife, draw a design in the center of the puff pastry circles. Take care not to cut all the way through. Refrigerate until needed.
Divide the apples equally among the tart shells. Place half a teaspoon of butter in the center of each. Top each with a puff pastry circle, leaving the sides unsealed.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Remove the pies from the tins or rings.
Place a tart in the center of each dessert plate, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
Apple pie loves a sweet dessert wine partner. A Beaumes de Venise from the Rhone Valley in France or Bonny Doon’s Vin de Glaciere from California both offer a honeyed smoothness without the cloying qualities of many inexpensive dessert wines.