In a few weeks, the first quarter of the school year will be ending. Most of my students are passing, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how they have been willing to rise to the challenge of SpringBoard. This commitment to working steadily at something difficult will serve them well in the future.
Speaking of working steadily, The Help was extremely busy this week. He took on the daunting project of cleaning the fishpond filter. In spite of having a UV sterilizer, the fishpond had been looking rather dirty recently. He also ordered new gaskets for one of the pool controls, cut back the bambusa chungii clump in the back yard, took my car for a safety check, and was finally able to pick up his car from the dealer in Kona. He made a second trip to Kona on Saturday to take me to Costco and shoot the high school football game. Whew!
Since he was already on the other side of the island on Wednesday, The Help made a quick stop at Costco to pick up provisions. I told him to buy a tray of apples, and he came back with SweeTango apples for us to try. I never heard of SweeTango apples before, and after eating them, I can honestly say I didn't care much for them. I prefer a sweeter, crisper apple like Fuji or Envy. SweeTango is known as an extremely juicy apple, but I guess juiciness is not a characteristic I value in an apple. So not wanting to have to force myself to eat a dozen "not my cup o' tea" apples out of hand, I decided to make some type of dessert with the apples, after all, my fresh apple cake has become my most popular blog post.
TBH, I am really not much of a pie person. I hate to make the crust. I am not good at rolling out the dough in to a flat, even disk. My rolled-out crust dough often is scraggly and has pukas (holes) everywhere. While I don't like to get my hands dirty, pressing a crust into a pan is preferable to the whole rolling out process.
Perhaps that's why I've taken so well to mini tarts. A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Chinese egg custard tarts. I actually enjoy making those tarts because they seem like they are a lot of work when they really aren't so difficult.
These mini Dutch apple tarts really aren't the hell work they seem to be either. The crust comes together so quickly. The filling is also easy to prepare. While the posted recipe doesn't make a lot, my suggestion would be to at least double the recipe if you plan on serving this to more than 4 people.
click on recipe title for printable recipe
Mini Dutch Apple Tarts
Mini Dutch Apple Tarts
Crust: 1 1/2 c flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 c cold butter
2 tbsp cold Crisco shortening
Filling: 2 apples, chopped (best to use at least 2 different types)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp minute tapioca
Topping: 2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tbsp cold butter
For crust, combine flour, sugar, butter and Crisco in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Add egg. Process just until dough holds together. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 15 seconds. Divide into 18 pieces. Press each piece into a 2 1/2" mini tart pan. Place on a flat baking pan and chill while preparing topping and filling. In same food processor bowl, make topping by combining all ingredients. Place in a small bowl and keep chilled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make filling by combining apples, sugar, cinnamon and tapioca. Divide evenly among tart shells. Spoon topping over filling. Place on foil/parchment/silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool on rack (in tart pans) for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from tart pans and leave on rack to cool completely.