Ah summer, you elusive temptress…you’re here and then in a blink you’re gone. You bat your eyes and shoot us a sunny smile and we think — silly mortals that we are — that you’ll stay forever. Was it the Hawaiian shirt we wore at the last barbecue? The zinc oxide we slathered on our noses at the beach? What did we do to send you off in a huff, leaving us with untold months of greyness before you deign to make your return?
Now hold on just a darn minute. Before we go too far down that rabbit hole, let’s remember that it’s not over yet. We have 24 hours before it’s officially Autumn. And if we’re lucky, we’ll tuck in a few more warm days before we have to dig out the snow shovels. And be honest — is summer really that wonderful? Sure there’s ice cream but there’s no law against eating frozen treats 365 days of the year (just think how much slower a scoop melts when it’s below freezing outside). Summer means flies and other insects and weeds growing like — well, like weeds.
Let’s face it, summer is not all it’s cracked up to be. Autumn is elegant. It’s golden leaves turning umber and orange. It’s restrained and glamorous. Think of it as the Julianne Moore of the seasons. And in the world of food it’s a bonanza, a veritable cornucopia of fresh fruit and vegetables. So stop whining. Buck up. Get a grip. And for heavens sake, get cooking.
1-8 oz. puff pastry round
1 lb. hard, crisp apples (about 6 small-ish ones)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp honey (a bit more if you like things sweeter)
1/2 tsp Chimayo Blend New Mexico Chile
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
Squeeze of lemon in a bowl of water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cut the apples in quarters, remove the core and slice each quarter in half or thirds. Place the slices in the water with the lemon juice (this will prevent them from turning brown). When you’ve sliced all the apples, drain and place in a frying pan with the butter. Cook over medium heat for about four minutes before adding the honey and chile. Continue cooking for about another four minutes. The apples should be tender but firm. Place the apple mixure in a bowl and allow to cool.
Place the pastry in an oven-proof round pan with an 8″ base, preferably a cast iron pan. The pastry will go up the sides of the pan a bit. When the apples are cool, spread them out onto the pastry. Sprinkle all over with the pistachios and gently fold the edges of the pastry over the fruit mixture to form an open-faced tart.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the pastry is cooked and nicely browned. Serve warm out of the oven or at room temperature.