It’s getting increasingly difficult to cook and bake in quarantine. I’m trying to minimize grocery trips to once a week, but when I do grocery shop, many of the things I rely on, such as flour and eggs, are out of stock. I’m quarantining near a grocery that doesn’t carry many of the brands that I usually buy. I have plenty of ingredients to work with, but most of them aren’t especially inspiring: while I might eat toast and canned beans on my own, I want to post higher quality recipes on Stone Fruit. However, all the limitations on my cooking have resulted in more creativity, not less. Who knew it would take a global pandemic to really supercharge my creativity in the kitchen?
So, what can I do with ingredients like, say, honeycrisp apples, vanilla yogurt, all purpose flour, cinnamon, and pistachios? Bake tarts, of course! I figured this little experiment would be worth the precious flour and eggs that it would use up.
Since I’m not a master baker, I can’t yet pull recipes for different doughs out of thin air, so I based this tart recipe on one posted by King Arthur Flour (which is a surprisingly good source for baking recipes that I recommend you check out!). I stayed true to the dough recipe, but I switched up the filling to make use of the yogurt and pistachios I had, then added my own cinnamon sugar topping.
These tarts turned out absolutely amazing. I will definitely make these again, and it’s very likely that I’ll post a couple variations on them over the next few weeks. Though a little time-consuming, they’re so much easier than most other pastries – they require no rising or chilling time, they can be as messy as you want, and the dough comes together quickly with just a bowl and a hand mixer. Despite their ease, they’re impressive enough to serve to guests (or to stress-eat during quarantine)! They have a crisp cinnamon-sugar-dusted crust, a satisfyingly soft apple filling, some nuttiness from the pistachios (“oh yeah, I’m definitely getting the nuttiness”) and a layer of gooey yogurty goodness on the bottom.
Apple and Pistachio Tarts with Yogurt and Brown Sugar
- 9 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 medium-large honeycrisp apples peeled, cored, and diced into 1 cm pieces
- 1/2 cup sweetened vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios shelled, roughly chopped
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tbsp water
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Start by making the tart dough. In a mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to combine the butter, sugar, salt, and egg yolks until fluffy.
- Beat in the flour and milk until well-combined.
- Divide the dough into 12 approximately equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten the balls into disks, and cover the disks with a damp towel while you prepare the filling.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, cinnamon, lemon juice, and flour. Add the apples and pistachios and stir until completely coated with the yogurt mixture. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375º F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out each disk of dough until about 1/8 inch thick. They should be about 6 inches in diameter but don't have to be perfectly circular. It's alright if the edges crack – it just makes the tarts look more rustic.
- Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling to the center of each tart, leaving plenty of room along the edges. Fold the edges up and over the filling, pleating the folds so they overlap.
- For the topping, beat the egg with the water and brush over the tops of the crusts (not on any exposed filling). Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then sprinkle on each tart on top of the egg wash. Try not to get too much brown sugar on the parchment since it can burn.
- Arrange six tarts on each prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375º.
- Turn the oven down to 350º and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the tops of the tarts are golden brown.
- Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.