This Puff Pastry Tart with Apples and Parmesan is really special—a creative combination of ingredients that’s simple yet sensational!
When Christine at TheCookful and I first started talking about doing a series on appetizers designed to pair with wine, I knew I wanted to combine puff pastry with sparkling wine. Crispy, fatty foods like puff pastry are just incredible with bubbles (more on that a little later in this post).
But when we talked about topping the puff pastry with parmesan, apples, and prosciutto, she suggested a sprinkle of fennel seeds as well. And I have to tell you—that small twist is the cherry on top of the sundae of this recipe. (Thanks, Christine!)
Try it and I’m sure you’ll agree—this combination of relatively simple ingredients is absolutely sensational!
Making The Puff Pastry Tart
It starts with store bought puff pastry—look for it in the freezer section of your supermarket. You’ll need half of a 17.3-ounce package, which is one of the two sheets in there, and be sure to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. That works much better than trying to rush it at room temperature.
Unfold the sheet onto a floured work surface and give it just a few strokes with a rolling pin to get it the right size. Then transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet and add the toppings—Parmesan, apple, prosciutto, and fennel seed.
For the Parmesan, I like to make big thick shaves with a vegetable peeler. But these days sometimes I can buy already-shaved Parm at my supermarket. It tends to be in smaller bits, but it’ll work if you’d rather not shave the cheese yourself.
For the apple, use a tart green one like Granny Smith or Pippin to help the recipe better pair with the wine (I’ll explain in a sec). If you’re not into that, though, use whatever apple you like or have on hand.
The prosciutto adds a nicely savory counterpoint to the apple, but crumbled bacon would work as well—or you could even omit it.
You already know how I feel about the fennel seeds, though. Definitely don’t omit those.
Matching Wine To Puff Pastry Tarts
As I mentioned earlier, this recipe is designed to pair with sparkling wine and that’s one of the reasons it starts with puff pastry. Crispy, flaky, oily foods are beautiful with bubbles.
Why? The wine and the food both complement and contrast with each other. They’re similar in that the crisp acidity of the wine is akin to the crisp, crunchiness of the food—which follows a basic like-with-like rule of wine and food pairing. But there’s contrast too, in that the wine is acidic while the food is fatty, enhancing the experience.
Plus, the wine’s effervescence sort of scrubs your palate clean after each rich bite, readying you for the next one.
Speaking of like with like, I mentioned earlier that I’m purposefully using a tart apple in this recipe instead of a sweet one. And that’s because sweetness in a food can make a dry (or not-sweet) wine paired with it taste sour. Using an apple that’s not super sweet avoids that, but serving the dish with an off-dry or slightly sweet wine would avoid it as well.
Long story short, this is killer with bubbles. But if you use a sweet apple, switch to a sparkler with slight sweetness as well.
If you’re looking to design an appetizers party around sparkling wine, Tuna Tartare—served on crispy, fatty potato chips—is another recipe in this series that’d be good with sparkling wine.
And for more about what works in food and wine pairing, read my Guide to Pairing Party Foods and Wine.
Other Possible Wine Pairings
Because it’s similar to sparkling wine in weight and acidity, a light white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would also work with this recipe. Tuna Tartare and Shrimp Scampi Skewers are other recipes in this series that pair well with light white wines.
And because they’re light, white, and off-dry, Riesling and Gewurztraminer would be good choices for this dish if you use a sweet apple in the toppings. Baked Brie with Chutney is another recipe in this series that works with off-dry white wine.Print
- 1 sheet (half of a 17.3-oz. package) puff pastry, thawed
- 1 1/4 cups shaved Parmesan cheese (about 3 1/2 oz.)
- 1/2 tart green apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 thin slices prosciutto (about 1 oz.), cut into 1/4-in. strips
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
Line a baking sheet with parchment. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a 10-inch square and transfer it to the baking sheet.
Use a fork to pierce the pastry all over. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of the cheese on the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the apple, prosciutto, and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
Bake the tart until almost golden, about 20 minutes.
Sprinkle on the fennel seeds and bake until golden, about 5 minutes.