At a market in Portugal, I bought this frozen dough without knowing for certain what it actually was. My Portuguese is very limited (“Where is the restroom? Do you accept credit cards? Will you please clean the fish? Excuse me, thank you, have a good afternoon.”), and while I know the words for market basics such as apples and fish, massa folhada was unknown. I took a chance that it would be something interesting (pie dough? Cornmeal crust?) and added it to my basket. Turns out it’s puff pastry. Score!
My first attempt at making a puff pastry tart in a rented kitchen was less than fabulous (Sorry, Dan!). This second attempt was much, much better. This time, I set the oven temperature at 190C (375F) and used heat from the top and bottom but without convection. I also reduced the baking time to 5 minutes before adding toppings, then 8 minutes after adding toppings. Perfect!
Ingredients (Serves 6 grown-ups, or 2 very hungry traveling boys)
1 frozen puff pastry circle, thawed in refrigerator overnight
1 tablespoon melted butter (not margarine)
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 apples, thinly sliced
Step 1) Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place puff pastry circle on the baking sheet, and pinch up the edges to make a lip (raised edge) around the outside. Pierce puff pastry with a fork in about 20 spots. Partially bake in a preheated 375F oven for 5 minutes.
Step 2) While the puff pastry is partially baking, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The mixture will be thick, like a paste. That’s OK.
Step 3) Remove partially baked puff pastry from oven (do not turn oven off). Use your fingers to sprinkle half of the sugar mixture onto the crust. It doesn’t need to be perfectly even; little dots of sugar here and there are just fine.
Step 4) Arrange thinly sliced apples over sugared crust, and dot the remaining sugar over the top.
Step 5) Finish baking apple tart for 8 minutes, or until edges of crust are just turning golden brown. Puff pastry burns easily, so watch that tart after 5 minutes or so!
Step 6) Cut with a sharp knife and serve immediately.