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Seven Hills Inn

Lexington, Virginia

Specialty Recipe

French Apple Tart

This recipe looks like you worked all day.

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter (do not substitute)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
10 medium Golden Delicious apples (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut in half lengthwise (do not substitute)
1 package (16 ounces) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed 1-1/2 hours at room temperature
Heavy cream, whipped (optional)

In a heavy 10-inch, oven-safe skillet, combine sugar, butter, and almond extract over medium heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. (Sugar will not be completely dissolved.) Arrange apples rounded sides down in center and around sides of skillet, fitting apples very tightly together. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 20 to 40 minutes (depending on juiciness of apples) or until sugar mixture becomes the color of caramel. Remove skillet from heat.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a floured surface, place pastry sheets on top of each other, pressing firmly. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into a 12-inch circle. Arrange pastry on top of apples, overlapping pastry to edge of skillet. Seal pastry to edge with a fork. Cut slits for steam and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden and puffed.

Remove skillet from oven and cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully invert onto dessert platter. Serve topped with whipped cream, if desired.

Yields: 8 servings.

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