Who says making a fresh apple dessert takes hours? You can assemble this delicious free-form apple tart in minutes and pop it into the oven while you’re having dinner. Apple pie (or tart) with ice cream is a classic dessert, but you might want to try it with a drizizle of prepared caramel sauce instead. You’ll find apple dessert recipes like this in Favorite Flavors of Ireland; signed copies available (with free shipping) from www.irishcook.com
1 refrigerated pie crust
For the filling
4 to 5 apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, peeled and cut into 16 slices each
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the crumble
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 large egg, beaten
Prepared caramel sauce, for topping (optional).
1. Prepare crust. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Unroll crust and place in center of pan.
2. Make filling. In a large bowl, toss together apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, zest and vanilla; set aside.
3. Make crumble. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars and cinnamon. Drizzle in melted butter and stir with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir in pecans.
4. Arrange filling evenly in center of dough, leaving a 4-inch border all around; reserve juices. Brush border with some of the beaten egg and fold edge in over fruit, making pleats every 2 inches. Pour remaining juices over exposed fruit. Brush folded outer edge with remaining beaten egg; cover exposed fruit with crumble.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven; let cool before cutting into slices. Serve with caramel sauce, if desired.