Culinary Improv: The Apple Basil Tart

Apple Basil TartFilo dough crust. Creme fraiche with cinnamon. Pink Lady apples and fresh basil. Citrus-marmalade-and-Calvados glaze.

It’s a pretty assertive dessert!

My friend Tom said the idea for this pastry came to him in a dream. Yesterday I assisted as he transformed the inspiration into a first-draft recipe. Today friends are stopping by to taste-test my half of the final tart.

Some of their (and my) thoughts:

The creme fraiche base tastes amazing, but is a little too soft when the tart is at room temperature. How could this be made more substantial without losing the taste and smooth texture of creme fraiche? (I’m concerned getting ricotta involved would make the texture too grainy.)

The Pink Lady apples were a particularly flavorful choice. And they held their shape well, even when sliced thinly.

The basil (many leaves of it) gets stronger by hour. Which is fine, right up until I find myself chewing on a cooked basil leaf. How could you get the same intense basil element in the tart without having the whole basil leaves? Chop them? Puree them?

The marmalade-Calvados glaze (my contribution to the beta version) add a second savory element, the marmalade being a bitterish citrus (crafted by my friends John and Sally). But now I’m thinking that with the filo crust, the tart might be better with a sweeter, honey-liquor glaze.

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