Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 10th February 2012

I know I went on record a few months ago saying, “I hate store-bought Puff Pastry!” but I’m happy to say I’ve finally made my peace with it.  I’ve made a new best friend in the grocery freezer aisle, it appears you only need find the “best store bought puff pastry” to make life easier on the days when life is so hectic.  And this was one of those crazy, hectic days.  I was craving comfort food and this rustic Apple Tart, Sfoglia di Mele, made with puff pastry, crema pasticcera (Italian pastry cream) and brown sugar baked apples is my idea of comfort.

A photo of an Italian Dessert, Sfoglia di Mele, Puff Pastry Apple Tart with Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Cream) on a gold cake stand.

I didn’t have time to invest the “love” to make homemade puff pastry (the best) so I did the next best thing – I got on the phone and texted my loving and willing errand runner (not!), my daughter, Liana, with instructions to stop at the grocery store on the way home and purchase the “best” puff pastry.  No sooner than hitting the send button the phone started ringing.  I was greeted with the usual response, “Are you kidding me Mom” and “Can’t you pick it up yourself?”  Well sweetheart I would be happy to but since you’ve gotten your license my car has been “missing in action!”

A cropped photo of a rustic tart, Sfoglia di Mele, Puff Pastry Apple Tart with brown sugar baked apples and pastry cream cooling on a wire rack.

After the usual banter she asked, “Which one is the best?”  Quite frankly I hadn’t a clue because my experience with store-bought puff pastry in the past hasn’t been great so I replied, “It doesn’t really matter just make sure not to purchase the same brand you purchased last time”.  And Liana, “Yes Mom”, I caught that murmur under your breath, “Yeah right it doesn’t matter!”

A photo taken looking down on a Apple Tart made with Puff Pastry cooling on a wire rack.

Ahh…she knows me too well, I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  It dawned on me, I wonder if my “need” to make everything “perfect” is rubbing off on my daughter?  Is she doomed to a life where anything less than perfect is unacceptable?  One quick peek into her bedroom and my feelings of uneasiness quickly disappear.  Is it too much to ask that some of that need rub off?

A photo of a Puff Pastry Apple Tart on a gold cake stand displayed on a multi colour check cloth napkin.

It’s been two years since I made the difficult decision to stop picking up after the kids in their bedrooms and now the best I can do is quietly close the door and hide the chaos.  Moe and I were opposites in so many ways, it’s probably the reason we balanced each other so well.  But the one thing we shared was order; everything in our home had its place.  It amazes me that our kids are the complete opposite.

A cropped photo of an Apple Tart on a gold cake stand displayed on a dark wooden board.

Liana came home with a winner, it wasn’t an all-butter puff pastry that I’m used to but it was flaky, flavourful and perfect for this apple tart.  I decided to coat tart granny smith apples with brown sugar and pre-bake them at high heat for about 15 minutes.  The aroma in the kitchen was heavenly, the brown sugar was bubbling and the apples were coated in caramelized ooey, gooey goodness.

A photo taken looking down on a Puff Pastry Apple tart displayed on a gold cake stand and red-checkered cloth napkin.

If you’re a regular visitor you already know how much I love pastry cream and it was perfectly at home in this tart.   The rich, velvety cream is the perfect partner for crispy, flaky pastry.  And for the final tease, an inviting glossy finish, I brushed the piping hot, just out of the oven tart with Apricot Glaze infused with Calvados.

A photo of an Italian Cake, Sfoglia di Mele, cooling on red oven mitts placed on a wire rack.

The next time you’re in the mood for simple but delicious this Sfoglia di Mele is just that and much more.

A photo of an Italian Rustic Tart, Sfoglia di Mele (Apple Tart), cooling on a wire rack.

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Comments (32)

32 Responses to “Sfoglia di Mele con Crema Pasticcera {Puff Pastry Apple Tart with Pastry Cream}”

  1. Lauri Rottmayer Says:

    That is gorgeous! I can’t wait to make it. :-)

  2. Kathryn Says:

    I always buy puff pastry, I just never seem to find the time to make it from scratch and some of the stuff that you can buy in stores is really good. This looks like such an amazing way to use it as well, those apples look so lovely and golden and delicious!

  3. Erica Says:

    Hahaha, only you would call a dessert with this many components “simple” :)

    Looks delicious!

  4. Grace Says:

    Erica I just about spit out my coffee reading our comment, haha, I really thought this one was easy, store-bought pastry, a little cream and glaze. It really is easy, trust me on this one.

  5. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    This looks like an amazing way to use that homemade puff pastry!

  6. Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake Says:

    This tart is so beautiful and it sounds so delicious! Storebought puff pastry or not, I would love a large piece!

  7. Angie Says:

    It looks beyond amazing! Ohh, I soo need to make this myself!

  8. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having Says:

    What a gorgeous dessert. Store bought puff pastry is hit or miss, I hope you remember the brand for next time!
    I’m sure my mom felt the same way you did about my bedroom when I was growing up. I didn’t change my ways till I moved out and suddenly realized the peacefulness that comes from an orderly home.

  9. Grace Says:

    Funny Lynn I wonder if that’s exactly what will happen.

  10. Kiri W. Says:

    Wow, I’d already be happy with apple puff pastry tarts, but pastry cream to boot just has me salivating :) This looks gorgeous, your photos are wonderful!

  11. Kim Bee Says:

    This looks so good. I am in awe, it is just so pretty and rustic looking. I laughed when I read your daughter’s name, my daughter is Kiana. Not names you hear often so it caught my eye. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Grace Says:

    Thank you everyone, I fell in love with these pics, I’m so proud of Liana she did a wonderful job bringing out the essence of this tart.

  13. Says:

    Wow Grace, that looks delicious! Love the cake plate, too!

  14. Grace Says:

    Thanks Sandie, a Home Sense find.

  15. Kristina Says:

    O wow, this is an absolutely gorgeous tart! The pastry cream and apricot glaze all sound soo delicious!

  16. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel Says:

    You gave me a glimpse into my future. I laughed over the missing car because she now has her license. Great quick and comforting recipe. Such a lovely reminder of my favorite season (fall!)

  17. Grace Says:

    It’s funny Rachel Liana was much like me she was perfectly content with me driving her around and was 19 before she decided to get her license. I bugged her on a regular basis to get her license and ever since I had to make an appointment to use my car. I shouldn’t complain because she does do a lot of my errands but the saying, “be careful what you wish for”, definitely comes into play here.

  18. marla Says:

    Such a beautiful tart!!

  19. Grace Says:

    Thanks Marla!

  20. Lora @cakeduchess Says:

    I adore apple desserts and this one is making me hungry for a slice. Great photos, Liana:) Teaching my little ones the importance of cleaning up, making beds…next is washing the dishes;)

  21. Grace Says:

    Lora I remember when the kids were smaller they were so excited to have their own little chores to do, now getting them to run a vacuum is a chore in itself. ha-ha Because of my back I had to hire a cleaner years ago after Moe passed. When he was still with us Moe would help with the stuff I couldn’t do. The kids are used to that now and have come to expect it. I wish they would understand that this is a luxury we normally wouldn’t have. I think Lynn is right things will change when they are out on their own and have their own homes then everything will have it’s place.

  22. Mary Ellen @ Pâte à Chew Says:

    Gorgeous! What a special and elegant dessert!

  23. Streusel Says:


  24. Daisy@Nevertoosweet Says:

    I’ve never heard of a Sfoglia di Mele! I thought it was a savoury dish for a second hehe I knew I should have paid more attention when I had italian lessons in primary school :P

    Your apple tarts so pretty and I love the gold cake stand :D I’m a little ashamed but hehe I’ve always bought puff pastry hehe I haven’t had the courage to make it at home. So i’m glad you found a great store bought pastry ~

  25. Grace Says:

    Daisy I never had the courage either and then finally one day I thought why not, time consuming but really quite easy. You should give it a go sometime, the taste is maginifique!

  26. Suzi Says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! So nicely browned and crispy. Congrats on Top 9.

  27. Peggy Says:

    This tart is absolutely stunning!

  28. Catherine Daugherty Says:

    Oh my word! I cannot wait to make this. Thank you for your time in baking and pictures. I am so looking forward to doing this soon. Thanks again!

  29. AikoVenus Says:

    This is so gorgeous! I can’t even imagine eating this without feeling bad for destroying something so beautiful and tasty looking. ^^

  30. Marly Says:

    That first photo just knocked my socks off! Maybe my hat too! Love this pie and say an extra special thanks to Liana for getting that puff pastry so we could all share in this recipe. Yumm!

  31. Emily Says:

    This looks great! I’m going to make it, but I’m a little confused about how to make the cuts on the top crust of the pastry.
    Can I use a pizza cutter instead of a pastry cutter? How many cuts do you make? Are they all lined up next to each other in a row? It looks so nice how you make it–I want to get it right! Thank you!!

  32. Grace Says:

    Emily it appears my first reply was eaten up or it was far too late when I was answering and I forgot to hit the submit button, sorry about that. You can definitely use a pizza cutter, works like a charm. When you using the pizza cutter butt it up to the side of the ruler and run it across from one side of the border to the other (top to bottom of pastry round) but stop every 2 to 3 inches and skip about an inch or two to add more visual appeal rather than one large cut from border to border or top to bottom, do you know what I mean? I hope I am explaining this in a way that it makes sense. I think I made about 8 or 9 cuts (from left border to right border) about 1/2-inch apart. Leaving a border around is important for attaching the top piece of pastry to the base piece of pastry.

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