There’s a new apple in town. And it’s full of pizzazz.
Or should I say pazazz?
The Pazazz apple is a descendent of the Honeycrisp. So if you love the latter as I do, you will go nuts for the new variety, as well.
Like the Honeycrisp, the Pazazz is crisp as can be, making it an ideal apple to eat out of hand. It has just enough tartness to balance its flavor. I think it has a fuller, more winey taste, too.
The process of creating this apple started a decade ago through cross-pollination with a Honeycrisp. The Pazazz is now grown by family orchards across the country, and available at Safeway stores.
When I received samples recently, I knew they would be ideal to bake with.
I had spied an intriguing recipe last year in the “Tartine All Day: Modern Recipes for the Home Cook” (Lorena Jones/Ten Speed Press) by Elisabeth Prueitt, who owns Tartine Bakery in San Francisco with her husband Chad Robertson.
“Apple Beehive” caught my eye because of its simple elegance. Apple slices are merely arranged in layers, shingled to form a “beehive” shape before being baked in the oven. There is no crust. It’s gluten-free. That means this apple dessert is not only far less heavy tasting, but it really puts the focus on the apples.
Prueitt cuts the apples very thinly. This is where a mandoline comes in handy if you have one. I elected to cut the apples slightly thicker, about 1/4-inch or so, just because I like the slightly chunkier texture. If you opt for the very thin slices, you will get more layers that will become one with each other and create a more true beehive effect. If you opt for slightly thicker slices, you will get less height, and more of a traditional tart, albeit a crust-less one. The choice is yours.
I also halved the original amount of butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture, as I had fewer layers. If you choose the paper-thin slices and want a more indulgent flavor, you can double the amounts of butter and cinnamon-sugar that are listed below to more closely match the original recipe. Truth be told, if you are watching your calories, you could even forgo the butter and sugar, and just bake the apples without either to really let the flavor of the apples shine through all on their own.
Prueitt uses Granny Smith apples in her recipe. I, of course, swapped them out for Pazazz apples.
Because after all, the holidays are made for something new, shiny and red, aren’t they?
(Makes 1 beehive, cut into 6 to 8 servings)
Unsalted butter, for the pan
6 Pazazz apples, peeled, cored, and sliced either very thinly on a mandoline or slightly thicker into 1/4-inch slices using a knife
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup quince jelly, apple jelly, or strained apricot jam
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, cold, or vanilla ice cream for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter the bottom of an 8-inch tart pan and place on a rimmed baking sheet. You can choose to just use the bottom of the pan or the entire tart pan, which will give you a little bit of a wall to help you stack the apples. If you don’t have a tart pan, just line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Working directly on the prepared tart pan or baking sheet, arrange a layer of apple slices in an 8-inch circle, halfway overlapping each slice. Continue layering apple slices to form a beehive shape, saving some of the smaller slices for the top. Every 2 or 3 layers, brush lightly with the butter and sprinkle lightly with some of the sugar and cinnamon. Once you’ve assembled the beehive, brush the butter all over it. Arch aluminum foil over the dome, bake for 25 minutes, and then gently press down to help compact the layers. Remove the foil (to let the edges brown) and bake until soft all the way through when pierced with the tip of a knife, 20 to 35 minutes longer.
Heat the jelly or jam to melt it and then brush it all over the baked beehive as soon as it comes out of the oven. Remove the outer rim of the tart pan, if using. But leave the beehive on the bottom part of the tart pan. Don’t try to remove it or else your beehive may collapse. Place the beehive on its tart pan bottom on a serving plate, if you like. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges, with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on the side.
Adapted from “Tartine All Day” by Elisabeth Prueitt
More Apple Recipes to Try: Apple-Stuffed Biscuits
And: Apple Brownies
And: Baked Applesauce
And: Apple Custard Tart