Crispy apple tart puts skillet to delicious work

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey


ere’s a sweetly crisp dessert that made remind you of cuddling up by the hearth. Add a cup of cocoa and its sure to warm your heart.

Sugar Cookie Crust

4 tablespoons butter or margarine, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon rum extract or vanilla
1 cup flour
Powdered sugar for rolling out


Caramelized apples top this yummy snack.

Caramelized Apple Topping

1 lg. or 2 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch thick wedges
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Nonstick cooking spray

In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar. With a stout spoon, mix well together. It doesn’t have to be smooth and fluffy, just combined well. Mix in the egg and rum extract, then add the flour, mixing until well incorporated. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on a work surface, transfer cookie dough and knead for 30 seconds.

Roll out to about a 1/2-inch thick and the size that will fit an 8-9-inch nonstick, oven-safe skillet you will be using. If you don’t have a nonstick pan, a cast iron one will work just fine. Place rolled cookie dough on a sugar-dusted plate and put in refrigerator until needed.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375-degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in the 8-9-inch nonstick, oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. When melted, sprinkle both sugars over the butter evenly. Let cook until it becomes a light brown. Keep an eye on this because once it starts to brown, it can burn in a matter of seconds. (You think baked on lasagna is hard to clean?)

Lay apple wedges in a circular pattern. Reduce heat to medium and cook apples for 5 minutes. Carefully flip each apple wedge, continuing to cook while adding the desired amount of cinnamon and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Carefully place the sugar cookie dough over the apples, pricking the top of it for vents. Immediately put the skillet into the oven, bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until cookie starts to brown. Immediately remove from oven to rest for 1 minute, no longer!

Grab a plate, the same size or larger, and carefully invert your creation onto the plate. Spray a pizza cutter with nonstick cooking spray, or use a sharp, non-serrated knife that has been sprayed, and cut into wedges. Enjoy while warm or let it cool to form an amazingly crispy, sugary, caramelized crust all around.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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