Nope, I did not inject pink food coloring into those apples. And no, that is not bologna on puff pastry. Those are pink pearl apples gracing the top of flaky pâte feuilletée!


Tarte fine is just what it sounds like: fine tart. It is made with puff pastry and thin layers of fruit spiraling around the top. The pink pearl apples I bought from Dave Hale, owner of the famous Hale’s Apple Farm in Sebastopol, California.


Dave sells his apples (in person) at the Palo Alto farmer’s market on Saturdays and the Marin Civic Center Market on Thursdays and Sundays. If you want to keep him on your sweet side then bring by samples of your apple creations. He really enjoys seeing what people do with his produce and he carries many varieties of apples, not just the pink pearls.


I made a video on how to make puff pastry a few years ago with my friend Tselani who writes the popular blog Chez Tse. Check it out if you want a few laughs along with your pastry lesson. It was a very hot day and we polished off a bottle of champagne before filming. Moral of the story? If we can make puff pastry inebriated in 100˚F weather, then so can anyone!


My Dad says this apple tart needs a scoop of soft vanilla ice cream to go alongside. I think he’s just looking for excuses to polish of the Ben & Jerry’s. And he keeps insisting that he needs another slice to see if he “really likes it”. Excuses, excuses. (sigh)

Dave Hale’s Apple Ranch 1526 Gravenstein Hwy North in Sebastopol. About 1 mile north of the city limits on State Hwy 116 (Gravenstein Hwy); open daily 9 to 5 during apple season. Phone 707-823-4613



Tarte Fine Aux Pommes (With Pink Pearl Apples)


  • 500 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 10g salt
  • 250g water
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 300g "dry" unslated butter for the "turns" or European style butter like Plugra
  • 5 large pink pearl apples peeled, cored, and quartered and sliced very fine

Watch video! In a bowl put sifted flour and salt and whisk to evenly distribute. Make a well and pour in water and melted butter and mix quickly to form a ball. Knead dough on marble or in bowl until it has a smooth surface. Rest dough for 10 minutes in refrigerator covered with saran wrap before starting pastry turns.

Dust workspace with flour. Put dough ball on surface and make a cross with a slight lump in the middle by rolling out the edges. Place butter in a square on top of mound and fold flaps over it like an envelope. With a rolling pin, press down in an "X" on top of envelope.

Roll out dough carefully the length and width of the rolling pin. Fold in thirds. Turn dough towards you like a book. Repeat the process: roll out dough the length of rolling pin and fold in thirds. Cover with parchment paper and chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Take dough out of fridge and repeat turns twice to complete the 3rd and 4th pastry turn. Chill again for 10 minutes.

Take dough out again and finish 5th and 6th pastry turn. Roll out 1/8" and place on baking sheet. Trim edges to fit the sheet. With the tines of a fork prick dough all over so it doesn't rise too much. Sometimes I place a second baking sheet on top of the dough to keep it from puffing up too much. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove puff pastry from oven and cut into a circle using a cake pan to guide the knife. Layer apples in a fan in coencentric circles. Generously brush melted butter over the top and sprinkle sugar over. Bake until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes more. If desired you can repeat the melted butter, and sugar sprinkle over the top for extra caramel.

Cook's Notes: dry butter is butter made from cow's milk in the Winter. It has a high fat content due to the change of diet from grass to grain. It doesn't melt as quickly as normal butter which is why pastry chef's prefer it. Regular butter works too, but the European styles often have a higher fat content.