Savory Apple Tarts

Savory Bites Apple Tarts
  • Yield: 12 pieces
  • Prep: 35 minutes
  • Cook: 40-45 minutes

"Savory, slightly sweet, a little tangy, these tarts combine the best of fall's bounty. They're like a dream-come-true version of a classic American apple pie, but transformed into a savory tart that is baked in your cupcake pan. Don't worry if your tarts don't look perfect: that's one of the charms of these bites." — Hollis Wilder, author of Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make In Your Cupcake Pan


Apple Filling:
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved and cored
2tablespoons walnut oil
1/2 large shallot, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3cup cup packed light brown sugar
1/4teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Cheddar Walnut Topping:
1 1/2cups grated sharp white Cheddar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar (or granulated brown sugar)
1/2cup finely chopped walnuts
2tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4cup whole-wheat flour
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
1 (15-ounce) package ready-made pie dough (2 rounds) at room temperature
2tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped OR 1 scant tablespoon dried rosemary, finely ground but not powdered


Make Ahead: The apple filling can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed. It will last for up to 1 week. The tarts can also be assembled 1 day in advance and baked the following day.

  1. To prepare the filling: Cut each apple half into 6 wedges, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the walnut oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and shallot and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook the apple mixture, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the brown sugar and nutmeg, stirring to coat. Let the mixture cool, allowing time for the juices in the pan to macerate the filling, about 20 minutes.
  4. To prepare the topping: In a small bowl, combine the cheddar, sugar, and walnuts. Mix in the butter, then incorporate the flour just until combined.
  5. To assemble: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  6. Unroll the pie dough onto a flat work surface; no need to flour it first. Evenly sprinkle half of the rosemary onto each of the rounds, pressing the rosemary gently into the dough. Cut each round in half, and then cut each half into even thirds for a total of 12 pieces. Working quickly, place on piece of dough, rosemary side down, in each well of the prepared pan, letting the edges of the dough overhang the pan.
  7. Fill each well with a heaping 1/4 cup of the apple mixture. If you have any left over, go back and add it to the wells. (Do not press down.) Top each tart with 1/4 cup of the walnut topping, then gently fold in the excess dough; don’t press down to seal—just keep this loose.
  8. You will now see why the rosemary was sprinkled on the outside of the dough: It is revealed here on the fold over and will add another dimension—the scent of rosemary—when you remove the tarts from the pan.

Reprinted with permission from Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2013).