11/02/2011 05:03 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Puff Pastry

Gail Simmons shows you how to use foods you already have in your pantry to make easy, delicious recipes.

In this video, Gail shows viewers that there's no reason to make puff pastry dough from scratch at home -- the store-bought product is "as good as it gets." She demonstrates that this flaky dough can be used in both sweet and savory applications.

Think fancy desserts are outside your realm of expertise? Think again -- Gail's apple tart looks like it came out of a French Pâtisserie, but it's super easy to make in only 45 minutes. To prepare the ingredients for her tart, Gail grinds slivered almonds, cinnamon and sugar in a food processor, and then peels two apples using a regular vegetable peeler. She likes to use two different kinds of apples -- such as one Granny Smith and one Fuji -- for a mix of textures and flavors but the recipe also works well with just one variety. She quarters the apples and cuts them into really thin slices, and then prepares her pastry dough. After lining a sheet pan with parchment paper, Gail spreads out one sheet of the puff pastry and sprinkles the almond mixture over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Be generous, she says -- the almonds and cinnamon really lend a nice flavor to the apples once baked. She then layers the apples close together, overlapping the slices so that there are no gaps in between. Lastly, she uses a pastry brush to apply a lightly beaten egg onto the border of the dough and the apples, which will make the tart shiny when it comes out of the oven. For a final sweet touch, Gail sprinkles the remaining sugar over the entire tart, and bakes it at 375F degrees for about 20 minutes until it's golden brown.

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