While traveling down the river by Point Pleasant, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Kanawha and the Ohio, chef Jeff created his delicious apple tarts with a surprise element for this particular crew. As a riverboat chef on the Hines Furlong Line, Sunday's are special and made for comfort food.
If you've heard of Point Pleasant, the town became famous by sightings of a Mothman that appeared in the area in 1966. Witnesses said the red-eyed creature had wings with pointed tips and long legs. In 1975, the creature inspired a book, "The Mothman Prophecies" which was later made into a movie starring Richard Gere. After half-a-century, the Mothman is still part of the folklore and celebrated at the annual Mothman Festival.
Of course, this story has nothing to do with the recipe. It was Jeff's wife Dawn that inspired the surprise hidden inside the apple tart. He said she always eats her apples with peanut butter or Nutella. What a wonderful treat for the crew inspired by his lovely wife as he floats down the Ohio River on a sunny afternoon.
4-6 large Granny Smith apples (cored, peeled and sliced)
1 box of puff pastry (thawed)
Cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cocoa powder
Apple pie seasoning (to taste)
Heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
Peanut butter chips
2 eggs (beaten with a splash of cold water)
Directions: For the apples, start a skillet over medium heat, add butter, then apples & toss to coat. Sprinkle with apple pie spice & add pinch of salt (salt brings out flavor in sweets too). When tender, set aside to cool (almost to or at least room temperature).
Prepare puff pastry by laying out each sheet then work the folds out to make two smooth sheets using a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Cut each sheet into four even squares giving you eight total squares. Spoon apples into the center of each square (dividing equally) & add half a dozen chips to each. Use pastry brush to lightly brush two sides of the pastry & fold corners to make a triangle. Pick up & gently pinch edges to seal.
Use a fork to crimp edges but a fluted pastry wheel would work as well. Lay on sheet pan & cut a slit or use fork to pierce top to let steam escape. When done, brush the eight tarts with remaining egg wash. Bake at 375° for 12 -15 mins until golden brown.
For glaze...in a bowl mix powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Slowly, add dairy (whisking constantly) to make a semi-thick glaze. With a sifter add cocoa powder & stir to incorporate. Note: if you like more cocoa, add a tsp. or two to taste (you may also omit & have a plain vanilla glaze if you choose).
After tarts have cooled for 15-20 minutes, put glaze into your favorite zip top bag & cut a tiny piece out of the corner to make a pastry bag (if you don’t have a pastry bag) pipe as you wish to decorate & finish with powdered sugar. Note : "The peanut butter chips are meant to be a surprise...more of a lagniappe like, Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. Enjoy! "