‘Tis the season for holiday cocktail parties, in-law’s you wish you could ignore, and unannounced guests as they drop off presents or holiday cards they forgot to put in the mail. No matter what the occasion or who they are, chances are high that they’ll be expecting some sort of sustenance.
Hosting people throughout the holidays doesn’t has to be stressful—keep some staples in your refrigerator (I’m looking at you cheese and wine), and have at least one impressive appetizer recipe in your wheelhouse and you’ll survive. The apple and thyme tart recipe I’m sharing with you today is perfect for cocktail parties or drop in house guests.
Delicious at room temperature or warm from the oven, this apple and thyme tart is the perfect addition to any charcuterie board alongside your favorite meats and exceptional French cheeses and wines. While I typically serve wines from the Central Coast to house guests, there’s one thing that French winemakers have on their side: consistency. White Burgundy (Chardonnay or white blends), red Burgundy (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot), and Beaujolais (Gamay Noir, which is very similar to Pinot Noir) are crowd-pleasing wines that would also make for exceptional gifts for difficult to buy for loved ones or bosses.
Aside from the wine, the best way to build an outstanding charcuterie board is by selecting quality cheeses to serve to guests. Available at most grocery stores or cheese markets, Ile de France produces some of the tastiest cheeses, and as a wine enthusiast, it’s one of my favorite brands of cheese to have on hand for holiday house guests. Serve them with your preferred crackers of choice, or a fresh baguette, fresh and dried fruits and some cured meats and you’re likely to have some very happy guests. Just remember to allow your cheeses to come to room temperature so your guests aren’t struggling to cut cold cheeses that won’t easily spread over crackers or bread.
Another way to have happy house guests (that won’t stay for hours upon hours) is to serve them this apple and thyme tart alongside the yummy cheeses and wines. Like my go-to baked brie, or butternut squash tart, this tart also uses frozen puff pastry, which saves you time in the kitchen. The most time consuming part of this recipe is waiting for the onions to caramelize, but like so many recipes worth repeating, the topping can be made the night before so all you need to do the day of is wait for the puff pastry to thaw so you can slice it in eye-catching diamond shapes. Aside from the apples, thyme and onions, there’s freshly grated honey goat cheese in the mixture for flavors guests can’t stop eating. (You can also use Gruyere for a nuttier flavor). Since this tart is best served at room temperature, bake it in the morning and have it ready to slide onto your charcuterie board once guests begin to arrive.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 medium, peeled, thinly sliced yellow onions
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound, peeled and thinly sliced granny smith apples
- generous pinch granulated sugar
- 2 ounces, shredded honey goat cheese
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 package, thawed frozen puff pastry
- 1, beaten with 2 tablespoons water large egg
- to taste salt and freshly ground pepper