Hay doesn’t elucidate to the reader the unusual name of these tarts. First, we thought perhaps it was an interesting Aussie moniker — maybe the name of the person who created the recipe. The image of Mrs. Cheat, a stout woman with a stern face, proved irresistible — but ill-founded. After making the tarts, it became clear the name refers to the shortcut of using store-bought puff pastry to cheat time a bit. The only caution we’d add to the note below is to buy the very best quality puff pastry you can afford. It makes all the difference in the final presentation and taste.—David Leite
1 1/2 sheets ready-prepared puff pastry (see Note)
2 ounces butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
3 apples, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).
2. Brush the pastry sheets with the butter and cut into six pieces. Press into six 1-cup-capacity greased muffin tins, discarding the excess pastry. Sprinkle with the sugar.
3. Combine the apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice and divide between the pastry cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until the apples are soft and the pastry is golden and crisp.
4. Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream.
Note: Because it is so time-consuming to make, many cooks choose to use ready-prepared puff pastry. It can be ordered in advance from patisseries in blocks or bought from the supermarket in both block and sheet forms. If buying sheets of puff pastry, you may need to layer several to get the desired thickness.
Recipe © 2004 Lori Longbotham. All rights reserved.