French Apple Tarts
Contributed by: News Canada
Apple Facts And Food For Thought
(NC) - Apples are rich in pectin, a form of soluble fibre that is known to help reduce the levels of blood cholesterol and aid in digestion. Flavonoids found in apples, such as quercetin, help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and gout.
Ontario apples are proud supporters of the "5 to 10 a day - For better health" Program. During the month of April for every Ontario apple that is purchased at Loblaws, Sobey's and A&P stores across the province of Ontario, a certain portion of the sales of these apples are contributed to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. The Ontario apple industry is pleased to support these two important charities in their fight against cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Apples are considered "Nature's Toothbrush". When you bite into an apple, not only does the flesh clean your teeth, but it exercises your gums too. Apples increase saliva and reduce cavity-causing bacteria.
French researchers reported at the American Association for Cancer Research that eating apples may help reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by reducing the growth of precancerous lesions in the colon. Procyanidins (commonly known as "condensed tannins") are plant-generated compounds found in high concentration in apples and apple foods. It was these which reduced the number of pre-cancerous lesions in laboratory studies by nearly 50 percent. Researchers hope that with further testing and study they will find a way to use procyanidins to help cure existing cases of colon cancer.
(Abstract of researcher presentation can be viewed online at http://www.aacr.org/ 2004prevention.asp)
A recent study from Cornell University suggest that apples may provide food for thought - literally, by protecting the brain from oxidative damage that causes neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's. Eating an apple a day "may reduce risk of chronic diseases including AD", researchers concluded in their report following their laboratory study. The protective effect seems to be attributable to the apple phytonutrient quercetin. Quercetin is found most abundantly in apples and may provide a range of health benefits.
(Source: Journal of Food Science, 2004; vol.69, no.9 and Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2004, vol. 52, no. 24)
Apples glazed with apricot jam and brandy on a puff pastry base - easy to prepare and elegant to serve.
- 1 pkg (397 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed 1
- 4 large Ontario apples, peeled and sliced (such as Empire, Cortland, Crispin, Golden Delicious, Idared, Northern Spy, Spartan) 4
- 1 tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar 30 mL
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon 2 mL
- 1/4 cup apricot jam or orange marmalade 50 mL
- 2 tsp apricot brandy or orange liqueur 10 mL
On lightly floured surface roll out half of puff pastry dough into a 9-inch (23 cm) square.
Cut dough into four 4-1/2 inch (11.5 cm) squares; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. In large bowl toss apple slices with lemon juice. In small bowl, combine 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the sugar and cinnamon; stir into apples. Lay apple slices on pastry, overlapping slightly.
Bake in a 400 F (200 C) oven for 15 minutes; sprinkle remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar over apples. Return tarts to oven and bake about 10 minutes longer or until pastry is puffed and golden.
In small bowl, combine apricot jam and brandy (or orange marmalade and liqueur); brush glaze over warm tarts. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serving Size: Makes 8 Tarts