Avalon, the Isle of Apples, is said to be King Arthur’s final resting place. It’s described as a beautiful, ethereal, magical place…so of course I wanted to include it in our King Arthur menu! This savory tribute to Avalon’s namesake fruit is filled with sweet gala apples, butternut squash, and pearl onions topped with blue cheese. The rustic style and hearty flavors combine to make a side dish reminiscent of Arthur’s grand medieval feasts.
P.S. The original recipe can be found at foodnetwork.com.
Medieval Avalon Apple Tart
“The island of apples which men call ‘The Fortunate Isle’ gets its name from the fact that it produces all things of itself; the fields there have no need of the ploughs of the farmers…Of its own accord it produces grain and grapes, and apple trees grow in its woods from the close-clipped grass…There nine sisters rule by a pleasing set of laws those who come to them from our country.”
— Vita Merlini
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- pinch salt
- 1 stick cold, unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 small Gala apple
- 1 small butternut squash (approx. 1/2 lb)
- 4 oz pearl onions or one small white onion
- 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp of each)
- 1/3 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese
Makes 1 10-inch tart
- Dice the stick of cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes. And the flour and salt to a food processor and pulse to combine. And the butter and pulse 10 times or until the mixture has a coarse texture similar to cornmeal. Crack your egg into a small bowl and whisk it lightly with a fork. Add it to the processor and pulse 3-4 more times. Add 1 tsp of water and pulse a few times to combine. Take a little bit of the mix into your palm and press it together. It should still be a little crumbly, but not SUPER crumbly (you should be able to get all the bits together into one solid piece). If it’s still too dry, crumble it back into the processor and pulse in 1 more tsp of cold water. I found that mine needed the extra tsp.
- Pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together into a ball, pressing gently as you go. Flatten the ball out a little to make a hockey puck-sized disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for 25 minutes or until firm (but not frozen).
- While you wait for the dough, core your apple and slice it into 8 wedges, keeping the skin on. Cut the bottoms off your pearl onions and cut them in half, removing the skin. Cut your butternut squash into wedges about the same size as your apple wedges (leave the skin on for this one too). Add them all together in a large bowl and toss them with the melted butter, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Preheat your oven to 400°. While the oven heats up, roll out your dough on a floured surface until it makes a circle about 12 inches across. Move the dough to an ungreased baking sheet.
- Starting 2 inches from the edge of the dough, alternate adding pieces of squash, apple, and onion in concentric circles until you reach the center of the dough. Casually fold and pleat the edges of the dough over the outermost portion of the filling. Fill any gaps in the filling with extra pieces of apple, squash, or onion.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and the filling is tender. Sprinkle on your cheese and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is warmed through.
- Serve to King Arthur when he arrives at the mystical Isle of Avalon. 🙂