Apple, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Tart with Balsamic Reduction

Apple, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Tart with Balsamic Reduction
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About This Recipe

Ah, the warm summer breeze that wafts through the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley - there's truly nothing like it. As the golden sun begins to set, casting a serene hue over the landscape, one can't help but think of the flavors and dishes that resonate with the soul of wine country. And it's in these moments, as a Napa home chef, that my Apple, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Tart with a Balsamic Reduction was born. Infused with the authentic recipes and tastes of Napa, this dish reflects the delicate balance and robust flavors that are synonymous with our beloved valley.

When crafting this recipe, I was transported to the picturesque terrains of Cakebread Cellars and the refined aromas of their classic Chardonnay. With vibrant apple and citrus notes, it dances beautifully alongside the tart's apple component. And if you're a Pinot Noir enthusiast, a trip to the less-traveled corners of Sonoma brings you to Kosta Browne. Their Pinot Noir, with its red fruit brightness and earthy undertones, is a love letter to the Gorgonzola in our tart.

What truly elevates this tart from being just any recipes to an authentic Napa masterpiece is sourcing fresh ingredients. Farm to table recipe ethos runs deep in Napa, and one mustn't compromise on that. I recommend the Saturday Oxbow Public Market - a haven for fresh, local produce.

To make this dish a truly valley chef experience, think about the sides. A fresh arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette or roasted beets with goat cheese brings a delightful contrast. Need a sweet finish? Local honey-drizzled panna cotta or lavender-infused crème brûlée, sourced from bees buzzing around Napa's wildflowers, is an epitome of summer dessert nirvana.

Yet, our journey through this culinary wine country delight isn't complete without understanding Napa beyond the vineyards. Step into the rustic charm of Ehlers Estate. It's a hidden gem, often overlooked in the regular wine vineyard tours. With its 19th-century stone barn and organic vineyards, it offers a slice of Napa history intertwined with sumptuous wines.

With warm evenings on the horizon, this recipe becomes an embodiment of easy healthy dinners that can be whipped up to impress. And for those seeking restaurant wine vibes for chef meals at home, this dish is the answer. You don't need an extensive wine menu or the hustle of restaurant reservations; the charm of Napa can be distilled on your dinner plate.

Before I sign off, a quick dinner tip for all my readers: Napa's Mediterranean climate, its unique topography, and the proximity to the Pacific all come together in each bite of this tart. When you sit down to savor it, take a moment to appreciate the sensory journey - from the gentle crunch of walnuts echoing Napa's rugged terrain to the tang of Gorgonzola reminiscing of cool evening breezes.

Napa is not just about wine; it's about stories, traditions, and memories that shape every bite and sip. As a home chef and your local guide, my promise is to keep these traditions alive, one recipe at a time. And as you delve into this masterpiece, remember you're experiencing the real wine country, right from the heart of a valley chef. Cheers!

Hero Ingredient Spotlight: Gorgonzola Cheese

Gorgonzola is one of the world's oldest blue-veined cheeses. Originating from Italy, this cheese boasts a unique combination of creamy texture with a tangy kick. A perfect partner to the sweet apples in this tart, Gorgonzola's strong flavor profile contrasts beautifully with the subtle sweetness of the balsamic reduction. Rich in calcium and protein, this cheese not only brings flavor but also nutritional value to the dish. If you're looking for a cheese that embodies both sharpness and sophistication, Gorgonzola is your hero ingredient.

How to Perfectly Slice Apples for Your Tart

Getting those thin, consistent apple slices can elevate the overall texture and appearance of your tart. Here's how:

  1. Select the Right Apple: Choose firm apples like Fuji or Honeycrisp, known for their crisp texture and sweet taste.
  2. Use a Sharp Knife: Ensure your knife is sharp for clean cuts.
  3. Cut the Apple into Quarters: Remove the core from each quarter.
  4. Slice Thinly: Starting from the narrow end of the quarter, slice the apples thinly, aiming for uniform thickness to ensure even cooking.
  5. Prevent Browning: If not using immediately, toss the slices in a mixture of water and a bit of lemon juice to prevent oxidation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use a different type of cheese if I don't have Gorgonzola? Yes, if Gorgonzola isn't available, you can substitute it with blue cheese or feta. These cheeses offer a similar tangy taste.
  2. How do I store leftover tart? Store the leftover tart in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.
  3. Is there an alternative to walnuts? Absolutely! Pecans or almonds can be a great substitute for walnuts, offering a similar crunch and flavor profile.
  4. What if I have a nut allergy? If you have a nut allergy, you can omit the walnuts. Consider adding some crunchy vegetables like bell peppers or even some roasted pumpkin seeds for texture.
  5. Which tool is best for rolling out puff pastry? A rolling pin is ideal for evenly rolling out puff pastry. If you don’t have one, a wine bottle can be a makeshift tool.

Tips for Success

  1. Chill Your Pastry: Before rolling out, ensure the puff pastry is thawed yet still cold. This helps in getting a flaky texture once baked.
  2. Don't Overload with Toppings: As tempting as it might be, avoid adding too many toppings. Overloading can make the base soggy and prevent even cooking.
  3. Monitor the Balsamic Reduction: Keep a close eye on the balsamic reduction to prevent it from burning. Remember, it will thicken more as it cools, so aim for a syrup-like consistency when cooking.

Recipe Overview

Apple, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Tart with Balsamic Reduction
Lily Anderson
8 servings
Calories Per Serving:
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:

Ingredients List


  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (from a 17.3-ounce package)
  • 2 medium apples (like Fuji or Honeycrisp), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prep Pastry: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle approximately 10x14 inches. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Add Toppings: Arrange apple slices over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts over the apples. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bake: Place the tart in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples have softened.
  5. Balsamic Reduction: While the tart is baking, in a small saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey or brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by half and has a syrupy consistency.
  6. Serve: Once baked, remove the tart from the oven. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction before serving.

Share Your Results

Was it everything you dreamed it could be? Let me know how it turned out for you and share a picture on social media with the hashtag #LilyCooksNapa

Hello and welcome to Napa Home Chef! We're thrilled you're joining us to explore the vibrant world of wine country cooking. Our team has crafted bold, creative recipes inspired by Napa Valley's lush landscapes, bountiful harvests, and world-renowned wines. We hope you enjoy the journey with us!

Get ready to experience the rich flavors and unique culinary delights that embody the essence of wine country living. Happy cooking!

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