Astor Bake Shop
The fillings and toppings of this Apple Hazelnut Tart ($3.75) from Astor Bake Shop are the highlights. Meaty bite-sized bits of apples, tender and scented with cinnamon spice, meet a hazelnut crumble (which must be 90% butter) pockmarked with crushed and chopped hazelnuts. The best is when you bite into the occasional whole hazelnut, as the crumble literally melts in your mouth.
ChikaLicious Dessert Club
At ChikaLicious, the Butterscotch Chronic ($5.95) pairs green apple sorbet with butterscotch panna cotta and frosted pecans. The panna cotta, with a spoonful of brown sugar syrup dripping down the top, is incredibly velvety, thanks to a heavy hand of cream. It's the ideal foil to the tart and sweet green apple sorbet, one of my long-time menu favorites, which can also be ordered separately by the cup or pint.
Falai Panetteria offers two turnovers ($3), both of which are excellent. The magic is in the endless layers of butter-rich and flaky crust, but also in the filling. Fresh pears are covered with a gloss of molten dark chocolate, and tender apples are paired with cinnamon to make for a incredibly fragrant and light pastry. With a golden surface, and still-warm filling, come early enough for a fresh batch, and your morning is set.
Chausson aux pommes aren't found too easily in the city, but Balthazar Bakery makes an incredible one ($4.25), a ridiculously buttery yet texturally light and flaky wonder. Tender apples, just saucy enough and sweet with a suggestion of cinnamon. It's quite large in size, almost enough to share, but you won't have issues devouring this on your own.
Anarchy in a Jar
Anarchy in a Jar sure has a way with apples. The Apple Sass is embarrassingly easy to devour by the jar in one sitting. But they also make Boozy Apple Preserves, which never last more than a week in my kitchen. Boozy is no joke—the rum comes though as clear as the apples. The preserves are speckled in fat sweet currants, with the bold essence of cardamom and blood orange.