Norm and I had the opportunity to meet chef Steven Zimmerman at the SHERATON CRESCENT HOTEL in Phoenix. Originally from St. Louis, Chef Zimmerman is an award winning, classically trained, certified executive chef with more than 21 years of hands-on experience.

With a commitment to using the freshest ingredients, he embraces the farm-to- table concept and has a passion for creating high quality, nutritious and exquisite foods. He artfully blends creativity and passion into his culinary creations resulting in delicious masterpieces.

His professional experience has allowed him the opportunity to earn top honors at numerous culinary shows, as well as the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. Chef Zimmerman joined the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in 2012 after working at several top restaurants and resorts across the US.

Chef  Zimmerman likes to teach, so he is preparing his popular Apple Tart Indigo Recipe. This recipe provides step-by-step instructions for succeeding at this creation. Whereas it takes the chef 45 minutes, I would allow a hour to an hour and a quarter. Of course if you don’t want to go through all the work, you can taste this at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel.

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Apple Tart Indigo from Chef Steven Zimmerman Photo: Maralyn D. Hill


By: Executive Chef Steven Zimmerman, Sheraton Crescent 


Apple Tart Indigo Ingredients and Steps:

  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  1. Sugar dough (see recipe)
  2. Frangipane (see recipe)
  3. Crisp topping (see recipe)
  4. Apple paint (see recipe)
  5. Apple garnish (see recipe)



Sugar Dough Ingredients:

  • ½ pound butter
  • 5 ounces sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10 ounces flour


Sugar Dough Preparation:

  1. Blend sugar and butter; do not cream.
  2. Add flour, incorporate completely. Add flour and mix for 2 minutes.
  3. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Quickly roll out dough on floured bench to ¼-inch thick.
  5. Line 3-inch tart rings with dough.
  6. Place in refrigerator for half an hour.



Frangipane Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces whole butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 each whole eggs
  • 2 each egg yolks
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour


Frangipane Preparation:

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  2. Slowly add eggs and yolks, scraping the bowl.
  3. Add the almond extract.
  4. Mix almond meal and flour together. Add this to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth.


Crisp Topping Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces all purpose flour
  • 4 ounces brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 ounces whole butter, cold and cubed
  • 3 ounces macadamia nuts, chopped


Crisp Topping Preparation:

  1. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Add butter and mix with your hands until it resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add nuts and mix just to combine



Apple Paint and Garnish Ingredients:

  • 1 gala apple
  • 6 gala apples peeled and julienned
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 cup grenadine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


Apple Paint and Garnish Preparation:

  1. Peel the apples and reserve skins.
  2. Slice the apples and toss with lemon juice. Once the apple is coated with the juice, you can place in a small container and cover with water. Apples should not brown and will hold for about 4 hours. Use for tarts.
  3. In a small sauce pot, add apple peels, grenadine, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Reduce to a syrup and then puree in a blender.
  4. Slice gala apple vertically on mandolin 1/16-inch thinly.
  5. Dip into simple syrup and place on a sprayed lightly oiled sheet pan. Place in a 150 degree oven on low fan over night.



Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President

Editor-at-Large, CityRoom

Freelance Lifestyle Journalist

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing

Follow me: @maralynhill