It’s already December and fall is drawing to a close. Christmas is only a few weeks away and people are starting to think about their menus for the holidays. I usually like to serve a couple of options at Christmas, typically an apple pie and maybe another kind of rustic fruit dessert (although last year I admit to serving lemon and chocolate tarts that I purchased). There is nothing wrong with a basic apple pie but for a special occasion, why not serve something a bit fancier? An apple-caramel tart looks impressive and tastes delicious. There are a number of components to the recipe but none are difficult if you take it step by step. The end result will wow your guests – you may never go back to making regular apple pie again!
The caramel can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge. Re-heat slightly to soften after refrigeration.
Makes one 10″ tart
- ½ package of frozen puff pastry, thawed
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons whipping cream
Apple Spice Layer:
- 5 medium sized apples, such as McIntosh
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/8 cup flour
- 2 Tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll puff pastry out to fit a 10″ tart pan. Place pastry in pan and crimp edges. Place the pan in the fridge until ready to use.
To make caramel:
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water and heat on medium-high, whisking until sugar is dissolved.
- Heat mixture until it begins to turn medium brown, about 10 minutes. Swirl pan to stir mixture and watch very carefully as it can burn in seconds.
- Once the sugar mixture reaches the desired colour, remove immediately from the heat and add the butter, salt and whipping cream. Whisk together until combined.
- Caramel can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. It will get quite thick upon cooling so re-heat it before using.
Preparing the apples:
- Peel and core apples with an apple corer. Cut each apple in half lengthwise through the middle. Place the halves on a cutting board with the flat sides facing down. Cut into slices about 1/8″ thick.
- In a medium bowl, toss apple slices with cinnamon, sugar and flour until evenly coated with spice mixture. Assemble tart immediately (do not prepare apples in advance or they will turn brown).
To Assemble Tart:
- Spread caramel in an even layer on the uncooked puff pastry.
- Arrange apple slices in a spiral pattern around the tart, overlapping the slices slightly. Make sure the entire tart is covered with apple slices (see photo).
- Bake tart for about 50 minutes or until the pastry is beginning to brown around the edges. Remove tart from oven.
- Mix apricot jam with butter and heat in a saucepan or the microwave until melted and bubbling. Using a pastry brush, carefully brush apple slices with apricot mixture and return to the oven for another 7 to 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the pastry is browned along the edges.
- Slice and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!
This recipe first appeared on Suite 101.com