Friday, November 2, 2012
Apple Tart With Salted Caramel
One of my favorite food blogs is Smitten Kitchen. She has wonderful recipes with marvelous photographs. We had recently been to a local orchard and picked up quite a few apples. I have some of the fruit trees they sell growing in our own wee orchard, so maybe someday I won't have to travel over the winding roads to see them. In the meantime, I needed a recipe for the apples.
Off to smittenkitchen.com She is selling a recipe book. I may just have to get me one of those! OOH! Apple Mosaic Tart made with a frozen pastry. Salted caramel? I'm in. I have a frozen puff pastry in my freezer calling my name! I don't call my tart "Mosaic" as I am not the food artist she is. But mine turned out darn good if I say so. If I can do this so can you.
Apple Tart with Salted Caramel
1 frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
3 or 4 large apples. I used 3 1/2 Granny Smiths. They are nice and tart and hold together for baking. I scarfed down the other half while cooking!
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon butter, cut into tiny pieces.
For the Glaze
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt (I didn't have any so I used table salt. Use about 1/8 teaspoon.
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
Heat oven to 400. Place some parchment on a large jelly roll pan. Learn from my mistake and don't use your Silpat for this. The parchment makes it easy to pick up the finished tart and transfer to a cutting board. You don't want to cut on your expensive Silpat! I was very careful and didn't cut it, but still! I forgot and put it on the Silpat and then had to transfer it to the parchment. A big pain, so do what I say, not what I do.
There are two pastry pieces in the package. Overlap them a bit and press them together. SK rolled hers out to fit the pan, but I left them as I found them! It will be a bit long to fit in the 16 inch jelly roll pan.
I had to trim a bit of the tart to make it fit. I took SK's advise and sprinkled the bits with sugar and cinnamon and baked them along with the tart.
Peel the apples and then cut them in half, down through the stem. I used a melon baller to cut out the core. I have a mandoline so I used that to slice the apples thinly and evenly. If they are different thicknesses, they won't all cook evenly.
Remember to fix the mandoline so that you don't cut the apples in matchsticks! Or do that and then eat them like I did. You want them cut about 1/16 inch. Then fan the slices out around the edge. Start in one corner and overlap them all the way around. Then do the next circle inside and overlapping the last. Do something artful and fabulous when you get to the center. Or just do as I did and pile them neatly.
Sprinkle the apples with the sugar and dot them with the butter.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Sometimes the puff pastry will, well, puff. Poke it with the point of a paring knife and it will deflate.
Set the timer for 20 minutes and then start the glaze. Then reset the timer for the next 10 minutes the tart has to cook. In a small saucepan over medium high heat melt the 1/4 cup of sugar. Mine started to burn on the bottom before it was all melted. You don't want to stir it, so swirl it to get the melted part on top of the white sugar so it will all melt and then turn a golden brown. This takes about 4 minutes.
Take it off the heat and add the salt and the butter. Mix it well and then add the cream. Cook on medium heat until the cream is all mixed in. Don't cook for more than a couple of minutes. Set it aside. You may have to reheat it a bit if it starts to set up.
After the tart is done, remove it to a cooling rack. Don't turn off the oven. It will go back in for a bit.
Gently brush the caramel over all the apples and around the edges of the pastry. The apples will be soft, so you have to take care not to disturb them. I flipped one over and used a fork to replace it. If there is a bit left in the pan, you can use it on the bit of apple you have left. All this work makes one hungry.
Return the tart to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the glaze bubbles. Let it cool on the rack. Then lift the edges of the parchment paper and move it to a large cutting board. Cut into squares. Serve plain or with ice cream. I was going to use ice cream, but the cat ate it and forgot to put it on the list. So I used Cool Whip.