There is really nothing like a cool, crisp apple in the fall. By the same token, a warm apple pie is not to be discounted. That said, I feel like I forget that there are so many other things that apples can do! This apple tart is a salty, sweet, buttery reminder of just that.
It’s the best parts of a caramel apple without all the sticky chin and gooey teeth. It’s like going to the fair without all the lines and the cow manure smell. Also, if you need more convincing, I think you could eat this for breakfast.
Have you ever made homemade caramel? I feel like I’ve been warned about caramel before. Isn’t it supposed to be really hard? For some reason I have an irrational fear of making it, but I went for it this time. It’s not that bad! (Granted, we’re not making actual caramel candies, which I think actually are difficult.) Don’t be afraid of caramel, it’s manageable, I promise.
For the tart:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 pound apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 4 large-6 small apples)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
For the caramel sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 generous pinch salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Start by peeling and coring the apples, then slice them as thin as you can. Then, roll out the sheet of puff pastry and use it to line the inside of a well-greased cookie sheet. If you have extra pieces from trimming, you should by no means bake them with sugar and cinnamon on top and eat them straight off the cookie sheet. Don’t do that. After you get the puff pastry in the pan, poke some holes in it with a fork so that it doesn’t puff up. Now, arrange the apple slices in some sort of attractive way. Sprinkle the sugar and place the butter cubes on top.
Bake at 400 degrees F for around 30 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are brown and the apples are soft. When the tart still has about 10 minutes to go, start your caramel sauce. In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of sugar and let it brown. When it’s a good caramel color (~3 minutes), take it off the heat and put in the butter and the salt. When it’s melted, add the cream. Stir constantly, then put it back on the heat for about 3 more minutes. If it’s not loose enough, add a little water. It should be brush-able.
When the tart comes out of the oven, leave it on. Then, brush the caramel sauce over the apples and the crust (gently). Put the whole thing back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes or until the caramel is bubbly.
Cut the tart into squares and serve it warm with tea or coffee. Or whipped cream. Or vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!