This past weekend I fully gave in to my love of all things fall: hot apple cider, apples, tea, leaves, sweaters, scarves, farmers markets, and pumpkin (but not the ultimate fall cliche: pumpkin spice lattes). I spent the weekend back in Ithaca, and it was glorious. I made pumpkin waffles, spent some time out in nature, went on multiple trips to Gimme Coffee, and spent way too much time/money at Wegmans. I also did a little baking while I was home (because how could I NOT take advantage of my parents’ huge kitchen with abundant natural light), and made this tart from Fine Cooking, minus the pears.
This tart was salty-sweet; the cardamom in the filling, as well as the hazelnut in the crust, add some warmth. It is easy-ish to make (a little bit time consuming but not terrible), and tastes SO good served warm with vanilla ice cream. It’s like fancy apple pie for your fancy fall self.
Salted Caramel Apple Tart
For the Dough:
- 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 C hazelnut meal (I think almond meal would also work well here)
- 1/4 C granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 C cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 5 T ice water
- Cooking spray
For the Caramel:
- 1/2 granulated sugar
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 T water
- 3 T heavy cream, warmed
- 5 apples (I used whatever I could find at my local farmers market, but the original recipe suggests Fuji) peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 T all-purpose flour
- 1/4 t ground cardamom
- Pinch salt
- 1 T unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 T heavy cream
- 1 T water
- Turbinado sugar
Make the Dough
In a food processor, combine flour, hazelnut meal, sugar, and salt, and mix until just combined. Add cold butter and pulse until the largest pieces are about the size of peas. Slowly add the water and mix until the dough forms a rough ball. Split the dough in half and shape into 6″ disks, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge, for at least 1 hour but up to 1 day.
Make the Caramel
In a saucepan combine the sugar, salt, butter, and water. Cook over medium high heat until the butter is melted and all of the ingredients are incorporated. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer gently, swirling the pan occasionally, until the caramel starts to turn a deep golden brown–but don’t go too far! I totally burnt my first batch. Happens to me almost every time. Take the caramel off of the heat and slowly pour in the warm cream, stirring to combine. Return to low heat and stir for about a minute, then set aside to cool.
Roll out the Dough
Set out the dough to warm up for about 5-10 minutes. Grease a 9-9 1/2″ removable bottom tart pan. Flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll the first dough into a 10″ round, then roll onto rolling pin and transfer to the tart pan, pressing down into the bottom without stretching it. Use the rolling pin to cut off the excess dough (save it for delicious goodies!) Return to the fridge for 30 minutes to set while you assemble the tart.
Roll out the second round of dough into a 12″ round and cut into 7 1″ strips. Set on a plate in the fridge until ready to use.
Assemble the Tart
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a cookie sheet in the oven. Toss the apples, flour, salt, and cardamom together in a large bowl, then place in an even layer in the tart shell. Drizzle the caramel over the fruit (you might have to warm it on the stove briefly to soften it a bit), then place 3 pastry strips across the top, pressing into the tart edges to make a seal. Place four strips along the top at a 45 degree angle to the first three, making a nice lattice.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg, water, and cream. Brush over top of the exposed pastry, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar (which I didn’t have, so I just used regular granulated, which isn’t as pretty). Place dots of butter in the spaces of the lattice.
Bake for 40-45 minutes on the cookie sheet, or until deep golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool completely at room temperature. Enjoy warmed with ice cream, or just room temperature with ice cream, or without ice cream. Whatever works for you.