Caramel Apple Tart

1 Sep

 All the kids are home for the long Labor Day weekend and that calls for a massive amount of home cooking!  I prepared a pot roast with potatoes, carrots, etc.  for dinner and wanted a special dessert to top if off.  This one sure did!  These individual tarts have a shortbread crust filled with vanilla ice cream, then topped with warm caramelized apples, sweet and salty toasted pecans and homemade caramel topping.  Though it sounds complicated, it’s not, and it’s well worth the time!

Ingredients:

Tart Shell:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups butter, cubed

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

Apple Topping:

2 Tablespoons butter

2 cups peeled and diced Gala apples

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons bourbon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla-which works just fine)

Sweet/Salty Pecans:

1/2 cup pecan halves

2 Tablespoons sugar

salt to taste

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 stick butter (not margarine)

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup honey

 

2 pints vanilla ice cream

Directions:

Place the 2 Tablespoons butter, 2 cups peeled diced apple, and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar in a non-stick skillet.

Cook, stirring often until the apples are tender and the brown sugar is caramelized (it will thicken).

When apples are done, stir in the 2 Tablespoons bourbon (if using) or 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Set aside to cool.

While apples are cooking, prepare the shortbread crust.  Place the flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Add the cubed butter.

Pulse 10-15 times until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and on the sides of 8 individual tart pans.  I patted it in fairly thick, so that when they are baked, you can easily lift them out of the little pans once they’re cooled.

Place the crust-filled pans on a baking sheet.  Bake until lightly browned (about 15 minutes or so).  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

For the pecan topping, pour 1/2 cup pecan halves into a non-stick skillet.  Sprinkle them with salt (about the amount you would sprinkle on popcorn) and add 2 Tablespoons sugar.

Heat on medium until the sugar begins to melt.  Once it starts to melt, you’ll have to stir constantly until the pecans are coated and all the sugar is dissolved.

Pour out onto wax paper or parchment to cool.

If you want to make the homemade caramel sauce (which is super easy) then place the brown sugar, butter,  whipping cream and  honey in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Once it starts boiling, continue to boil for two minutes, then remove from heat.  Cool for a few minutes before serving.  It will thicken as it cools.  Store unused sauce in a container with a lid in the refrigerator.

To assemble the individual tarts, top each crust with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, spoon some cooked apples and sauce over ice cream, drizzle with caramel topping, and top with sugared pecans.  Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Caramel Apple Tart”

  1. madamecroquette September 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

    YUMMMMMMM.com. That looks so dangerously good.

  2. Leslie September 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    This looks like the perfect dessert for this time of year! Delicious fall flavors! Hope you guys have a fun Labor Day!
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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