With crisp apples in abundance, it’s time for my take on the classic French apple tart: a spectacular salted caramel apple tart. Envision thinly sliced apples nestled in salted caramel sauce, tucked between two flaky layers of all-butter pastry. Butter, sugar, and heat make magic as the tart bakes until golden and bubbly, with perfectly tender apple slices.
Topped with a golden lattice (my nod to the classic apple pie), this tart is a must bake after a fall weekend of apple picking or for your Thanksgiving table. Serve slices with a drizzle of caramel sauce and scoops of vanilla ice cream for fall apple bliss!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5-6 medium to large baking apples, cored and very thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 tsp sugar
- For the crust, combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add cubed butter and process for 10 seconds, just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the food processor running, add 1/4 cup ice water in a steady stream through feed tube. If needed, add additional ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and process just until dough holds together in large clumps (no more than 30 seconds). Divide dough into two equal portions. Wrap each portion in plastic and flatten slightly to form a disc. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days, or place in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month).
- While the pastry chills, make the salted caramel sauce. Cook sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula. Continue cooking until sugar forms clumps and melts into a light amber colored liquid, about 4-5 minutes. Once the sugar is completely melted, carefully add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until incorporated. Slowly drizzle in heavy cream while whisking constantly. Let mixture boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl. Stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool to room temperature, then chill until ready to use.
- Spray a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan lightly with nonstick spray. Place one disc of dough on a floured board and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough (roll dough in one direction, then lift up dough and rotate a quarter turn and roll, then repeat) until dough is a 12 to 13-inch circle. If dough starts to stick, use a bench scraper to lift dough from board. Transfer dough to prepared tart pan, lightly pressing down into the bottom and sides of the pan. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough, and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Repeat the rolling process with the second disc of dough. Use a pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut dough into 1 1/2-inch strips for the lattice top.
- To assemble the tart, spread about 1/2 to 2/3 cup salted caramel sauce into the chilled tart shell (enough to evenly coat the bottom; you should have leftover caramel sauce for serving). Add sliced apples to the tart pan, arranging tightly together. Brush apples with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Arrange dough strips over the top in a lattice pattern and run the rolling pin over the top of the pan to seal the edges and remove the excess dough. Chill assembled tart in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and place a rimmed baking sheet in the middle of the oven. Brush lattice with cream and sprinkle with sugar; place tart on preheated baking sheet and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, until pastry is golden and juices bubbling. Cool tart on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving with remaining salted caramel sauce.
Salted caramel sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. Before using, warm sauce briefly in the microwave and stir until smooth, then let cool to room temperature before using. Store extra caramel sauce covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Keywords: Salted Caramel, Apple, Tart