Apple Tart with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

If you want to make something easy that looks like it took a lot of work, look no further.  This is literally frozen puff pastry dough topped with sliced apples tossed with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  I made the cinnamon caramel sauce myself, but you could just as easily buy caramel sauce and add cinnamon to a portion of it for drizzling on top of the tart.  If you’re not super confident in your baking skills and want to start with just one recipe from this blog, try this one!  I borrowed this recipe from Little Dairy on the Prairie and embellished it, but there’s a reason the original has been viewed almost 80,000 times in about a year and a half.  Seriously – this is easy.  Don’t sweat it, you got this.

A scoop of ice cream on top of this would make this just heaven, but the fact that I didn’t have any on hand is part of the reason that I decided to make the cinnamon caramel sauce.  I was a bit nervous, honestly, because the last time I tried to make caramel (for my Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting), it didn’t go so hot.  That was the first time I’d ever tried to make it, and my caramel separated and we ended up throwing the leftover sauce out.  This time, though, I was luckier!  Just goes to show that if you try and don’t succeed, try, try again.  We’ve got some leftover sauce this time, too, and I can tell you without shame that I’ve already had a few drive-by spoonfuls while transiting the kitchen…

Yield:  9 servings        Total Time:  55 minutes (40 active)

Tart 3

Ingredients

Apple Tart
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 medium sized baking apples, I used Fuji
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. butter
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice

Cinnamon caramel sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or plain kefir, which was all I had on hand, also works)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Tart 1

Directions

  • Thaw one sheet of puff pastry for 20-30 minutes and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Meanwhile, peel and slice the apples into even pieces.  Toss with the lemon juice and brown sugar.  Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl and mix in the cinnamon.  Add to the apples and toss together.
  • On a parchment lined baking sheet, unfold the puff pastry.  Score a ½ inch border all around the pastry with a knife.  You don’t want to cut all the way through, just draw a border a few millimeters deep.  Brush the pastry, inside the border, with beaten egg.
  • Arrange the apples over the puff pastry in your pattern of choice, making sure to keep them inside the scored border.  Pour any remaining brown sugar mixture over the apples.

Tart 2

  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the pastry is golden brown.
  • While the tart is baking, make the cinnamon caramel sauce.  Note: making caramel is something that needs your undivided attention, so don’t walk away from the pan at any point and make sure you have all your ingredients gathered before starting so that you’re not distracted.  Leaving the caramel alone at any point can cause it to burn.
  • Put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pan.  Make sure the sides of the pot come up a little bit (that it’s not a shallow pan) because it will boil up when you add the cream later.
  • Place the pan over medium-low heat.  Cook the sugar, stirring often (but being careful not to spread the sugar up the sides of the pan too much).  After about 7-12 minutes, it will become a little bit liquidy, form clumps, then finally melt into a light amber liquid.  Keep stirring until the liquid is amber in color.
  • Once the liquid turns amber, add the butter and stir until it’s melted.  Add half of the heavy whipping cream/kefir, stir, then add the rest.  It will bubble up as you add it to the mixture.  Turn off the heat and then stir in the cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth (you may need to whisk it to get it smooth).
  • Pour the caramel carefully into a jar and let cool – it will thicken as it cools.  Once the tart comes out of the over, drizzle your preferred amount of cinnamon caramel sauce over the top.  Cover the unused sauce and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Let the tart cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Tart 5

Tart 4

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