Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Parisian Caramel Apple Tartlets

This week's Tuesdays With Dorie baking challenge was Dorie's Parisian Apple Tartlets, chosen by Jessica of My Baking Heart. You really can't go wrong with a pastry made with layers upon layers of butter... and anything topping such a pastry is bound to be delicious. Such is the case as these tarts. Aside from apples, you could make this with pears, peaches, mangoes, pretty much any kind of fruit your heart desires. Be sure to check out how fellow TWD bakers did with this recipe!

Parisian Apple Tartlets involves using puff pastry cut into a circle and topping it with 4 chunks of apple. Bits of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar grace the apples before baking. The result is a buttery tart with apple in every bite. This is such a great dessert that requires no time at all, and is elegant for any dinner party.

I stuck with the recipe and used apples for the tarts, but topped it with a buttery caramel sauce and some chopped walnuts for more texture. Here's the recipe I used for my caramel sauce:

Caramel Sauce
recipe from Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. Don't worry - the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.