Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Puff Pastry Apple Tartlets with Salted Caramel Sauce
I'm having my family over for Thanksgiving this year so I'm gearing up to do some major cooking and baking in the kitchen. I got my fridge stocked and ready to go. I'm just a little nervous. I've only cooked a turkey once in my life and that was years ago. It was the first time I hosted Thanksgiving. I had everything planned and the food was gonna be awesome. Well, it was almost awesome...I forgot to take the giblets out of the turkey. yeah.
So this year, for my own sanity, I'm gonna keep things simple. I'm not gonna try to do everything from scratch and if I have to cut corners to save time, I will. And the same goes for dessert. I decided to make these mouthwatering puff pastry apple tartlets with salted caramel sauce. They look so elegant but they're pretty simple to make. I just love biting into the crunchy, sugary puff pastry and then sinking my teeth into the caramel apple and lemony cream cheese filling. When Hubby tried these for the first time, he immediately declared them his favorite dessert :-)
I think these will work well for Thanksgiving because they're quicker to make (and bake) than the traditional apple pie. They're already portioned so I don't have to cut and serve. I can also make the salted caramel sauce a day or two in advance so I don't have to watch for the sugar caramelize while I have ten billion other things to do in the kitchen. And if there are any leftovers, I'll gladly have them for breakfast the next day. Yay!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Apple Tartlets with Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes 18 tartlets
Allergy Note: contains wheat and dairy ingredients
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbs. butter
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup butter
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
zest of 1/2 a lemon
3-4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
1-2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. sugar
1 package ready-made puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
turbinado sugar (i.e. Sugar in the Raw)
sea salt (optional)
To make the salted caramel:
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the sugar starts to caramelize and turn golden brown. Carefully pour in the whipping cream. The caramel will start to bubble a lot at first but it will . Add in the butter and sea salt; stir until combined. Set aside to cool.
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the flour and lemon zest. Mix until smooth.
To prepare the apples:
Thinly slice the apples to about 1/8 inch thickness. Coat with lemon juice and sprinkle with sugar.
To make the tartlets:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Let the puff pastry sheets thaw at room temperature (about 40 minutes). Cut the puff pastry sheets into 9 equal squares. Dab a little bit of water along the sides of each square and fold about 1/4 inch inward. Press and seal the edges. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Dock the puff pastry with a fork and spread about 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Layer the thinly sliced apple slices over the filling. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before spreading about a teaspoonful of salted caramel over the sliced apples. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the caramel if desired.
Please note: I am not a paid endorser nor did I accept any freebies of the brands or products mentioned in this post. I just love them and wanted to share them with you :-)