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Deliciously Organic: Apple-Caramel Tartlets

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apple-Caramel Tartlets

I'll let you in on a little secret about me: I love anything with apples and caramel, and I simply cannot resist a tartlet. So, the other day when I was thumbing through the May issue of Bon Appetit and saw "Caramel-Apple Tartlets with Cinnamon-Rum Ice Cream" I knew that I just had to try this recipe. I got out my "cookbook" (that happens to be in a white binder, but someday I hope to have in print!) and pulled out my crust recipe, changed several of the ingredients in the Bon Appetit recipe, and ended up with a delicious dessert. The crust is buttery and flaky and the caramel apples have just the right amount of sweet and salty contrast that I love.

This recipe is a bit more labor intensive then others I have posted, but you will be so glad you went through the effort. The caramel sauce and crumb topping can be made the day ahead if you would like to split up the work. You can always serve this with ice cream, but if you don't have that on hand, softly whipped cream does the job nicely.
Here are some tips on baking with whole wheat flour: Freshly ground whole wheat flour weighs less than white bagged flour. To be exact, one cup of whole wheat flour weighs 4oz. while a cup of white flour weighs 6oz. So, when you are converting a recipe (that uses white flour) you always need to add a bit more whole wheat flour to make up for the difference. My rule of thumb is that when a recipe calls for 1 cup of white flour I will use 1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour (the weight isn't exactly 6oz. but I have found that adding to much flour ruins the integrity of the recipe).

Caramel-Apple Tartlets
Adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2009
Makes 6 tartlets

1 1/2 cups fresh, whole wheat flour*
1/4 cup rapadura or sucanat**
1/2 cup unsalted butter
pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons ice water

Caramel sauce:
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup rapadura or sucanat
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Crumb topping:
7 tablespoons fresh whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons rapadura or sucanat
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup pecans
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup rapadura or sucanat
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds apples (granny smith, gala or braeburn), peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For crust: Place flour and rapadura in bowl of food processor and pulse twice to combine. Add butter and then pulse, about 15-17 times until dough starts to come together. If needed, add a tablespoon of two of ice water to bind the dough. Gather the dough into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in freezer for about 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and press each dough ball into bottom and up the sides of a 4 1/2-inch-diameter tartlet pan with removable bottom. Pierce the crust all over with a fork (about 5-7 times). Repeat with remaining dough and then freeze tartlets for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 and bake crusts until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool crusts in pans on wire rack.

For caramel sauce: Combine rapadura and 1/4 cup water in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low until rapadura dissolves. Increase the heat to high and boil for 2-3 minutes, occasionally swirling pan. Remove pan from heat and add cream, butter and salt. Stir until completely dissolved. Set aside. (can be made a day ahead and kept in refrigerator. Rewarm over low heat until pourable before using).

Crumb topping: Blend flour, rapadura and salt in food processor. Add pecans and pulse, about 4-5 times until coarsely chopped. Add butter and pulse until moist clumps for (about 8 times).

Filling: Stir together flour and arrowroot in a small bowl. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples and saute 10 minutes, until almost tender. Add rapadura mixture and stir until dissolved, then add vanilla and cinnamon. Simmer until the juices are bubbling and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 375. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce into each tartlet crust. Divide apple filling among crusts then sprinkle crumb topping evenly over each. Bake until apple filling is bubbling and topping is golden brown, 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and then loosen tartlets from sides of pan and remove pan sides. Top with whipped cream.
*if you have questions about freshly ground whole wheat flour please refer back to my earlier entry on Jan. 15th for a full explanation. Of course, if you have more questions, please feel free to ask!
**rapadura and sucuanat are an unrefined form of sugar. Please refer to the blog on April 30th for more info.


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July 28, 2009 at 9:03 PM  

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