I love caramel, apples, custard, and tarts…Why not put it all together?! I know that it seems like a lot going on but, it’s worth it. I’ve been into tarts for awhile. They’re beautiful and they’re skinnier because they’re flatter than a pie or cheesecake. Think about it…Tarts are usually about 1-1 1/2 inches deep, while pies are about 2-3 inches deep and my cheesecakes are about 3-4 inches in height. I’m sure that this is just my delusional way of putting this into perspective but, it works for me.
P.S. I’m going to try doubling the custard and pureeing the cooked apples to convert this into ice cream…The delusional me will come to terms by saying, “at least it doesn’t have cream cheese crust chunks!”
4 oz (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz cold cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large baking apples
½ cup unfiltered apple juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 whole egg, plus 2 yolks
½ cup sugar
2 cups half and half
Apple Reduction Syrup*
1 can condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons half and half**
For the crust: Place flour, sugar, salt, butter, and cream cheese in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly. With processor running, add 2 tablespoons cold water and vanilla. When dough ball forms, remove and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
For the apple filing: Cut apples into quarters and core. Next, cut each quarter into three wedges and peel. In a large skillet, add apple juice, apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Cook on medium heat. When mixture begins to bubble, cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Transfer apples to a plate and set aside. Increase heat to medium high and allow liquid to reduce to about ½ cup. *Remove from heat and reserve this apple reduction syrup for use in the custard.
For the custard: In a saucepan, whisk the egg and egg yolks with sugar and half and half. Cook in low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add apple syrup reduction and continue stirring until well blended and mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
For the caramel: Heat condensed milk and butter in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture is heated through, turn heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until amber in color. **If caramel is too thick, stir in half and half until caramel is of a spreadable consistency.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove crust from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a 10-inch tart or springform pan. Prick with a fork and bake for 10 minutes. Place cooked apples in the crust in an even single layer. Pour custard over apples. Return to oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before topping with caramel.
Unmold tart and spread with caramel.