I don't think I could even ballpark the number of apples I have peeled and cored or the number of times I made this dessert at the first restaurant I ever worked at, Sutra. Last weekend after 13 years, Sutra closed it's doors. What once was the place where I learned so much about working in a professional kitchen had gone through multiple owners and countless management changes. The entire vibe changed over the years into a nightclub where I wasn't interested in going. That being said, it was once a pretty badass place to work and if you've never been part of a team who've opened a restaurant you're missing out. I owe a lot of who I am today to the chef and sous chef at that place. I've never stopped learning, took the phrase "I know" out of my vocabulary, and always treat the entire kitchen staff with the same respect as the chefs I work for or with. I've come a long way since my early 20's before I went to pastry school and lived in New York City. No matter where I go, I will always love that damn apple tart.
Chef Stephane's version was filled with a sweet almond paste mixture. Mine has a layer of salted caramel or alternatively dulce de leche between the apples and puff pastry. While certainly a nod to his perfect almondy version, this caramel apple tart comes damn close and is easy to make at home. You can raise the stakes with a classic creme anglaise sauce and a drizzle of extra caramel if your heart desires.
Recipe is for each individual 6" tart. You can find my salted caramel recipe here: Sea Salt Caramel Sauce or you can use store bought dulce de leche or make your own by placing an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot with enough boiling water to cover the can, for 2 hours. Use any apple you love. This works well with a tart Granny Smith apple. Use a 6" cake ring and a sharp knife to cut out the puff pastry or any plate/dish etc. You can make them in any shape but the 6" round works perfectly for 1 whole apple. Cut the apple on the side so each slice has a hole in the middle (like a doughnut). I prefer a mandoline for this but a knife will work just fine.
Salted Caramel Apple Tart 🍏
1 each 6" round of puff pastry dough
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled cored and sliced thin
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3T sea salt caramel sauce or dulce de leche
1T cinnamon sugar
1T butter, melted
1T apricot preserves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut out the puff pastry circles and place them on a lined baking sheet. Top with the caramel and spread around evenly leaving 1/2" ring around the edge of the dough. Peel, core and slice the apple and toss with the lemon juice. Arrange the apple slices in a fan on top of the caramel sauce, tucking the last slice under the first slice and leaving a crust around the edge. Cut one apple slice in half and place the pieces over the center of the tart. Brush the tart with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes or until apples are tender and the pastry has puffed up and is golden brown.
Warm the apricot preserves and dilute with a teaspoon or two of water. Brush the apples with the preserves.
Home cook, Mom, wife, and crafty creative, Mandy is from California and has traveled the world and lived in lots of places. She has fallen in love with Dallas, TX and calls it home.