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Caramel Apple Tart

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If you know me at all, you know how much I absolutely require caramel in my diet on a regular basis.  I keep a glass jar of homemade salted caramel sauce in my fridge at all times so I can drizzle it over anything hot, or just scoop up a finger-full when my brain function gets low.  One of my favorite snacks is sliced apples and caramel sauce, so of course that lead the way to this decadent, yet quite simple, caramel apple tart.

The tart shell is richer than a standard pie crust, perhaps more like a giant cookie?  The dough is a little richer, with more butter and 2 egg yolk, but you treat it as you would a pie dough.  Remember to have all the ingredient very cold and work quickly.  Also, don’t skip the resting step, chilling the dough in the tart pan really does help keep the crust from shrinking during baking.

Caramel Apple Tart

Once the tart dough has been mixed, formed into a disc, and chilled (see directions below), roll it into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  My tart pan is 10 inches, and you want your circle of dough to be about 2 inches wider.  You can also do smaller tart pans, which are really cute.  I actually make one or two personal-sized tarts with the leftover dough.  Lift the dough into the pan and press firmly to the edges.  If the dough breaks or is too thin, just move some chunks from another area and do a patch-job.  When you have the dough just the way you like it, run the rolling pin over the top edge to cut off the remaining dough.  Let the dough rest in the freezer for 20 minutes, or refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the freezer, and prick the crust all over with a fork.  Lay tin foil over the crust and pile with beans or pie weights, bake at 425 for 15 minutes.  You want the crust to be cooked (no longer raw) but still pale.  Remove from the oven and cool.

Peel, core and slice the apples and set them in a bowl with cold water and lemon juice to prevent them from browning.

Pour the caramel sauce into the cooled tart shell.

caramel apple tart shell

Tilt the tart shell and swirl the caramel sauce to get an even layer, then arrange the apple slices.

caramel apple tart bake

Drizzle with more caramel sauce and dot with butter chunks.  Bake the tart for 40 minutes at 375F, or until a knife can gently piece an apple slice.  The apples should be cooked but not mushy.

caramel apple tart

Tarts are pretty simple, actually, you can get a feel for working with pie dough without having to do any crimping.  How awesome would you be if you showed to Thanksgiving with this awesome caramel apple tart?  You could even sprinkle it with sea salt for those salted caramel lovers!

Caramel Apple Tart
Recipe type: Dessert
  • Tart Crust
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 10 Tbs butter, cold, cut into chunks
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbs ice water, plus more if needed
  • Tart Filling
  • 2-3 pounds of apples
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup caramel sauce, plus 2 Tbs
  • 2 Tbs butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Combine flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, pulse a few times to mix. Add chunks of butter and pulse 10-30 seconds, until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Pour contents into a bowl and add the ice water and egg yolks, mix until it forms a ball (you may need to add more water). Turn the dough out onto a pice of plastic wrap and form into a disc. Freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and roll into a circle that is 2 inches larger than your pan (remember to turn the dough a few times to keep it from sticking).
  4. Press the dough into the tart pan evenly, and run the rolling pin over the top edge to make a clean cut. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes or 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  5. Cover the dough with foil and pile with beans or pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes, or until no longer raw. Remove form the oven and cool.
  6. Reduce the oven to 375F.
  7. Peel, slice and core the apples and place them in a bowl with cold water and lemon juice.
  8. Pour ½ cup of caramel sauce into the tart pan, swirling around to evenly coat.
  9. Arrange the apple slices over the caramel.
  10. Dot the apples with 2 Tbs of butter, cut into chunks.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining caramel sauce.
  12. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender but not mushy.

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