Only three days until Thanksgiving! The good news is you still have time to make this amazingly creamy, caramel apple tart to wow your guests (or to treat yourself after you cooked and hosted!). This tart seriously gets rave reviews. It’s also show-stopping because of it’s rustic apple rings and perfectly browned crust, especially in this extra wide, circular pie plate. However, this tart could totally be made in a long, rectangular tart pan and would be equally stunning.
This tart consists of an all butter crust, topped with the creamiest and silkiest caramel custard. This custard is crowned with slices of tart apple and baked until golden. It really could not get any better. If you make this for your guests, they’ll cry tears of joy. If you make this as a hostess gift, they’ll invite you to move in. I’m telling you, you gotta try this.
A few notes on this recipe:
The seltzer and lemon juice are really important to keep the apples from oxidizing and browning in an icky way. The cornstarch is also important. Depending on the heat of your stove, the fat content in the half and half and eggs, and whatever Thanksgiving luck you may have, the custard may not reach the exact perfect thickness that you want. In this case, you can just add another tablespoon of cornstarch and continue to stir. It should thicken right up!
This tart is really a delight and a refreshing addition to Thanksgiving. Plus, this recipe makes enough for plenty of left overs which are perfect for day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast.
3-4 tart apples, sliced thinly
1 cup flavored seltzer water, preferably a citrus flavor
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups half and half
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons salted caramel syrup (I used Torani)
1/2 cup butter, frozen
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup ice water
- Freeze half a cup of butter until completely frozen solid.
- Once the butter is frozen, fill a cup measure with 1/4 cup water and a few ice cubes.
- Sift 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and one pinch of salt into a large bowl.
- With a cheese grater, grate the butter into the bowl of flour.
- With your hands, rub the butter into the flour, adding just enough of the ice water to form a dough.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill.
- While the dough chills, bring half and half to a boil.
- Once boiled, remove from heat.
- Whisk eggs and sugar in a separate bowl until smooth and combined.
- While stirring the half and half, pour the sugar and egg mixture very slowly.
- Once all of the egg mixture is incorporated, return the pot to medium heat.
- Add two tablespoons of cornstarch and stir the mixture constantly until the mixture thickens. If the custard is not the desired consistency after 15-20 minutes, add another tablespoon of cornstarch and stir until thick.
- Remove the custard from heat and stir in vanilla and caramel syrup.
- Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Thinly slice apples and soak in flavored seltzer water and lemon juice.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll out pie dough and press into pie plate.
- Dock the pie crust (prick holes into the bottom with a fork) to allow steam to escape while baking.
- Spread the custard evenly in the pie shell.
- Lay the apples in concentric circles, alternating their direction.
- Bake the tart for 50-60 minutes, until the custard is just slightly wobbly but the crust is browned and the edges of the custard are turning golden.
- Once removed from oven, chill until cold.
- Serve the tart cold and enjoy!