I was having some neighbors over for a dinner in the outdoor dining room and i wanted to make a dessert, but I didn't want to go to the store again. A quick look in the refrigerator and I knew that apples were going to be the foundation. What goes great with apples? Caramel of course, and I had some left over from the Caramel Toffee Brownies I made earlier in the week. The freezer yielded a package of puff pastry and some pecans, and that's how I came up with this Caramel Apple Pecan Tart. Not a very original name, I know, but I'm a cook, not a writer. Here's what you'll ned:
- 1 pkg puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 3 Jazz apples (or any red you have on hand)
- 1 C caramel sauce
- 3 TBL flour
- 1 C pecans, chopped
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 4 TBL butter, melted
- 1/2 C oats
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Keep the thawed puff pastry in the refrigerator until you need it so that it's easy to work with it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start by peeling the apples, removing the core, then cutting them into very thin slices. After the apples are sliced, put them in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice in it to keep the apples from turning brown.
In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and oats. Mix it all together to make the crumb topping. Set aside.
Now you can take the puff pastry out of the refrigerator. I love puff pastry and I always have some in the freezer, but it's hard to deal with if you let it come to room temperature. It's got so much butter in it that it becomes a gooey mess, so just trust me and keep it cold until you need it. Unfold each piece and place them on parchment paper. Now you want to dock it so that it doesn't puff in the middle when it cooks. That just means to poke holes in it using a fork. Start at one side, poking holes about 1/4" from the edge, going around all 4 sides. then poke holes across the middle.
Now, add about 1/2 C of caramel sauce to each puff pastry sheet. I store mine in a zip top bag in the refrigerator so I just have to cut the corner of and squeeze it out. Using an offset spatula, spread the caramel to within about 1/2" from the edge of the pastry.
Drain the apples and put them in a large zip top bag, then sprinkle the flour in the bag and shake to coat the apple slices.
Place the sliced apples on the caramel. If there is any extra flour, just shake it off. I placed them in 3 rows then added the leftover slices to the top. The arrangement doesn't matter, just make sure they are placed evenly across the surface and not mounded in the middle. Now sprinkle 1/2 the topping over each pastry.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry start to brown. I cut them into 6 pieces each and served them warm with vanilla ice cream. They were a hit!