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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Apple Tart with Salted Caramel and Hazelnuts

This tart is a bit of an experiment.  I had a bag of apples in the fridge that really needed using up and I couldn't be bothered to juice them.  I flicked through a couple of cookbooks and located a simple recipe of apple tart.  Simple being - make a pasty case, slice apples and arrange, bake, spread with apricot jam, eat.  I was just about to start making it when I remembered I had some hazelnuts that needed using up.  While hunting through the cupboard for the hazelnuts I knocked over the box of sea salt and I suddenly thought - salted caramel!

I had never made salted caramel before but I had tried it a number of times and liked it.  I think the last time was a salted caramel latte from Costa Coffee.  Anyway, it didn't take long to find a suitable recipe online for salted caramel sauce and after a little bit of playing around with the recipe I came up with this.

The tart was better the next day after the caramel had time to set.  Straight from the oven the apples had released quite a bit of juice and cutting the tart resulted in a puddle of sauce.  The next day however the caramel had set more and the juices soaked back in to the apple.

The pastry for this tart is baked along with the apples, but I brushed the uncooked pastry with egg to form a seal.  After an initial bake to soften the apples I poured over the caramel and baked for a further 20 minutes.

Salty and sweet...I didn't use any special apples for this, actually I was worried they would be too sweet, it worked and I am happy with it.

Apple Tart with Salted Caramel and Hazelnuts
Makes a 26cm tart

For the pastry
180g plain flour
90g unsalted butter, cold
1 tbsp cold water

about 6 crisp apples of your choice
juice of lemon
100g hazelnuts

For the salted cameral sauce
75g unsalted butter
75g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
125ml double cream
1 tsp sea salt (high quality, this is the star ingredient after all)

Preheat the oven to 180c (160c fan) and make the pasty by whizzing up the flour and butter in a processor until fine crumbs.  Add the water and process until it just starts to may need 1 tbsp more of water.



Roll out and wrap in cling flim, rest in fridge while you prep the apples.


Peel the apples and chop in half, then half again and again.  Place in a bowl and pour over the lemon juice.  Make sure all the apples are tossed in the juice, this prevents browning while your sorting out the pastry.

After the pasty has had a good hour in the fridge, remove and roll out and line the tin. 

Arrange the apples any way you like and bake for 20 minutes.

While baking making the sauce...  Place the sugars and butter in a small pan and melt on high until bubbling.  Pour in the cream (it will steam and bubble so be careful)  Whisk until it calms down.



Add the salt and whisk.  Add the hazelnuts, these have been chopped.

Remove the tart from the oven and pour over the cameral mixture.  Place back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.


Remove from the oven and allow to to place in the fridge to 'set' the cameral.  You can serve it once cooled from the oven but I found the cameral was liquid. Still fab though.