Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Perfect Caramel Apple Tart - It's very delicious and not too sweet! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Happy that I have baked another impressive apple bake...

Not too long ago, I have baked and shared Super Moist Super Easy Less Sugar Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Muffins at here, Super Soft Apple Cinnamon Wool Roll Bread at here and The Perfect Fuss Free French Apple Tart with less sugar at here. Now, I'm sharing this decadent Caramel Apple Tart recipe.

Why am I baking with so many apples? Is this my another baking obsession?

Nay! Not really. I was baking these apple bakes because my son likes them. That's all!

This gives me an opportunity of exploring different apple recipes especially those that are unique, fuss-free and easy... just like this Caramel Apple Tart. It is uniquely delicious because it is an apple tart that contains soft chewy caramel. 

Imagine... apple + caramel + buttery pastry = YUM!!! Isn't it?

To me, it is also a fuss-free recipe because there is...
  • No need to pre-cook filling
  • No need to chill rolled pastry before baking - the pastry will shrink slightly but still ok.
  • No need to pre-bake pastry
However, it can be not entirely fuss-free because it requires two additional essential preparation steps before assembling the tart for baking. And they are 1) making the caramel from scratch and 2) chilling the pastry before rolling but these steps aren't really time-consuming if you prepare the pastry and caramel in advance like a day or even up to a month before assembling and baking the tart.

perfect caramel apple tart less sugar not sweet
Proudly presenting my Perfect Caramel Apple Tart
It looks complicated but actually fuss-free to bake...
if you prepare the pastry and caramel in advance

This highly reviewed recipe originates from Epicurious and just the caramel itself contains 300g dark brown sugar and 90g unsalted butter to make one 9 inches / 22 cm round tart. Plus, the pastry contains 75g icing sugar and the apple filling contains 20g caster sugar. 300g + 75g + 20g = 395g!!! OMG! That is a lot of sugar!

Hence, I have modified my version to be slightly smaller (8 inches / 20cm) with about 80% less sugar. It serves 8 too and still delicious!

Please allow me to explain...

First, I made a quarter of the caramel which is the minimal amount that I can cook. Due to its minimal amount and higher exposure to heating, the caramel tends to be thicker like a chewy toffee and need to be lightly warmed before piping onto the apple tart. To be extra sugar-conscious, I have choose to pipe half of the caramel onto my tart, containing 37g dark brown sugar.

I have scaled down my tart pastry slightly and it contains 25g icing sugar. Plus, my apple filling has 20g dark brown sugar added. So in total, I have added 37g + 25g + 20g = 82g sugar! Just 20% sugar as compared to the original recipe. And it is still sweet enough to be delicious! Happy!!! ^-^

Here's the video showing how I baked my Less-Sugar Caramel Apple Tart. Unlike the original recipe, I always like to add freshly squeezed lemon juice into my apple filling to stop the apple from browning and cut my apples into less chunky pieces.

To make my life easier, I prefer to make the caramel and pastry in advance. I would store them in a fridge if I make them one day ahead or store them in a freezer if I make them more than one day ahead. Thaw frozen pastry and caramel in the fridge one day before the assembly and bake. Easy!

Music: Bensound

perfect caramel apple tart less sugar not sweet
My kitchen was smelling so good when I baked this apple tart.
Can't wait to feast on this tart...
perfect caramel apple tart less sugar not sweet
Moist tender apple filling with soft chewy caramel topping
And the pastry is so buttery and crispy...
Absolutely PERFECT!

I was dancing in my kitchen while enjoying a slice of this apple tart.

Then, my son came along and devour two large slices! LOL!

I hope that you will like this yummy apple tart recipe and my baking tips. If you do, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids or SUBCRIBE my YouTube channel at here. Your support means a lot to me. Your LIKE, SHARE, FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE will tell me that I'm on a right track and will keep a busy full-time working mum like me motivated and share more of my tried-and-tested recipes in the future. Thank you! 

Don't forget to stay tune if you are after more perfect apple recipes as my son is always craving for more. LOL!

Here's the recipe that is modified from Epicurious with 80% less sugar.

Make one 8 inch / 20 cm round tart

For the caramel (minimal amount to cook):
75g dark brown sugar
95ml cream with 35% fat
20g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract

For the pastry:
150g (1 cup) plain / all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling if required - I don't need any.
25g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt
100g chilled unsalted butter, diced
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
1 large egg yolk, about 17g 1-2 tbsp cold cream plus more if required

For the apple filling:
20g (2 tbsp) dark brown sugar
10g (1 tbsp) plain / all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 kg), peeled, cored, cut into 0.5 cm slices

For the caramel:
Combine sugar, cream and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to boil with stirring until the caramel thickens enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 10 mins. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla into the sauce, then set aside to cool slightly.

Do ahead: This caramel sauce can be prepared in advance before the assembly and baking of the tart. If it is prepared one day ahead, it can be stored in a fridge. If it is prepared more than one day ahead, it can be stored in a freezer and thawed one day before the assembly and baking in the fridge.

For the pastry:
Sift flour, icing sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and rub butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs forms. Stir in vanilla and egg yolk. Add 1 tbsp cream, then use your hands to gather the crumbs to form a dough. If mixture is too dry, add more cream teaspoonful by teaspoonful until mixture is wet enough to form a dough. Use your hands to gather all crumbs to form a dough. Do not knead or over-work dough. Wrap and chill dough for about 1 hr or overnight.

Do ahead: This pastry can be prepared in advance before the assembly and baking of the tart. If it is prepared one day ahead, it can be stored in a fridge. If it is prepared more than one day ahead, it can be stored in a freezer and thawed one day before the assembly and baking in the fridge.

For filling:
Combine sugar, flour, ground cinnamon and lemon juice in large bowl. Add apples and toss until evenly coated.

Preheat oven to 190°C/ 375°F.

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a large 25 cm round. Transfer onto a 20 cm tart pan with removable bottom. Fold in the edges to make the pastry side thicker and sturdier. Trim any overhang and use excess dough to patch any holes or thin area.

Arrange apples on the pastry crust. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the assembled tart on the prepared tray and bake for 60 mins or until the apples are tender and golden brown at their edges. You will see that the pastry will shrink slightly but it is still ok.

Warm caramel slightly if required. It should be thick viscous soft stretchy chewy semi-solid. Pipe or spoon half or all of the caramel sauce onto the freshly baked warm tart. Allow the tart to cool slightly for about 10 mins in the pan. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool further.

Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Best to consume within the day of bake. Storing the tart at room temperature might cause the pastry to be soggy on the next day. To store, wrap the uneaten tart tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw frozen tart in a fridge overnight, bake in preheated oven at 180°C / 375°F for 10-15 mins or until the apples are thoroughly warm and pastry is crispy again.

Happy Baking
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