Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Apple Cheesecake Tart with Salted Caramel

Happy New Year Readers!!

I hope that the holidays were good to you (but horribly bad on your waistline!) I have a lot of catching up to do with posting recipes...most of these coming up in the next couple of weeks are from the holiday season. After the catch up you will notice a much healthier theme...since my new years resolution has me back on the fitness wagon. I really felt every single one of the cookies I ate over the holidays with my first 2012 workout last night...ugh!

This Apple Cheesecake has the best of all worlds..tartness from the Granny Smith Apples, Sweetness from the Fuji Apples, Creaminess from the Cheesecake filling and sweet and salty from the Salted Caramel.

 For the Crust Combine 1 1/4 Cups Pastry Flour with 1 Tsp Brown Sugar and 1/2 Cup of Cold butter cut into cubes.
 Using your hands break apart the butter quickly and smush into the flour until you get pea sized butter pieces.
 Press into your pie dish and cover with plastic wrap. Keep the pie shell in the fridge until ready to fill.
 Next we are going to prepare the Salted Caramel. I like to use a heavy bottomed pot to make caramel like my brand new Le Creuset (thanks Mom!!). Because it is Cast Iron it heats more evenly...if you don't have one you can also use a stainless steel pot. Pour 2 Cups of Granulated Sugar into your pot. Shake the pot to make sure that the sugar is in an even layer across the bottom. Turn heat to medium and leave alone, but keeping a close eye.
 You will notice the sugar starting to carmelize...once you see that start slowly stirring the sugar, making sure all the sugar touches the bottom and melts.
 Once all the sugar has melted you really need to keep an eye on it. The deeper the colour of the caramel, the more flavourful...BUT sugar can easily burn so you need to be watchful!
 Once its a nice deep amber colour remove the pot from the heat. Put on a pair of Oven Mitts and be super fast and careful with this step. You are going to add about 1/4 cup of Heavy Cream to the hot caramel. You will need 1 Cup in total but since the caramel is so hot you need to gradually add it in small batches. Another tip is to pour the 1 Cup of Cream into a container and let it come close to room temperature before starting the process...that way the cream isn't so cold. So with your whisk in hand..add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream and whisk furiously right away..then slowly pour in the rest whisking very quickly so that the caramel does not harden.
 Lastly, add 2 tbsp of Butter and 1 Tsp of Grey Sea Salts. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set caramel aside.
 For the filling you will need 4-5 Apples. I like using a blend of tart and sweet apples and in this case I used Fuji and Granny Smith. Peel and Core the apples.
 Thinly Slice them all. The thinner the better.
 And add 1/2 Cup loose brown sugar, 1 Tsp Cinnamon, 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg, 1 Tbsp Flour and 1 Tsp Lemon Juice. Toss to combine and also set aside.
 For the Cheese Filling combine 2 Packages Cream Cheese (Softened) with 1 room temperature egg until creamy.
 add 1/3 Cup Brown sugar and 1 Tsp Pure vanilla extract. Mix and scrap the sides of the mixing bowl to make sure thoroughly combined.
 Now you can (finally) assemble. In your cooled pie shell spread all of the cream chese mixture into the shell.
 Pour about 1 Cup of the salted caramel over the cream cheese.
 Now assemble the apple slices in a circular pattern. It helps if they are thinly sliced at this point!! Pop the tart into the oven at 375F for about 1 Hour or until the apples are thoroughly cooked and the shell has browned.
 A Piece of Art!
Slice and serve with a drizzle of salted caramel. I saved the leftover caramel in a tupperware container in the fridge and used it to drizzle over vanilla ice cream. This is why my jeans are tight....sigh.

1 comment:

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