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As the local farmers’ markets come to a close for the season, apples are one of the fresh fruits that are readily available to take home and mold into a wonderful fall dessert. One of my favorite desserts is what I pulled together a few weekends ago from a few of my tried and true pie recipes and simple things I can’t get enough of – apple tartlets topped with decadent dolce de leche ice cream. Here’s the recipe.
APPLE TARTLETS or TART
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup very cold water
(The main secret to flakey pie crust is temperature. Chill! Chill! Chill! Feel free to chill all the dry ingredients as well as the butter.)
1. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and chill it in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Use a pastry cutter, a food processor, 2 table knives or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until it is broken up into pea-sized pieces.
3. Trickle in the (ice) water and stir with a fork or your fingers until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Collect it into 2 equal sized balls and pat each one into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to roll.
- 6-7 apples, peeled, cored and cut into approximate 1-inch square pieces (Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
- zest of one orange
- 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 3 Tbs butter – melted
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll out and fit the bottom into four mini tart pans or one tart pan leaving one each of an edge that you will fold on top to create a rustic finish. Chill the crusts while you prepare the filling.
2. Mix the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, orange zest and flour in a large mixing bowl until the apple slices are well coated. Taste and adjust sugar and spices, if necessary. Add orange and lemon juice.
3. Mound the filling into the prepared pie crust and dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Place 1-2 tablespoons of crumble topping on each. Fold the edges of the crust around the edge of each tart. Put the tarts on the baking sheet to protect the oven floor from drips and line the baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure easy cleaning.
4. Bake the tarts for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking until the crust is deeply golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes more.
And the finishing touch . . . not just any ice cream but Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche which includes the taste of decadent caramel pairing beautifully with this comfort fall dessert. Oh, my goodness . . . delicious.