Apple Creme Brûlée Tart a French Dessert for the Soul
Recently, I posted a picture of an Apple Creme Brûlée tart, or what essentially could be called the love child of a creme brulee and an apple tart. The response was so overwhelming that I thought about publishing the recipe in a new book: “How To Get Fat(ter) During a Quarantine: 75 Delicious Recipes to Stress Eat To.” Perhaps a little dark gallows humour that I hope offends no one. Humour and eating are my coping mechanisms for all the stress of losing a job and the world crumbling around me.
Looking for comfort in food and with time on my hands, I experimented with combining the irresistible flavours of a warm apple tart with a classic French crème brûlée. The result? A hands-down success, especially when paired with a late harvest Gewurztraminer (2013) from Husch Vineyards.
Apple Creme Brûlée Tart
For the Dough:
- 12 oz (340g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 8 oz (226g) Unsalted Butter cut in small pieces
- 1/2 cup (118ml) cold water or slightly less or a tad more
For the Apples:
- 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 6 Apples Granny Smith peeled, cored & cut in 1/8ths
- 1/4 cup (60g) Granulated Sugar
- 1 Orange for the grated zest
- 1/2 tsp Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (177ml) Heavy Cream
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
To Make the Dough:
- To make the dough, in a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and baking powder together.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.
- With the motor running, add just enough ice-cold water so that the dough forms into a loose ball.
- Gather the dough into a ball and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rest for one (1) hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
- On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle.
- Use your rolling pin to roll up the dough and unroll over the tart pan.
- Press dough into the corners and pinch tightly on the edges. Do not worry if the edges look ragged. It is important to pinch tight because this will keep the dough from shrinking.
- Refrigerate for one (1) hour.
To Caramelize the Apples:
- In a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until foamy. Add the granulated sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to caramelize and turn light brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the apples, orange zest, cloves, and cinnamon until the apples are well coated.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples start to brown, about 10 minutes.
Assemble the Tart:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bake the tart shell until the dough is very lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk the cream, egg yolk, honey, and vanilla together then put aside.
- Remove the tart shell from the oven and arrange the apple wedges in a circle.
- Pour cream mixture over and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cream is set.