Sweet pastry crust topped with apple butter, and layer of apple cider poached apple slices. Tart baked until crust is crispy and apples have softened. Basted often while baking with cinnamon caramel poaching liquid to caramelize the apples and candy the crust edge.
I was lucky to get a few Cosmic Crisp apples from my local retailer. They were pricey, but I loved the size (they’re big) and they looked gorgeous. I ate one. It was crunchy with a lovely sweet flavor. The other two went into the making of this tart.
I didn’t realize this apple was a big deal until I googled them to get some info. It’s a special apple that’s just hitting the market. A cross between Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples, they are grown only in Washington state by licensed orchards.
I like to mix and match apples when baking to produce different textures and flavors. I will definitely purchase this variety again, and add this apple to the small list of apples I buy for baking. The Honeycrisp apple remains my favorite.
The goal with this tart design was simple. Bursting with flavor. Slices that you can pick up with one hand and eat like a piece of pizza. Fork optional.
Apples simmered in unsweetened apple cider with caramel sauce, fresh lemon and orange zest, and ground cinnamon. While these ingredients add nice flavor to the apples while they soften, it’s the poaching liquid left in the sauté pan that we really want. The richly flavored liquid is reduced and used to baste the tart, including the tart crust, as it bakes.
The apple cider tart starts with a sweet pastry crust. I press the dough into the tart pan about half way up the tart shell. I don’t want the crust edge to over brown. I spread the cinnamon apple butter onto the bottom of the tart crust. The next layer is the caramel apple puree. I lay the apple slices on top of the puree, creating a nice visual. The tart gets baked in a hot oven for about 45 minutes, basted with the reduced caramel apple poaching liquid every 10 to 15 minutes. Not only am I basting the apples while they bake, but the crust edge as well.
The result is a simple, rustic tart with a crispy crust with three layers of apple flavor.
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Apple Cider Tart
Sweet Pastry Dough:
- 190 grams all-purpose flour (1-1/2 cups)
- 55 grams powdered sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 gram sea salt (1/4 teaspoon
- 113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), cold and cut into small pieces
- 50 grams egg (1 large)
- 3 grams vanilla bean paste (1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple cider or juice
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce
- 3 grams ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
- 2 grams fresh orange zest (1 teaspoon)
- 2 grams fresh lemon zest (1 teaspoon)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/3 cup cinnamon apple butter
- 2 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
Sweet Pastry Dough:
- Add all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, and sea salt to food processor. Pulse to combine.
- Add cold butter pieces. Pulse a dozen times or until mixture becomes crumbly in texture.
- Add egg and vanilla bean paste. Pulse a dozen times, or until dough begins to clump together.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a ball and flatten slightly with your hands to form a thick disc. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to three days.
- Remove chilled dough from refrigerator. Unwrap plastic and set dough on counter for 15 minutes.
- Roll dough to 11-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Place gently into 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, and press into bottom and up the sides. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Press parchment paper against the dough and fill with pie weights/dried beans/uncooked rice.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Place tart pan on wire rack. Cool crust completely.
- Add apple slices, unsweetened apple cider, caramel sauce, ground cinnamon, fresh orange zest, fresh lemon zest, and sea salt to large skillet.
- Simmer apples until soft. Using slotted spoon, transfer apples to food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Reserve cooking liquid for basting.
- Brush apple butter on bottom of tart shell. Spread apple puree over apple butter.
- Arrange apple slices over apple puree. Brush cooking liquid over apple slices.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until apple are soft, basting every 10 to 15 minutes with reserved cooking liquid.