Monday, January 17, 2011

Caramel Apple Mini Tarts with Cream Cheese

Honestly, I went into this one blind. It was day five of being snowed in, literally, with very little left in the house to cook and three kids to feed. I noticed the apples on the kitchen counter and thought "boy, a caramel apple sure would be good right now..." and from there a tart was born. Get it? A TART was born instead of a STAR? . . . Moving on, I had left over dough from my Perfect Pie Crust that I had whipped up to make a fresh Chicken Pot Pie the night before. And I have to brag a little here, my kids ate every bite and even my non-chicken eating man ate a second helping. Maybe he know how hard I worked on it and didn't want to hurt my feelings, but I don't care! It was dang good. Now, what you've been waiting for!

1st rule in cooking: Before you start, make sure that you have all of the ingredients needed and read through the enitire recipe. Sounds simple, but even I've messed this one up.


2 or 3 apples, sliced thin and NOT peeled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/8 cup white sugar
smidge of cinnamon (whatever you prefer)
1/4 block of cream cheese, cut into small cubes (2 each tart)

1 Pie Crust, either frozen kind thawed out as directed,
or make your own Perfect Pie Crust (my favorite one)

1 12 cup muffin tin, sprayed with Pam cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry your apples, core them, and slice into thin slices. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet on medium heat (I use 6 on my stove dial). Once all the butter is melted, add your apples and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium low (Dial # 4), and simmer for2-3 minutes. Add in your brown sugar and Karo syrup, stirring to coat. Reduce heat again to low (Dial #2). Let simmer, uncovered, while you prepare you dough.

Depending on which dough you choose to use, follow the directions accordingly and prepare your dough for cutting.

Use a large glass or biscuit cutter like I've used here to make your crusts. It should make between 8 and 12, which is enough to fill a muffin tin.

Place your dough discs down into the coated muffin tins, just so they fit into the cups. You dont have to mash them, just let them rest like a basket. Remove the apples from the heat and add your cinnamon, stirring well. Carefully (because it's hot!) scoop your apples into the cups. Once the cups are full, distribute the caramel sauce over each tart equally.

Sprinkle with a splash of white sugar on top of each tart, this will make them shiny and a little crunchy (so good!)
Bake for 10 minutes and then REDUCE the heat to 325 degrees. Cook for another 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately place 1 or 2 cream cheese squares on top of each tart. Cool for 5 minutes and then with a fork, scoop out each tart. 

So what do you think? Using this scale of toast, what do you give this recipe?
 Toast o' the Town ~ Toast worthy ~ Edible ~ Too Toasty ~ Burnt Toast
Post your vote in my comment section and let me know what you think!


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