(This recipe appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
I love this dessert because it plays with two different textures and temperatures. The tart is warm, while all the toppings are cool, fresh and uncooked. And it’s served with a classic flavor, vanilla. My sous chef and I came up with the idea of it as a riff on a caramel apple, with the apple layer on the bottom and the caramel custard on top.
Yield: 12 tarts
- 280 g 10X confectioners’ sugar
- 453 g cold unsalted butter, diced
- 3 large whole eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 705 g all-purpose flour
- 112 g almond flour
- In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, mix together the 10X sugar, and cold diced butter. Cream the mixture very well until soft and creamy, scraping the sides down occasionally. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt to the butter mixture and cream it again until completely incorporated, and very smooth and shiny, scraping down the bowl occasionally to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Add the flours and slowly mix until blended, then scrape the bowl down and mix on medium speed until super-soft and mixed well. Place the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet tray and wrap with plastic wrap. Allow to chill overnight, or at least 5 hours, until dough is firm and set.
- Once the dough is completely chilled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1.5 mm. Cut into 6” diameter disks. Line 12 #100 tart rings and refrigerator the unbaked shells for 1 hour to rest the dough.
- Bake the shells at 325℉ on high fan, for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Baked Caramel Filling
- 750 g heavy cream, divided
- 24 g all-purpose flour
- 675 g granulated sugar
- 170 g unsalted butter
- 6 large whole eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 9 g salt
- In a bowl, mix half of the cream with the flour; set aside
- In a large pot, make a dry caramel with the sugar. Once the sugar has completely caramelized to a golden color, add the butter, and stir to emulsify the mixture.
- Add the remaining 375 g heavy cream (the part without the flour) to the caramel. Once emulsified, add the cream and flour mixture and mix well. Cool in a bain marie in an ice bath.
- Once the mixture is cool, add the eggs. Yolks and salt. Mix it well, then strain through a chinois. Set the mixture aside. (It can be made up to 3 days ahead.)
- 6-8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored, scraps reserved
- 68 g light brown sugar
- 68 g granulated sugar
- 2 g ground cinnamon
- 2 g ground cardamom
- 2 g ground ginger
- 2 g salt
- 14 g cornstarch
- 5 g citric acid
- Dice the apples small, about ¼”, and weigh out 800 g of the diced apples.
- In a bowl, toss the 800 g apples with the sugars and spices. Allow them to macerate for 24 hours.
- The next day, place the apples in a medium-sized pot, and cook them on low heat until al dente. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and pour it into the apples and cook them until the starch cooks out. Add the citric acid and stir well.
- Pour the apples out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and cool completely. Set aside. (This can be made up to 3 days in advance.)
Vanilla Crème Fraîche Gelato
- 832 g whole milk
- 166 g heavy cream
- 332 g crème fraîche
- 1 vanilla bean
- 184 g vanilla sugar
- 4 g ice cream stabilizer
- 90 g dry milk powder
- 150 g dry glucose
- 66 g liquid glucose
- 150 g whole eggs
- 32 g trimoline
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Place milk, heavy cream, crème fraîche and scraped vanilla bean into a pot.
- Mix together the sugar and ice cream stabilizer. Add to the cream mixture along with the milk powder, dry glucose and liquid glucose. Bring to a soft simmer.
- In a bowl, mix the whole eggs with the trimoline and salt. Temper into the cream mixture and cook, using the anglaise method, to 180˚F. Pour into a bain marie, and cool completely in ice bath.
- Allow base to chill for 24 hours to age. The next day, strain, and spin.
- Reserved apple scraps from above
- Place the reserved apple scraps in a pot with just a bare minimum of water and cook until tender. Blend well until very smooth, then pass through a chinois.
Apple Pomegranate Sauce
- 250 g Apple Puree (from above)
- 250 g Pom Wonderful juice (concentrate)
- 75 g granulated sugar
- 20 g cornstarch
- 1 g citric Acid
- 1 g salt
- Place the puree, Pom juice, sugar and cornstarch in a pot, and cook until thickened. Add the citric and salt and stir to combine. Cool on ice, and set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 300℉
- Put 40 g of the Apple Compote in each baked tart shell, then pour the Baked Caramel Filling on to fill shells. Bake with fan on high for 10-15 minutes, or until set. Cool completely.
- 100 g fresh egg whites
- 150 g granulated sugar
- Place the whites and sugar in a mixing bowl, and cook over simmering water until mixture reaches 160˚F.
- Put the bowl on the mixer stand fitted with the whip attachment, and whip on high speed until completely cool.
- Using a #803 plain piping tip, pipe the meringue on top of the tarts, piping 6 dollops on the outside, and 3 on the inside. Lightly torch it to golden brown. Set aside.
- 2 Honeycrisp apples
- Pinch of ascorbic acid
- 1 pomegranate
- Micro hyssop leaves
- Ground tart crumbs
- Peel the apples and, using a #18-21 melon baller, scoop the apple to make spheres. Place them in a solution of water and ascorbic acid so that they don’t oxidize. (If you don’t have ascorbic acid, you can use purchased apple juice in place of the mixture.)
- Pick the seeds out of the pomegranate and set aside.
- Place a tart on the plate, and garnish the top of the tart with fresh apple spheres, a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, and micro hyssop leaves.
- Pour a dot of the sauce the size of a silver dollar onto the plate, sprinkle with ground up tart crumbs, and a scoop of the Vanilla Crème Fraîche Gelato.
About Deborah Racicot
Deborah Racicot is the Executive Pastry Chef at Locanda Verde Restaurant in New York, NY. Her early influences were Julia Child, Wok with Yan, Chocolatier Magazine, Bon Appetit Magazine and her style has evolved to be “seasonal, simple, elegant and memory driven.”