Salted Caramel Tart

Sep 8th

 

 

Is there anything better than chocolate, roasted cashews, sea salt, and caramel, on top of a buttery pastry crust? I think not! Really the only thing you need to invest in are 4 small tart pans. I really, really wish I had one right now with my morning coffee. But unfortunately I don’t so I will have to make do looking at the picture and salivating. Today is Saturday here in Michigan and the weather in my opinion couldn’t be any nicer. It’s about 60 degrees out right now and the leaves are rustling through the trees. We have been here in Macatawa on and off since May. This has been a dream of ours forever to come and see all the change of seasons. When we arrived in May I got to see the Tulip festival and all kinds of Lilacs. Through out the summer we have seen roses, and sunflowers and we planted our beloved petunias. It is the beginning of fall now and the leaves are just starting to change and fall to the ground. Acorns are everywhere. You see, when you live in Arizona unless you go to the high country you don’t get to see these everyday occurrences that happen with the change of seasons. Don’t get me wrong I love Arizona especially in the winter! We did have one day when we were back there in August that reached 116 degrees and our air conditioning in our car went out, now that was really special! As I have said before there is just something really magical about this place, I feel a spirituality here that I don’t in other places. The people here are so, so, nice. The first one that comes to mind is a man named Murve. He is 83 years old and has worked for the Van Andels for 17 years. He is the maintenance man, anything that you need man, and all around wonderful person. He has been married to his wife Bernie for over 60 years! I have had many a talk with Murve over life and what comes with it. He is truly an inspiration and Pete and I enjoy his company so much. We are going to be having them over for dinner next Saturday. Murve tells me his favorite food is pork, not steak but anything pork. So we will have a feast of pork roast stuffed with garlic and mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh carrots and sweet corn from the farmers market. For dessert we will have the Salted Caramel Tarts to celebrate the beginning of Fall. I hope all your Fall days are filled with cool change and falling leaves and apples and acorns and everything that goes along with my favorite time of year!

 

Salted Caramel Tart:

4 small tart pans

For the Shells:

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 Tbs. sugar

pinch of table salt

2 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg yolk

 

For the Caramel:

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbs. water

1 Tbs. light corn syrup

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

1/4 cup roasted cashews

Coarse sea salt

Chocolate shavings

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk together flour, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and the table salt in a small bowl. Add the 2 Tbsp. butter. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal; stir in egg yolk. Knead lightly until dough comes together. Divide dough in half. On a well floured surface, roll each 1/4 of dough into a 5 inch circle. Place circles of dough into 4 separate tart pans, with removable bottoms, however I just used 4 small tart pans and greased and floured them well.  Press dough against sides of the pans. Trim away and discard excess dough. Chill shells until firm, 5 minutes. Bake pastry shells 15 minutes; cool.

Place 1/4 cup sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small skillet over medium heat. Swirl pan lightly to mix. Simmer mixture until it turns the color of iced tea, about 5 minutes. Remove caramel from heat; stir in the 1 Tbsp. butter. Add cream; stir until caramel is smooth. Add cashews; pour caramel filling evenly into baked tart shells. Allow tarts to cool completely.

Garnish each tart with sea salt and chocolate shavings. I just used a potato peeler for a chocolate bar for the shavings.

This recipe is adapted from the magazine Cuisine At Home.

 

 

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