I can’t wait to share these delicious homemade apple tartlets with you today!
A Little History…
My hubby’s sweet grandparents used to send us a package from Omaha Steak Company every Christmas. It always came with the yummiest caramel apple tartlets and we looked forward to them each year!
When the Lord called us to Omaha for my husband’s job we found that we were just 15 minutes away from an Omaha Steak store! We would stop by every couple of months just to grab some of those tartlets!
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Back to Basics
A couple of years ago, some health concerns with our son caused us to dig deeper into the food we were eating. We made a lot of changes and one of those was making our food from scratch.
Recently a friend was telling me about Jill Winger from the blog The Prairie Homestead. She and her husband grew up in the city but traded it for a homestead in Wyoming. Jill teaches you how to get back to the basics of making whole, nutritious food. How to make your own bacon (what?!), prepare a sourdough starter, and can vegetables are just a few things she teaches.
She recently came out with a cookbook that I had preordered on Amazon and I think I read most of it in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down! Practical and inspiring, she had me itching to get into the kitchen and get my hands floured!
Homemade Apple Tartlets
So back to the tartlets. We live in Oklahoma now and those Omaha Steak caramel apple tartlets are not as easily accessible. We did find a delicious alternative at Trader Joe’s. But after reading Jill’s book, I got to thinking, “What’s stopping me from making these from scratch?” So I decided to give it a shot. Using parts of different recipes from The Prairie Homestead cookbook I created these tartlets.
They were a hit! My kids went on and on about how good they were and my hubby couldn’t get over the delicious crust.
I started with her recipe for buttery pie crust. I combined the flour and salt, cut the butter into chunks and then added everything to my food processor and mixed until it resembled crumbs.
I transferred the mix to my KitchenAid mixer and added five tablespoons of water one at a time until the dough formed a ball. I wrapped it and placed it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
While the dough was chilling, I started the apples. I peeled and cored three apples and cooked them in a cast iron skillet following her directions taken from her Apple Cinnamon Puff Pancake recipe (which is also delicious!). I melted the butter, added the apples, then stirred in the brown sugar and cinnamon. My youngest loves to help me in the kitchen so he jumped in and took over the stirring!
While the apples were still simmering, I started the caramel topping. I took this from her recipe for Old-Fashioned Gingerbread. She uses the caramel topping for icing and it looks to die for. I’ll be trying it soon!
Combine the brown sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan, whisk in the heavy cream, butter, and vanilla. Stir until it thickens and becomes a smooth texture.
Remove the crust from the fridge and flour the surface. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. I used a cereal bowl to cut circles out of the dough. I cut two then had to reroll the dough to get another two for a total of four mini crusts.
Cut four slits into each crust and pile a large spoonful of the cinnamon apples in the middle.
Bring the sections of the crust up and pinch the sides together at each seam to hold the apples in.
Drizzle caramel sauce over the tops, as well as any juices, left over from the cooked apples.
Place tartlets on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.
Here are some gadgets that make the process easier:
Homemade Apple Tartlets
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
- 5-6 tbsp cold water
In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut butter into chunks and add to food processor along with the flour mixture. Blend until mixture resembles crumbs. Return to bowl and mix in water, one tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
For the apple filling:
- 3 apples cored and peeled
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Melt butter on medium in cast iron skillet. Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook for 4-5 minutes until apples are soft and sauce is thickened.
For the caramel sauce:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 5 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
In small saucepan over medium heat, mix together brown sugar and corn starch. Stir in cream and butter and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Remove dough from fridge and roll out on a floured surface to 1/4" thick. Cut circles about the size of a cereal bowl to make four pies. Cut four slits in each crust (if the crust was a clock, you would cut the slits at the 12, 3, 6, and 9).
Spoon apple filling into the center and bring up the sides of the crust, pinching together at the seams.
Drizzle caramel sauce over the tops of the tartlets and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, until crust is lightly browned and crispy.
Serve with ice cream or homemade whipped cream!
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did! I’d love to hear from you in the comments!