Caramel Apple Tartlets with Chaumes®

Description

Granny Smith apples put the “tart” in these individual dessert tartlets. Gooey caramel, rich and creamy Chaumes® and tender-crisp sliced apples make an all-too-tempting trio in this recipe celebrating fall. Like the textures, the flavors of these ingredients are made for each other – the sticky-sweet caramel, nutty Chaumes® and tangy apples. And, the reserved cheese melted on top is the perfect finishing touch.
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Ingredients

At a glance
Cheeses
Course
Soft-Ripened Cheeses
Occasions
Makes
6
* 1 Sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17 oz. pkg.) thawed
* 3/4 Cup light or dark brown sugar
* 1/2 Cup heavy cream
* 1/4 Cup maple syrup
* 1/8 Tsp. fine sea salt or fleur de sel (French sea salt)
* 5 Medium Granny Smith apples (21/4 lbs.), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
* 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon
* 1/8 Tsp. ground nutmeg
* 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
* 8 Oz. Chaumes® cheese, trimmed and thinly sliced (6½ oz.)

Methods/steps

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll pastry on floured surface to an 12”x18” rectangle. Prick thoroughly with a fork and cut into six 6” rounds. Line six 4” tart pans with pastry, trim off excess crust and chill 20 minutes. Line pastry shells with foil (6” square); fill with dried beans to help weigh the pastry down. Place on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove foil and beans and bake 3 more minutes.

Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, cream, maple syrup and salt in a medium 12” skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, swirling pan occasionally until mixture coats back of spoon (225°F on candy thermometer). Remove 1/2 cup of the sauce and place in a small microwavable bowl; set aside.

Add apples, cinnamon and nutmeg to skillet. Sift flour over apples. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are just tender. Cool 10 minutes.

Set aside 1/2 cup (2 oz.) cheese for topping. Arrange remaining cheese in tart shells in an even layer. Spoon apple mixture on top. Bake tartlets in 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes or just until warmed and cheese is melted. Top with reserved cheese and drizzle each with 1 Tbsp. reserved caramel sauce. (See Tip).

Additional Tips

Warm caramel sauce in microwave for 20-40 seconds or until fluid, stirring occasionally.

For a variation: The gourmet Chaumes® is an unexpected – but altogether welcome – ingredient in this layered dessert. Savory, earthy and slightly salty, the smoothly melted Chaumes® is a perfect fit. A fresh goat cheese would also be a good choice. The goat cheese, with its hint of gaminess, would play nicely off the sweet maple syrup and brown sugar.

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