Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caramel Apple Tart

1 package puff pastry(2 sheets) **I used 1 sheet since there were only 4 of us eating**
1 large pkg vanilla instant pudding **I used a pastry cream that I will list down below**
2 cups cold reduced fat milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 12 ounce jar caramel topping
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Prepare puff pastry according to directions, cool. Prepare pudding as directed and set aside. In a large skillet saute apples with cinnamon an butter until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Cut pastry in 1/2 and drizzle caramel on the bottom 1/2, spread pudding onto pastry, top with more caramel sauce and sprinkle with nuts. Cut each pastry into 6 squares. ** I cut the pastry before I bake it ** I also topped with whipped cream.

Here is the vanilla filling I used. You won't use the vanilla pudding or the milk in the above recipe if you make this. It is a regular pastry cream that I use a lot.

Pastry Cream
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat the half and half, 6 Tbsp of the sugar and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stir occasionally to dissolve sugar. Combine egg yolks and remaining 2 Tbsp of the sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture is creamy and the sugar is dissolved(about 15 seconds) Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is a pale yellow and thick(about 30 seconds). When the half and half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return the mixture toa simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and it is thickened and glossy(about 30 seconds). Off the heat whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a 'skin' from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours.

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