Thanks fall, for showing up and inspiring me to make this tart. With it's shortbread crust, cinnamon apples and cream cheese filling, I'm sure it would have been delicious all on it's own... but I went and added an extra layer of salted caramel. Oh yes. I did. Peeling and slicing all the apples can be time consuming. Luckily I had a few friends over who were happy to help in exchange for a sampling of the goods. Totally worth it because this thing is out of control good... plus it makes your house smell like sugar, spice + everything nice.
Caramel Apple Tart
adapted from Family Fun
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup salted caramel (recipe here or for convenience try Trader Joes salted caramel sauce)
5 to 6 firm apples, peeled, cored,and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
To make the crust, stir the flour and confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl. Pinch and squeeze the butter into the flour until the butter pieces are pea-size. Transfer the crumbly mixture into an 11-inch tart pan and spread it evenly around the pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze while you prepare the filling.
Next, make the cream cheese filling. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and egg until they are light and smooth. Beat in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Warm caramel until soft enough to drizzle. Take the tart from the fridge and drizzle or spoon 3/4 cup of caramel over cream cheese mixture.
Heat the oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, toss the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the chilled tart shell. Then, beginning on the outside edge, arrange the apples on top of the filling in overlapping circles. Pour any remaining juices from the bowl over the apples, then dot with the butter.
Bake the tart for about 1 hour or until the juices bubble and the apples turn tender. If the crust and apples begin to brown, cover the tart with the foil during the last 20 minutes of baking. Remove and cool.
Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup caramel over top of tart. Serve warm on its own -- or with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 8 to 10.