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Salted Caramel Apple-Pear Tart

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Serves 10 to 12

As delicious as it is pretty, this lattice-topped tart combines fall fruit with warm cardamom in a tender hazelnut crust. Salted caramel ties the flavors together, and large-crystal sanding sugar on the lattice adds crunch.

For the dough
  • 10 1/8 oz. (2-1/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for dusting
  • 1-3/4 oz. (1/2 cup) hazelnut meal
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 Tbs. ice water
  • Cooking spray
For the caramel
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream
For assembly
  • 2 sweet apples (such as Golden Delicious), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium-ripe pears (such as Bartlett or Anjou), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. white sanding sugar or turbinado sugar
Make the dough

Pulse the flour, hazelnut meal, sugar, and salt in a food processor to blend. Add the butter pieces and pulse until clumps the size of small peas form. Add the water, and pulse until the dough forms a loose ball. Split the dough onto two large pieces of plastic wrap and shape them into two flat disks about 6 inches in diameter. Wrap the disks and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Make the caramel

In a 2-quart heavy-duty saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and salt with 2 Tbs. water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture turns deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour in the cream. Be careful; it will spatter. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool until warm.

Roll out the dough

Coat a 9- to 9-1/2-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften slightly, if necessary. Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour and roll one disk into a 12-inch round, lifting and turning the dough several times as you roll to prevent sticking, and dusting the work surface and the rolling pin with more flour as needed. Carefully roll the dough up around the pin, and unroll it over the prepared tart pan. Gently fit it into the pan without stretching. Run the rolling pin over the top of the pan to trim the dough even with the edge. Cover and refrigerate until the tart shell is firm, at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll the other disk into a 10-inch round. Using a fluted pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or a sharp knife, cut the dough into seven 1-inch-wide strips. Transfer the strips to a lightly floured large flat plate or small baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the tart

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, place a cookie sheet on it, and heat the oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples and pears with the flour, cardamom, and salt. Arrange in an even layer in the crust. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the fruit (if hardened, melt briefly over low heat). Evenly space 3 strips of pastry on top of the tart. Evenly space the remaining 4 strips over the other strips at a 45° angle. Press the edges of the strips into the edge of the tart shell to secure. Dot the tart with the butter in between the strips.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and 1 Tbs. water. With a pastry brush, coat the lattice strips with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with the sanding sugar.

Bake the tart on the heated cookie sheet until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the tart from the cookie sheet to a rack to cool completely, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Remove the outer rim from the tart pan and transfer the tart to a large, flat plate before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 350, Fat (kcal): 19, Fat Calories (g): 170, Saturated Fat (g): 11, Protein (g): 4, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Carbohydrates (mg): 42, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 150, Cholesterol (g): 60, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Colin Clark

Didn't love this. The caramel took a very long time and I thought it was too salty. The crust was ok, but I didn't love the hazelnut flavor.

This is good one. Put on a baking sheet as there is significant leakage during baking.

This was fabulous. It took awhile to make but well worth the effort. I did not have hazelnut meal so I toasted and crushed 1/2 cup almonds. Gave the tart a delicious taste. Beautiful recipe.

Made it just using apples, and everything else according to the recipe. The caramel took longer then suggested timing, but I went by color and it was perfect. This is a show stopper.

Very delicious. Tried tart ahead of Thanksgiving. It needed an extra apple and I used a honey crisp. It added needed texture. Carmel taste melted into fruit. Crust is great too. Altogether delicious.

I had trouble with this one... the dough was hard to roll out... after making and assembling and baking the result was a watery mess and tasted too much like butter. I don't know if my caramel wasn't set up enough (boil longer?), or if my fruit was too watery, but it wasn't good and it was for thanksgiving and it was stressful... :( disapointed. The concept was good...

This tart is a lot of work, but the results are superb-- nicely balanced sweet-salty flavors, and warm, not-overwhelming cardamom. Would be great with all apples or all pears. My apples were small, so I used a little extra. Make it for someone you love-- or someone you want to impress-- but make sure they're worth the work!

This recipe was easy to follow and not difficult...and could have been delicious. However, the ratio of sugar to fruit was off only bec apparently my fruit was larger than 'medium'...cup/weight measurement of fruit would have improved the outcome. Also we felt there was too much cardamom.

This tart was absolutely scrumptious! Worth the effort! The hazelnut meal in the crust was a tasty addition especially since I made my own with toasted and ground hazelnuts. My only concern was the filling bubbled over and it was a pity to see so much of the gorgeous salted caramel sauce filling overflow from the tart and burn on the sheet pan. My tart pan is only an inch deep and could not accommodate 2 pears and 2 apples so I reduced the quantity of fruit and ended up with a shallow tart.

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