Thursday, December 4, 2008

Apple Praline Tart

For Thanksgiving I made a pecan praline tart that was pretty good, but it was a little too sweet for my liking. Nevertheless, the underlying flavor was awesome, so I figured I would try to tone it down with apples and almonds instead of pecans.

The swap was definitely for the better, although I can't help but think that a simple caramel (as opposed to the praline mixture) would be tastier... I think the mellowness of caramel lends itself well to cinnamon-y apples and the slightly sweet taste of ground almonds. Another option would be to switch out the almond layer for a heavier cream cheese mixture that could cut the sweetness of the brown sugar.

Apple Praline Tart

Pate Sucree (Tart Dough)**

Almond Layer:
  • 1 1/2 c Ground Almonds
  • 1 c Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • Mix almonds and sugar, then beat in the egg.
Praline Layer:
  • 1 c Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/2 c Heavy Cream
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter
  • 1 T Agave Nectar, Honey, or Maple Syrup
  • Heat over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring for 4-5 minutes, until color darkens slightly. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Apple Layer:
  • 2-3 Apples
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Cinnamon
  • Pinch Cloves
  • Pinch Allspice
  • Pinch Nutmeg
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • Cut apples into thin slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Mix spices separately and sprinkle over apples with vanilla. Turn apples gently with hands or large wooden spoons to coat.
Preparation: Prep apples first and set aside. Start praline mixture. When sugar dissolves, let it sit and move onto the almond layer. Take praline mixture off of the heat. Spread almond mixture onto the bottom of the tart dough. Pour praline mixture over the almond layer. Arrange apples.

**I'm still playing around with tart doughs. When I made this recipe I used Deb's from Smitten Kitchen, but it didn't stand up quite the way I was hoping it would... really good flavor though.