These Tarts are not only GORGEOUS...but the caramel with the apples and shortbread crust is...... well.....a little bit of Heaven! Make one or make them into mini's!
Make the Shortcrust Pastry
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry and cover the base of a tart pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the crust and extend out a bit over the edges of the pan. Fill with pie weights or dry beans. Place the shell in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the weights and parchment paper and continue baking the shell until the crust is light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the shell cool completely before going to the next step.
Make the Caramel
In a 1-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°F. Remove pan from heat.
Quickly whisk in the butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will froth a lot) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly.
Make the Apple Rosette Topping
Core the apple but don't peel it. Using a mandolin slicer (or sharp knife) cut the apples crosswise into the thinnest slices possible. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning. Cut slices in half. Start at the outer edge of the tart and arrange the apple slices in a circular pattern, working your way inward until the entire tart is covered.
Melt the apple jelly on the stove or in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, gently glaze the apples.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat (preferably 4 or 5 hours). Leave at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. For an added surprise, I slather my salted caramel over the top!
Above left Photo courtesy of Betsy Robinson. :)