The nutty pastry is absolutely delicious, like pecan shortbread. You can make the tart shells and filling the day before and assemble just before serving: Place the shells in an airtight container and chill the filling, bringing it to room temperature before placing it in the shells so it's not ice-cold. The crème fraîche dollop is more than just a pretty garnish; its rich, tangy flavor makes these sublime.
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon 1% low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup very finely chopped toasted pecans
Baking spray with flour
2 cups finely diced peeled Granny Smith apple
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup crème fraîche
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare crust, place first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute or until well combined. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour and nuts to butter mixture; beat until just combined. Divide dough evenly among 24 miniature muffin cups coated with baking spray. Press dough into bottom and up sides of muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare filling, place apple and juice in a bowl; toss to coat. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and the next 4 ingredients (through ginger); toss well.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add apple mixture; cover and cook 5 minutes or until apple is tender, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch mixture into apple mixture; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Place apple mixture in a bowl; cool to room temperature. Spoon about 2 teaspoons apple mixture into each tart shell. Top each tart with 1/2 teaspoon crème fraîche.
We enjoyed these. The crust was quite tasty. Since i used mini tart pans (no mini muffin pan) to make these, I had enough crust left over to make the "Mile High Strawberry Mini Pies" from the same slideshow-also delicious. The crust was perfect for them as well. I thought the apple filling was a little overspiced- next time I think I will add a tad more sugar and leave out either the ginger or the allspice, I did not read the make-ahead note at the head of the recipe so the tarts had a soggy feel to the bottom when I baked and filled them the day before serving. Good reminder to read everything before starting! The dollop of creme fraiche was indeed a nice touch.
I absolutely loved these; the crust is just as flavorful as the apple filling! I made a few minor substitutions to the recipe but kept it mostly in tact. To see my edits and step-by-step photos, go to: http://www.icancookthat.org/2013/11/spiced-apple-two-bite-tarts.html