These mini tarts are classically delicious with juicy apples and hints of warm cinnamon and nutmeg. They are not overly sweet, so the salted caramel sauce provides the perfect touch and gives them a modern twist. But my favorite part, they are mini and individual, which makes them the perfect dessert to serve at a big family Thanksgiving.
Technique tip: Leftover caramel sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Simply reheat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. And if you don’t have canning jars and lids, you can use 3 1/2-inch (9-centimeter) tartlet pans instead.
Swap option: To save time, you can use a store-bought caramel sauce or skip it entirely and just serve your tarts with vanilla ice cream!
Special equipment: Mason jar lids.
- Ten 3½-inch canning jar lids and rings
- Nonstick cooking spray
- One 14.1-ounce package refrigerated pie crusts
- 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salted caramel sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
For the tarts:
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the jar rings on the baking sheet and place the lids inside with the rubber seal facing down. Lightly grease each lid and ring with nonstick cooking spray.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piecrust into a 13-inch circle. Using a 4½-inch round cutter, cut out 5 circles. Repeat with the remaining piecrust. Place 1 cutout in each prepared jar ring and gently flute the edges.
4. In a bowl, stir together the apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Gently stir in the melted butter. Place a generous 1/2 cup of the apple mixture in each pie shell. (You want the apples mounded above the rims of the shells, as they will shrink while baking.)
5. Bake until the crusts are golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the jar rings to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes, then gently lift the tarts out of the rings.
For the salted caramel sauce:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a light boil, stirring occasionally. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until dissolved and the mixture is smooth, 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and salt until the butter is melted. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Serve the tarts warm or at room temperature topped with ice cream and a drizzle of the salted caramel sauce.