Mini apple tarts with shortcrust pastry, apple pie filling and a sweet and salty caramel drizzle. The perfect two bite dessert made easily in a muffin tray!
Do you ever want to eat apple pie, but don't want to bake a pie because you're never going to eat the whole thing? Or maybe you're a bit like me and you just love everything in mini form?
These mini apple tarts are just the cutest! And they are pretty darn tasty too. From the soft buttery shortcrust, to the perfectly seasoned apple filling, to the sweet and salty salted caramel caramel drizzle these are treats that any apple pie lover would gobble up!
The best part about these tarts is that they look great, but don't take a lot of time to put together. The dough comes together in a snap in a stand mixer, making the tart shells is quick and simple, and most of the work from the apple pie filling is peeling and chopping the apples.
The caramel drizzle is completely optional, but highly recommended to add a little pizzaz to the tarts. It is easily made while the tarts are baking.
Why you are going to love these!
- easy to make - making these tarts are just as easy as making a pie! The only difference is cutting out the tart shells from the pastry.
- can be frozen - these tarts can be frozen after baking for longer storage
- salted caramel drizzle - adding salted caramel drizzle to these tarts adds an extra layer of sweet buttery saltiness to the apples.
- flour - for the pastry and for thickening the sauce from the apples. I used pastry flour but in a pinch you could use all purpose flour.
- butter - for the pastry and for the caramel
- apples - I used Honeycrisp, but any firm apple will do.
- lemon juice - to enhance the flavour of the apples
- cinnamon & nutmeg - the classic apple pie pairing. You could use just cinnamon, but I love the warmth and depth that nutmeg brings to the dish.
- sugar - used for the apple filling to enhance the sweetness of the apple and to make the caramel.
- heavy cream - to keep the caramel saucy
- salt - for the salted caramel.
How to make them
To make the pastry:
Mix the flour and butter. Add the flour, salt, and chilled butter cubes to a stand mixer with a flat beater attachment and mix on level 2 until the butter is incorporated into the flour in pea sized bits.
Add water to form the dough. Slowly drizzle in the water until a slightly sticky ball of dough appears. I used about ⅓ cup, but you may need more. When your dough forms, turn it out on to a well floured surface and shape the dough into two flat discs.
Wrap and chill the pastry dough - wrap the dough discs with plastic wrap and then place then in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
To make the apple filling:
Peel and slice the apples then cut the slices into bite sized cubes. Place the cubes in a medium sized bowl, then add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Transfer the apple filling to a medium sized pot and cook on medium for a couple of minutes until the apples are saucy and a bit tender.
To assemble the tarts:
Working one disc at a time, remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to ⅛" on a well floured surface. Using a 4" round pastry cutter cut discs from the rolled dough and form them into the molds of a well-greased muffin tray. Place the tray in the fridge to chill for 5 minutes before adding the filling.
The tarts will be quite full - this is okay because they will lower down a bit when they bake. Make sure to drizzle any remaining sauce from the bowl into the tarts as well.
Bake the tarts for 20-25 minutes. They will be ready when the pastry has turned a light golden brown color and the sauce is hot and bubbling. Let the tarts cool in the pan for a few minutes before carefully removing them and placing them on a cooling rack.
For the caramel drizzle:
Add the sugar to a medium sized pot over medium heat. Stir continuously with a silicone spatula until the sugar melts into a clear liquid and then eventually changes colour to a light amber coloured liquid.
Begin stirring in the butter, bit by bit. Keep in mind the the butter with bubble up when it's added. Keep stirring vigorously if the sauce breaks to bring it back together.
When the butter is mixed into the sauce allow it to cook without stirring for a couple of minutes then pour in the heavy cream while stirring. The cream will steam and bubble up quickly because of the temperature difference. Let the sauce cook a minute, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Give the salted caramel a few minutes to cool and thicken before drizzling over the mini apple tarts.
To finish the tarts:
Drizzle as much of the salted caramel over the tarts as you like. I used about half the recipe. Leftovers can be saved in the fridge and then reheated when ready use again.
Tips for the best mini apple tarts
The pastry in this recipe is made from pure butter. If you would like a flakier pastry crust you can substitute half the butter for shortening.
Make sure your dough stays cool while rolling. If it is getting too soft, transfer it back to the fridge for a few minutes before working on it again.
A pie has crust on both the bottom and the top, and a tart has only a bottom crust that is slightly thicker than a pie crust.
The best apples for baking are ones that keep their structure when cooked and don't get mushy. Granny Smith is a classic baking apples, but other options are Honeycrisp, Gala, Empire, MacIntosh or Jonogold.
You can freeze these mini apple tarts after baking. Simply put them in an airtight container and freeze. Thaw the night before you want to eat them.
These tarts will hold up well up to 2 days on the counter. If you plan to keep them longer than that store them in the fridge where they can last up to 5 days.
More recipes you'll love!
If you like these mini apple tarts, you might want to check out some of our other delicious baking recipes!
If you have made this recipe we’d love to see it! Tag us on Insta @loveandgoodstuff.
Loved this? Don’t forget to rate it below!
Mini Apple Tarts with Salted Caramel Drizzle
- 2 1⁄4 cups pastry flour - (can substitue all purpose)
- 1 cup unsalted butter - cubed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1⁄3-2⁄3 cups chilled water
- 7 apples
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 Tablespoons flour
salted caramel drizzle
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons butter - room temperature
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Make the pastry:
- Add the flour, butter and salt to a stand mixer and mix on 2 until the dough is pea-like.
- Slowly add the water while mixing until a dough begins to form.
- Remove the dough from the nmixer and place on a floured surface. Form the dough into two discs then wrap with plastiucwrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Prepare the apples:
- Peel, slice and cube the apples into bite sized pieces then place then into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and flour to the apples and mix well.
- Put the prepared apples into a medium sized pot and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat. The apples should become saucy and warm.
Roll the dough and cut the tarts:
- Working one disc at a time, remove the dough from the fridge and place on a well floured surface.Roll out the dough to ⅛" thick and cut into rounds with 4-inch round pastry cutter then fit the rounds into a well greased muffin tray.
- Place the tray in the fridge to chill for 5 minutes or so.
Prepare the tarts and bake
- Remove the muffin tray from the fridge and begin filling the tarts with the apple mixture. Divide the mixture between the 12 tarts. The tarts will look over filled, but the will cook down. Make sure to divide any remaining sauce from the apple pot amongst the tarts as well.
- Bake in a 425℉ oven for 20-25 minutes. The tarts are cooked with the pastry begins to take on a light golden colour.
To make the salted caramel:
- Heat the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the sugar constantly with a rubber spatula until the sugar melts into an amber liquid. The sugar will change from solid to a clear liquid to an amber coloured liquid.
- When the sugar is melted and amber colouerd, begin stirring in the butter bit by bit. Be mindful that it may bubble up. If the sauce begins to break stir vigorously until it combines.
- When butter has melted into the sauce and it has combined let it cook without stirring for a couple of minutes.
- Very slowly stir in the heavy cream. The mixture will rapidly bubble and steam when the cream is added becasue of the difference in temperatures. When all the cream has been added and stirred though, stop stirring and let the sauce cook for a minute.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow it to slightly cool down before using. As the salted caramel cools it will thicken. If it gets too thick to drizzle, heat it up a minute or two to soften it.
To finish the tarts:
- Remove the muffin tray from the oven when the crust has turned golden. Let the tarts cool in the muffin tray a few minutes before handling them to let them set and ensure that the bottom is cooked.
- Carefully remove the cooled tarts from the muffin tray then drizzle with as mush salted caramel as you like.
* nutritional information is calculated by online tools and may not be 100% accurate.