What is your guilty pleasure? Usually I put nuts, fruits and vegetables in my desserts to make the likes of apricot cake, pecan pie, beet chocolate cake, cherry clafoutis or pear tart. Simply a desire to make desserts more healthful and fruitful. To circle around a caramel tart is a bit of a stretch, for my style of baking. It may be hard for me to say no to any desserts that are put in front of me. But it’s easier to say no when it comes to making them. It took a while to convince myself that making caramel could be a worthwhile exercise. Eventually, I baked the tart, which is the baking project at Tuesdays with Dorie in November. What I did not expect is how addictive, creamy and velvety this tart is. The caramel tart has now become the object of my guilty pleasure.
The sweet tart dough (page 414 in Baking with Chez Moi) is the same shortbread ccokie dough we used in making the Philadelphia blueberry corn tart this summer. This is a lovely dough and easy to work with. Dorie gives detailed instructions on how to roll out or press in the crust, and how to partially or fully bake it. Honestly, I think I could benefit from practicing to roll the dough out more thinly and evenly.
Working with sugar can be tricky given the scorching hot temperature. Patience is rewarded when you resist stirring the pan until the sugar (75 grams) is bubbly and turning a light blond. Working quickly, chunks of room-temperature butter (1/2 stick) are stirred in, followed by the warm cream (300 ml). Then temper four egg yolks and the remaining sugar into the hot caramel mixture, until thickened. Somehow, I left out the remaining sugar part — and without much ill effect, I must say. Still, I found the caramel to be too sweet for my taste. Here is the recipe for the caramel tart.
An unadorned and beloved French classic caramel tart certainly has a place on my dessert table. Think Thanksgiving!