Pretzel-base Caramel Apple Walnut and Pork Crackle Tart
The idea for this recipe was all around combining the sweet, the salty, the sour and savoury.
As I had a bunch of apple left from a previous baking session I decided to use them up and have apples as a core sweet component of a dessert. I thought that if I made a salted caramel, in which would go brilliantly with the apple I could get some saltiness as well as the sweet. I’m also mindful that these 2 ingredients would make for a prefect tart filling.
So, if I was to make a tart then I needed a base. I figured since pretzels are basically flour and salt I could use these savory snacks as a base to my recipe, ticking the savory and salty box.
To not only ramp up the savory but also ensure some crunchy texture I opted for a few extra ingredients that also complement the apple flavour. After playing around with a few ingredients I decided that walnuts and pork crackle, when combine with the apple were too good of a combo to ignore.
Lastly, as I did want to have sour in the recipe in some way the only way this would work and add an extra depth to the flavour was through some lemon zest.
A lot of trial and error was had for this recipe, but in the end I’m impressed with the result. I successfully ticked the sweet, sour, salty and savory boxes as well as the tarts achieving deliciousness with a diverse range of textures, from crunchy, smooth and soft.
- 140g pretzels
- 110g butter
- 40ml honey
- 180ml cream
- Pinch salt
- 50g butter
- 220g sugar
- 5 apples (130g per apple will amount to 90g apple slices)
- Pinch salt
- 40g brown sugar
- 1 tsn lemon zest
- 20g flour
- 50g walnuts, finely chopped
- 40g pork crackle, finely chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 175c degrees and grease 6 small tart pans with oil spray.
- Process the pretzels, butter and honey in a food processor until the mix resembles breadcrumb texture.
- Spoon 50g of filling into each tart case and pat the bottom and sides of the tart case with oiled fingertips until the whole tart case is covered with the mix.
- Place the tart cases on a tray, poke with a fork in the centre lightly and bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until golden, set aside to cool.
- Make the caramel by placing the sugar into a pan on high heat until the mix turns amber and bubbles.
- Remove off the heat, pour in the cream, add the salt and the butter. Stir until well combine and silky smooth in texture.
- Allow the caramel to sit for 10 minutes to cool then place half the caramel into a bowl and for the remaining pour into the bottom of the cooked tart cases.
- Peel the apples and core them.
- Cut the apples into quarters, then each quarter into 3 pieces lengthways.
- Put the apple pieces in a bowl with a pitch of salt, the brown sugar, the lemon zest and flour. Stir until the apple is well coated and the mix is evenly distributed.
- Place the bowl in the microwave on a medium heat, stopping and mixing in 60 second bursts until the apple is soft and the flour mix coats the apple well.
- Add the remaining caramel to the apples and stir until well combine.
- Place 40g walnuts and 30g of the pork crackle into the apple mix and stir until well combined.
- Spoon the apple pieces over the caramel in a fan design, topping with the remaining caramel mix over the apples.
- Place tarts on a tray and bake in the oven on 175c degrees, for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with remaining 10g walnuts and 10g pork crackle, leave aside until they have cooled to just warmer than room temperature.
- Remove the tarts out of the tart casings and enjoy as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the top.
Note: You are best using actual pork crackle, not using the pork belly crackling with the fat. We just want to the crunchiness of the crackling!
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