Editor’s Note: At the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City, pastry chef Thomas Raquel creates elaborate desserts for fortunate diners. For the holiday season, he’s sharing one of his favorite classic flavor pairings in recipe form with Life & Thyme readers.
I wanted to create a tart that gives a nod to the classic pairing of cheddar and apple. Taking inspiration from the Midwest, where it is common to serve a slice of cheddar cheese alongside apple pie, I combined them into one bite. Roasting the apples as you would for a tarte tatin brings out their caramelized flavors which balances well with the saltiness of the cheese.
Apple Cheddar Tart
Makes 1 tart
- 510 g. all-purpose flour
- 10 g. sugar
- 5 g. salt
- 1 lb. butter
- 100 g. ice water
- 12 g. white vinegar
White Cheddar Filling:
- 200 g. cream cheese
- 2,200 g. grated white cheddar
- 20 g. butter
- 50 g. milk
- 40 g. sugar
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 whole gala apples
- 200 g. sugar
- 40 g. butter
Cut the butter into small cubes, then place in the freezer.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar.
Add the frozen butter in to the dry ingredients. With your hands, work the butter into the flour, gently making sure not to over mix. You want small beads of butter in the flour.
Combine the water and vinegar together, add the liquid in to the flour/butter mixture in 3 parts. Fold gently until it comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins in the refrigerator.
Place the 12-inch tart ring on to a half sheet pan lined with parchment. Roll the pie dough in between 2 layers of parchment paper, rolling gently to prevent cracking while rolling. Roll it to about 1/8 of an inch and about 16-inch circumference.
With the help of the rolling pin transfer the dough on top of the tart ring, line the tart ring with the dough, trim the excess dough overlapping about ½ an inch off to the lip of the ring, freeze the sheet pan for 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake the frozen tart dough at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes with the pie weights. Cool the tart dough and set aside.
White Cheddar Filling:
In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, butter milk and sugar together.
Microwave for 2 minutes, then with a hand blender, blend the mixture until homogenous, let it cool to room temperature.
Add the eggs and blend until fully combined, then fold in the grated white cheddar.
Transfer the mixture in to a piping bag, set aside for assembly.
Cut off both ends of each apple, then peel. With an apple corer, remove core of the apple, cut in half vertically then set aside.
Place a medium size pan on to the stove burner, add the sugar. Caramelize the sugar until you achieve a medium-dark caramel.
Off heat, deglaze with the butter, then pour the caramel in a 6-inch baking pan. Place the apple halves directly on the caramel, standing up.
Wrap the pan with aluminum foil. Roast the apples at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 to 30 minutes. Let it cool on the counter to room temperature then chill before cutting.
Place the chilled apples on the cutting board and cut lengthwise into 4 pieces, about ½-inch slices. Set aside.
Reserve the liquid from the apples and place in a sauce pot, reduce the liquid until about the consistency of honey. Set aside
With a micro-plane carefully trim the edges of the baked tart, making sure that the edges are flush to the tart ring.
Pipe the white cheddar filling into the tart shell, leaving ½-inch space from the top of the tart.
Carefully place the slivers of apples on top of the filling in a straight pattern.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 mins, let cool to room temperature.
Glaze the tops of the apples with the apple reduction.