Mini Apple Cheddar Tarts
In the mood for a savory-sweet treat with just a little touch of grown-up? Not to worry, Cabot Creamery and their “easy as pie” Cabot Cheddar Cracker Cuts have got you covered. This super simple and near genius recipe was created by Cabot Chef Jimmy Kennedy, and is a guaranteed cheddar cheese & apple lovers dream come true.
The easy pie recipe makes twice as much pie dough that you will need for the tarts, so you can either freeze half and pull it out when you find yourself in need of a gooey cheesy treat, double the filling in the recipe and make double the tarts, or we have ideas for some fun and tasty treats so you can choose what to do with extra pie crust, make sure to check the “Tips” section at the end of the post.
Step 1: Make the Tart Dough (If you don’t want to make your own, use store-bought pie crust, and skip ahead to the rolling out step!)
Measure the flour into your food processor, or a bowl if you decide to go the low-tech route or if you don’t have a food processor. Add the sugar and give it a stir or a whir in your processor. Cut the Cabot butter into pats and add to the bowl or processor, pulse the processor until the butter is about the size of peas, if using a pastry cutter, cut to the same consistency.
Drizzle the ice water into the processor while pulsing, adding only enough water to the point where the dough comes together, if using the bowl method add water slowly and stir with a fork until dough comes together enough that you can pinch it together and it will hold its shape.
Form dough into two disks, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or up to 24 hours. Dough can be frozen for up to a month if you are planning ahead.
Step 2: Pre-bake the Tart Shells
Preheat your oven to 350°. Divide one dough disk into quarters, lightly flour your rolling surface and roll one quarter into a circle about 5” in diameter and about 1/4” thick.
Tuck into a 4” tart pan, rolling the edges over to fit inside the tart pan.
(Alternatively, roll out the entire disc and cut four 5” circles out of the dough.) Repeat with the remaining pans and dough. Place a piece of parchment or greased foil on top of the dough and weigh down with dried beans or pie weights.
Place tart shells on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes, remove parchment or foil and weights and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until they are nicely golden. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the filling. *Side note; if you don’t have or don’t wish to go to the trouble of weighing your dough with beans or pie weights, it’s not a big deal… the crust may slouch a little, but it will still make a perfectly suitable holder for your filling.
Step 3: Make the Tarts!
While the tart shells are baking, heat a sauce pot or sauté pan over medium heat.
Melt the Cabot Butter and add the sliced apples, cook until the apples begin to soften. Add the Citizen Cider and continue cooking until the liquid reduces by about half, stir in the maple syrup and remove the pan from the heat.
To assemble the tarts, spoon the apples into the tart shells and top with 1-2 slices of your favorite Cabot Cheddar Cracker Cuts.
Return the filled tarts to the oven and bake until the cheese melts and begins to bubble, about 4-6 minutes. Carefully pop the tarts out of the tart pans, serve and eat!
To get the full list of ingredients and directions, view the recipe here.
Tips: What to do with extra crust
- Don’t have mini tart pans? Make 1 large tart instead, or cut circles out of your rolled dough with a biscuit cutter and use a muffin tin to make bite-sized mini tarts.
- With the extra dough, cut shapes with small decorative cookie cutters or a knife, bake alongside the tart shells when pre-baking and set aside to decorate the finished tarts.
- Roll out the extra dough disc into a rectangle, grate your favorite Cabot Cheddar Cheese over half of the dough, fold the other half over the top and press down to flatten and contain the cheese, the rolling pin works well for this. Cut the dough into 1 inch strips and twist the dough into a long coil or straw shape. Place on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake in a 400° until melty and golden, about 10-15 minutes.
- Alternatively, roll out the dough disc into a rectangle, grate Cabot Cheddar Cheese over the entire surface, roll the dough into a log and chill for about 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and slice log into 1/2 inch slices (think pinwheels), bake on a parchment covered cookie sheet in a preheated 400° oven till golden and melty, about 10-15 minutes.