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Caramelized Spiced Apple Tartlets

Caramelized Spiced Apple Tartlets
Serve these individual tarts with a dollop of fromage blanc that has been spiked with sugar, vanilla extract and chopped fresh mint. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets phyllo dough thawed in the refrigerator
     if frozen
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 3 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. golden brown sugar
  • 4 apples peeled cored and cut into slices 1/2
     inch thick
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbs. dried currants

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Cut the phyllo sheets in half crosswise. Stack the half sheets one on top of the other. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 4 rounds from the stack. Cover all but 1 stack of rounds with a kitchen towel. Disassemble the stack and brush apple juice on 1 round. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. brown sugar. Top with a second round, brush with apple juice and again sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. sugar. Top with the third round. Repeat with the juice and sugar on the fourth round.

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the phyllo stack on the prepared baking sheet and coat the stack with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat the procedure with the remaining phyllo stacks, spacing them evenly apart on the baking sheet. Place a second baking sheet on top of the assembled stacks to keep them flat while they bake.

Place the sandwiched phyllo stacks in the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the stacks to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick fry pan over medium heat. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. Add the apples, 2 Tbs. of the sugar and the pumpkin pie spice and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup apple juice and the currants. Cook until the apples caramelize and the liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Preheat a broiler.

Arrange the apple mixture decoratively atop the phyllo stacks, dividing it evenly. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. sugar over each tartlet. Place the tartlets on a baking sheet and slip under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil until the sugar bubbles, about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Fresh & Light, by Lane Crowther (Time-Life Books, 1998).