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Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

5 from 19 votes

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This rustic caramel apple tart made with puff pastry is a festive seasonal dessert made with granny smith apples, sugar and spice, and caramel sauce that is nice! We have a few tricks to make this rustic puff pastry apple tart fully vegan. Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

three apple tart pieces on a plate with white bowl of caramel sauce

Nothing says fall like cool crisp days, the crunch of leaves under your feet, and the warm scent of baked goods fresh out of the oven – along with sugar and spice, and everything nice! These rustic caramel apple tart pastries are perfect for a yummy fall dessert, on your brunch buffet, or an anytime treat.

Why you will want to make this delicious recipe for rustic apple tarts with caramel sauce

  • So easy to make with puff pastry for golden brown flaky layers.
  • Just slice and season the apples – no need to make a complicated filling.
  • A few simple hacks make this delicious apple tart recipe vegan.
  • Flexible – use homemade caramel sauce (see below) or your favorite dairy-free caramel sauce you can purchase at the store.
  • All the flavors of fall – but you can enjoy it any time of the year.
  • Perfect with coffee for a mid-morning snack, as a dessert, after-school treat, or whenever the mood strikes!

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drizzling vegan caramel from a spoon with apple tart in background with pinterest text overlay

Ingredients (and suggested substitutions) needed to make an apple tart with caramel sauce

  •  puff pastry – We are a vegan family and so I always choose vegan ingredients. Most puff pastry you can buy in the freezer section of your grocery store is vegan, but not all. If you are vegan then please read the ingredients to make sure. My go-to choice is Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. Please read this article by Kathy’s Vegan Kitchen in which she discusses some brands of vegan puff pastry. You could also make this recipe with regular pie dough if you prefer more of an “apple pie” type of tart, but you won’t get those lovely puffed edges!
  •  Granny Smith apples – You can use any type of apple you’d like. I like Granny Smith apples for their flavor and texture when baked. You will need three medium apples or four smaller apples. If you use very large apples you might only need two. However, I always get an extra just in case it runs a little short.
  •  brown sugar packed -Please use brown sugar in this recipe rather than white granulated sugar. Brown sugar lends a rich caramelly flavor that white sugar just doesn’t.
  • vanilla extract
  • ground cinnamon and salt
  • vegan melted butter  – Again, we are a vegan family and so we use vegan butter. If you use dairy butter then use the salted kind as this recipe was developed using salted vegan butter.
  • 3 Tablespoons aquafaba – Aquafaba is the liquid from canned or cooked legumes such as chickpeas. We use aquafaba to give a little shine to the edges of the puff pastry. If you are not vegan then you might use an egg white instead. Wondering what to do with the chickpeas in your can? See below for some delicious suggestions.
  • 2 Tablespoons turbo sugar for the topping- This is sugar that has a larger crystal and is used not just for flavor but for decoration purposes as well. You can use regular granulated sugar if you can’t find turbo sugar. It surely looks fancy though!
  • ⅓ cup caramel sauce – You can use any caramel sauce of your choice. I love my vegan homemade caramel sauce. You can find my salted caramel sauce here. If you are vegan and buy your caramel sauce then make sure to read the ingredients. And honestly, even though the recipe calls for one-third cup, feel free to add as much extra caramel sauce as you’d like!

About the aquafaba

What exactly is aquafaba and why do we use it in this recipe? Aquafaba is the “juice” or liquid found in a can of beans like chickpeas, black beans, and such. And by beans, I mean legumes – not green beans! If you cook your own legumes you can also use that leftover liquid. I personally have never done that though.

aquafaba in 1/4 measuring cup with canned garbanzo beans in background

Aquafaba can be used as an egg substitute in many vegan recipes such as these vegan macarons by Cooking on Caffeine (and by the way she is known as the Queen of Vegan Macarons!).

I have also used aquafaba when dipping and battering items to be fried or air fried such as with my Vegan Orange Chicken with Soy Curls recipe.

For this caramel apple tart recipe, we are using the aquafaba as an egg wash replacement – Just like I did in my Apple Cranberry Strudel recipe.

But what can you do with all of those beans?

Right? You’ve used the aquafaba from the can of beans and now you have a can of beans to use! Not a problem. Consider some of these yummy recipes from Veggie Fun Kitchen to use those lovely legumes:)

How to make a caramel apple tart with puff pastry

The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.

Step 1 Thawing the puff pastry and other preparations

Using puff pastry is what makes this caramel apple tart a rustic tart pastry. It’s easy to use, flavorful, and flaky. First, you are going to need to thaw the frozen puff pastry according to the package directions. This can take up to four hours so plan accordingly.

When the puff pastry is almost thawed enough to use, preheat the oven to 400° You are also going to need to prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or with a silicone mat. I prefer using parchment paper for easier cleanup.

I also go ahead and melt the vegan butter so that it will be ready to go. Place the vegan butter in a microwave-safe bowl and set the timer for 30 seconds. Continue in 15-second increments if necessary.

You could even set softened butter on the stovetop near the oven vents and just let it sit there till it is completely melted.

Once the pastry has thawed and the baking sheet has been prepared, cut the puff pastry into thirds and place it on the baking sheet. You will not need to roll dough with this recipe. Simply cut into thirds and place on the prepared pan.

If you do not already have your caramel purchased or made, this is a great time to do so. I love my homemade salted caramel sauce. It is a bit labor-intensive. It can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

Step 2: The apples

Granny Smith apples are my favorite type of apples to use in recipes such as this. They have a nice tart flavor that contrasts well with the sugar and they don’t turn mushy when baked. You might have a different favorite baking apple you’d like to use.

Wash, dry, and thinly slice the apples. You can leave the skin on but do make sure you don’t include any of the middle core section or the seeds.

Place the sliced apples into a medium-large sized bowl. Add the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, and melted butter. Give everything a good toss so that the apples are fully covered in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

mixing the seasonings in with the apples

Step 3: Assembling the puff pastry tart

Place the coated apple slices in rows on the puff pastry sheets, overlapping each slice as necessary. Spoon any additional leftover sugar mixture on top of the sliced apples on the pastry sheets.

Use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of the aquafaba along the edges of the pastry sheets (where there is no apple). Sprinkle with the turbo sugar.

Step 4: Bake

Place your prepared apple tart in a 400° oven and bake for 20 minutes. Your puff pastry should be nicely golden brown and puffed.

two apple tarts on a parchment paper without drizzled caramel

Cut each cooked pastry into four pieces so that you will have a total of twelve servings. Or, you can choose to serve each rectangle as a whole piece and allow people to cut their own slices.

Serving suggestions

Drizzle the caramel sauce on top right before serving. If you drizzle the caramel sauce on too soon before serving, the puff pastry tends to get a little soggy.

caramel drizzled in foreground with apple tart in background

You can serve alone with the caramel sauce or your favorite whipped topping or ice cream! Here are some of my favorites:

The caramel apple tart printable recipe card

caramel in foreground with apple tart in background with a piece of apple tart on a fork

Did you love this recipe? Want to share the love? It would thrill me to no end if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

caramel drizzled in foreground with apple tart in background

Rustic Caramel Apple Tart

This rustic caramel apple tart made with puff pastry is a festive seasonal dessert made with a puff pastry sheet, granny smith apples, sugar and spice, and caramel sauce that is nice! We have a few tricks to make this rustic puff pastry apple tart fully vegan. Serve with your favorite ice cream or whipped topping.
5 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple puff pastry, apple tartlets, caramel apple tart, rustic apple tart
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
time to thaw puff pastry: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 3 med Granny Smith apples
  • cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan butter melted
  • teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons aquafaba see notes
  • 2 Tablespoons turbo sugar
  • cup caramel sauce see notes

Instructions

  • First, thaw the frozen puff pastry sheet according to the box directions. This will take up to four hours if done in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°
  • Melt the vegan butter. You can melt it in the microwave, or place it in slices in a dish on top of the stove while it is preheating.
  • Cut the thawed puff pastry into thirds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the three puff pastry rectangles on the baking sheet. Set it aside.
  • Wash, dry, and thinly slice the apples – making sure to leave out any seeds or core area.
  • Add the sliced apples to a bowl along with the brown sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, melted butter, and salt. Toss around to fully coat the apples.
  • Place the coated apple slices in rows on the puff pastry sheets, overlapping each slice as necessary. Spoon any additional leftover sugar mixture on top of the sliced apples on the pastry sheets.
  • Use a pastry brush to brush a thin layer of aquafaba along the edges of each puff pastry sheet. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar along the brushed edges.
  • Bake for twenty minutes or until the puff pastry is nicely golden brown and "puffed".
  • Decide how many pieces of apple tart you would like and cut accordingly. You can cut the three strips into four for twelve total servings or serve as a whole piece and allow everyone to cut their own slice.
  • Drizzle the caramel sauce on top. Or you can serve it on the side and allow everyone to drizzle their own.
  • Remove from the baking sheet and place the pastries on a serving tray. Serve immediately.

Notes

Use three medium or four small apples. You can use another apple of your choice. I happen to like the Granny Smith apple for its texture when baked, and snappy tart flavor that pairs beautifully with the sweet caramel sauce.
Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. See the blog post above for some great recipes to use those chickpeas in!
I use apple pie spice because it’s super tasty and “seasonal” tasting! However, I have also just used cinnamon alone and it is still delicious! 
There have been a few vegan adaptations to this recipe that you may not want to use if you are not vegan or are vegetarian. You can use regular dairy butter instead of vegan butter. Instead of aquafaba to brush on the puff pastry, you can beat one egg and brush that on before sprinkling the sugar. 
Turbo sugar has nice large crystals and is perfect to garnish the top of pastries. You can use any larger sugar crystals. I have even used cake sprinkles that are basically large sugar crystals. 
Use your choice of caramel sauce. If you are vegan then read the ingredients list. I’ve also listed some homemade options in the blog post above.
Much commercial puff pastry is vegan, but not all. Read the ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 114IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
By on September 10th, 2022

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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