I had just finished my evening rituals with Gratsie (my Maine Coon cat) and was about to leave the family room when our guest cook sister entered the room waving her camera at me with a look in her eye that told me she was pleased with something she wanted to show me…
With one innovative idea she had succeeded in transforming our popular summer tart into a Fall/Winter version using apples and cranberries laced with caramel sauce, replacing the usual summer strawberries, peaches and nectarines.
A graceful (and delicious) transition from one season to another with an amazing result! We both smiled as the cat swished her tail, and we all went to bed purring.
CHANGE SERVING SIZEservings
READY IN2 hrs35 mins
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Apple-Cranberry Compote
- 4 apple(s) peeled and chopped, (we used Golden Delicious)
- 1 1/2 cups whole cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar more to taste depending on the tartness of the cranberries
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-2 Tbsp orange juice
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- pinch of salt
- lemon juice (for sprinkling apples prior to cooking)
- Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.
- Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan.
- Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze.
- Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 3/4-inch-wide opening. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner.
- Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 2-inch-diameter tarts, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake the tarts until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Peel and chop the apples of your choice. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning and set aside. For this recipe, we used Golden Delicious.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter and add the chopped apples on medium heat.
- Add the sugar and seasonings to the apples and cook until fork-tender. Keep an eye on the apples and sugar, reduce heat if needed. The sugar should melt into a consistency similar to syrup. Turn the heat down if sugar starts to caramelize.
- Add the whole cranberries and cook a few minutes more until the cranberries start to burst. If you prefer, cook a bit longer to cook the cranberries a little more, adding sugar as necessary, depending on how tart the berries are.
- Remove from heat, set aside and arrange the meringues on a plate or serving platter.
- Gently heat the caramel sauce and spoon into the center of the meringue, tumbling the Cran-Apple compote on top. Drizzle with extra caramel sauce if desired.
- Serve at room-temperature and pair this tangy-sweet seasonal dessert with a steaming cup of tea, coffee or pressed cider!
Serve with your favorite Caramel Sauce!