October 11th, 2016
Caramel ice cream
Place egg yolks in a large stainless steel bowl and set aside.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, combine sugar and water and cook over high heat, swirling gently to dissolve the sugar (do not leave unattended!). The sugar will start to darken, and once it has turned a deep straw colour, 5 to 6 minutes, immediately remove from the heat and slowly drizzle in all the cream (it’s going to bubble aggressively at first so be very careful). Turn down the heat to low and return the pot to the stove to re-melt the caramel (it hardens when you add the cream).
Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the liquid caramel into the egg yolks (this process, called tempering, warms the eggs gradually so you do not scramble them).
Fill the pot with 1/2 inch of water and place it over medium-low heat. Set the bowl with the egg mixture over the pot and cook, whisking often, for about 10 minutes. The custard will thicken, and it is ready when a wooden spoon dipped in the custard can draw a line that holds.
Pour into an ice-cream maker or another suitable container and let cool at room temperature, uncovered, for 1 hour. Freeze, uncovered, for 4 hours to make sure it’s cold before you put a lid on it. Freeze for at least 12 hours before serving.
To prepare the dough, place the 2 cups of flour into a medium stainless steel bowl. Dip cold butter in the flour and, using the large holes of a box grater, shred it over the flour. Gently toss the grated butter in flour to distribute it evenly. Add water and knead in the bowl until the dough comes together, 1 minute. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
To prepare the filling, place corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs and melted butter into a medium stainless steel bowl and whisk together until smooth. Add the 2 Tbsp of flour and stir just to combine. Set aside.
In a medium non-stick pan, sauté apples over high heat for about 1 minute. Stir in cinnamon and pepper and sauté for 1 more minute. Set aside.
Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry until it is 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch to 5-inch round cutter or a tea cup saucer, cut 12 discs. Place these rounds in the muffin cups, gently pressing them into the moulds. Divide the apples evenly among the tart shells, then pour the filling almost to very top. Garnish each tart with a few walnuts. Bake until the filling is set and the pastry is golden, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in pan for 5 minutes. With a small spatula, gently loosen and remove tarts from the muffin pan.
Serve tarts warm, topped with ice cream and bacon lardons if you wish.