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4.34 from 3 votes

Caramelized Apple, Shallot and Cheddar Tart

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Entree
Author: Emily Clifton, Nerds with Knives


  • 8 ounces Cabot Seriously Sharp White Cheddar Cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks plus one whole egg for brushing the pastry
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 5 large shallots sliced into thin rings (about 2 cups)
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry thawed in refrigerator
  • All-purpose flour for dusting a work surface
  • 2 or 3 sweet-tart apples such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Winesap, cored and sliced into very thin wedges
  • Chopped parsley Aleppo pepper flakes, or a drizzle of warm honey, to serve (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, add in the Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese, egg yolks, salt, pepper, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and thyme leaves. Stir together until well combined and set aside.
  • Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the shallots, along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they turn soft and begin to brown in spots, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  • Lightly flour a work surface and lay the puff pastry out flat. If your pastry comes in two pieces, lay them together to form a rectangle and crimp the edges together. Gently smooth out any creases with a rolling pin. Move the pastry to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, lightly score a 1-inch border around pastry. Use a fork to poke holes about an inch or so apart all over the middle part of the pastry, avoiding the border. Beat the whole egg in a small bowl and brush the border edges. Bake until light golden brown and slightly puffed, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While the dough is par-baking, prep the apples. We like to leave the skins on though you can peel them if you like. Cut them in half, cut out the core with a melon baller or a paring knife, then slice them into very thin wedges using a mandoline or a sharp knife.
  • Remove the dough from the oven and spread the cheddar mixture over the pastry, staying within border. Scatter the reserved shallots over the top and arrange the apples over the top. Brush the apples lightly with the last tablespoons of olive oil and season them with salt and pepper, to taste. Return the tray to the oven and bake until the pastry is deep golden brown and the apples and shallots are caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with a little more fresh thyme, a sprinkle of spicy chili flakes and a drizzle of honey, if desired.
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