Mini shortbread apple tarts with salted caramel

Easier than apple pie!

Freshly picked apples are one of the delights of autumn. Their beautiful red skins and crisp texture seem a perfect pairing with the changing seasons. These delicious tarts are a great way to showcase apples in a pretty way and I think you’ll find this recipe super easy as well. Note that if you’d like, you can double the quantities and follow the same directions below to prepare a 9 inch tart (use a springform pan). Mini or full sized tarts can be baked ahead and frozen in an airtight container for up to three months, though I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long to polish ’em off.

Mini tarts with a shortbread base, spiced apples and salted caramel


For the shortbread crust:

  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) very cold butter

For the filling:

  • 2 medium apples
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) ground ginger

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) caramel sauce (purchased or homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) fine sea salt or Maldon salt flakes


  • Start by preheating oven to 375F. Line a twelve-compartment muffin pan with paper liners (use the parchment ones if you can find them) and set aside.
  • Prepare shortbread crust by combining flour, sugar and butter, cut in 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) cubes in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Alternatively, you can also combine flour and sugar in a medium sized bowl and use a box grater to grate the butter into the flour mixture. Combine well with your fingers, rubbing the grated butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Divide the flour mixture among the twelve muffin tin compartments and press down with the back of a small spoon.


  • Bake for 15 minutes until just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove muffin pan from oven but do not turn oven off.
  • While crust is baking, prepare fruit filling by peeling and coring apples, then cutting into thin pieces (approximately 1/8 inch by 1/2 inch).
  • Put the cut apples in a bowl, toss with lemon juice. Combine sugar, cinnamon and ginger and sprinkle over apples then stir to combine.
  • When crust has baked, top with apple mixture, dividing evenly among the twelve tarts. Press down very lightly with fingers.
  • Top each tart with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of the caramel sauce and finish with a sprinkling of salt.


  • Return pan to oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until apples are tender and caramel sauce is bubbling.


  • Let cool at least 1 hour at room temperature or 30 minutes in the refrigerator (to allow caramel sauce to set) before removing from paper liners and serving.

Makes 12 mini tarts.

Mini tarts with shortbread, spiced apples and salted caramel


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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