Makes 8 individual tarts
- 5 medium (about 2 pounds total) firm cooking apples (such as Gala or Granny Smith)
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped lime or lemon zest (colored rind only removed with a peeler or zester and finely chopped)
- About 1 cup bottled cajeta
- 1 box (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
- 2 cups berries (such as raspberries, blackberries, or hulled, sliced strawberries—even defrosted individually quick-frozen berries will work here)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar to taste
- About ¾ cup crème fraiche or sour cream thinned with a little milk (optional)
- Peel and core the apples, then cut them into ½-inch cubes; you should have about 6 cups. Melt butter in a large (12-inch) heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the apples and stir nearly constantly until soft and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of the lime or lemon zest and ¼ cup of the cajeta. Stir for a minute or two, then remove from the heat. Scoop the apple mixture onto a baking sheet to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Unroll pie crusts on a lightly floured work surface. Cut each sheet into quarters. Transfer the pastry pieces to 2 parchment-covered baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them. Spoon 1/8 of the apple filling onto the center of each pastry round, leaving a 1½- inch border all around. Fold the dough edges up over the filling toward the center, gently pleating the dough as necessary for a rustic looking tart with a little apple filling showing in the center. If time allows, place the baking sheets in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the tarts until richly golden and crispy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle a generous ½ tablespoon of the remaining cajeta into the center of each tart. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, mix the berries with the remaining ½ teaspoon of lime or lemon zest and the sugar. Mash the mixture slightly to crush some of the berries. Let the mixture stand a few minutes to meld the flavors.
- Serve the tarts warm with a spoonful or two of the optional crema or sour cream, the berry “salsa” and a little drizzle of the remaining cajeta.