Monday, October 17, 2011

French Apple Tart

Apple pie is the quintessential American dish, but maybe you want something a little different this Thanksgiving.  This is a French apple tart, a fairly simple and delicious dessert that showcases the wonderful flavour of apples.  Unclouded by spices and excessive sugar, this tart lets seasonal apples shine through.  The recipe is veganized from Williams-Sonoma's Essentials of Baking, but it is a pretty classic and standard dish: a baked apple sauce on the bottom and glazed sliced apples on top.  It is essential that you use baking apples (I used Royal Gala) so that they maintain some texture and don't reduce to total mush.  Then, you can use this basic recipe and go crazy: apple-cranberry-pecan tart, for example.  Feel free to add some cinnamon or nutmeg, or some brandy to the roasted apples.

Tart Pastry
- 1 1/4 cups (200g/6.5 oz) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (60g/2 oz) icing sugar
- 1/2 cup (125g/4 oz) cold margarine (Earth Balance)
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 2-3 tbsp cold coconut milk (or soy creamer/milk)

1. Whisk together flour and sugar.  Cut in margarine until mixture has large crumbs the size of peas.
2. Sprinkle flax over the water and 2 tbsp of the coconut milk, then whisk until goopy.  Add to flour mixture and mix with a fork until it comes together into a soft dough, dribbling in more milk if needed.
3.  Press dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour and as much as overnight.
4. When pastry is cooled, roll out into a 12-13 inch circle on a floured surface.  Carefully place dough into a 9.5 inch tart pan, letting the excess hand over the sides.

Trim overhanging dough to 1/2 inch.  Fold overhang into the pan and press dough into the pan to make a smooth and uniform shell.

5. Place shell in the freezer and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. When oven is a heat, line shell with aluminium foil and fill with dried beans.

Bake for 15-20 mins, or until crust has dried out.  After 15 mins, pull back some of the foil and check if it is wet/oily.  If it is, replace the foil and check again in two mins.
7.  Once dry, remove foil/beans, reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake for another 3-5 mins, until very lightly golden (you only want to partially bake the crust).  Let cool on a wire rack.

Apple Tart
- 2 lbs cooking apples (about 5), peeled, cored, and cut into uniform chunks (about 1 inch)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp margarine, melted

- 2 cooking apples, peeled cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp margarine, melted
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup apricot jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix together apple pieces, sugar, lemon juice and melted margarine in a large bowl and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 mins, or until soft and mash-able.  Mash until chunky and set aside to cool.
2. When cooled, spread into the cooled tart crust.

3. Layer sliced apples over the apple sauce like you see in the pic below.

Remember that the apples will shrink when cooked, so don't space them too far apart.  Brush lightly with melted margarine, then sprinkle sugar over top.  Bake for 45-50 mins, unit apples are soft.  Let cool on a wire rack for 30 mins.
4. Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve, then brush gently over the apples.  Serve at room temp.


runteacher78 said...

Do you have a recipe for pie crust? mine keep coming out so so and falling apart or being sticky.

vanyelmoon said...

Looks absolutely devine! I will have to make this for Thanksgiving. Thanks for another winning recipe :)

Gracielou said...

This looks beautiful - thanks for sharing!

Can you save the dried beans to cook later, or does baking them make them unusable?

The Yogi Kitchen said...

I like your pastry recipe with the addition of flax and soya-creamer. Were you pleased with it? Are Gala's a baking apple by the way? We use Bramleys over in the UK which have a beautiful tartness as well as holding their shape well.

Brittany Boersma said...


Yadsia @ShopCookMake said...

I want to eat a piece right now! said...

Wow, that looks amazing. I need to try your recipe soon!

Simmons013 said...

Loks delicious! I will have to make this at thanksgiving. Maybe make another just for me.

Courtney Ann Melzer said...

OMG this looks SO good! What exactly is a cooking apple? Is there a type that works best?

Quiltbug said...

Are you using the Earth Balance stick or the spread

Cecilia said...

Apples are super delicious, and I'm excited to try out this recipe. Everyone loves pie at Thanksgiving, but I think a tart will mix it up a bit. I'm always bad at making crusts though, so hopefully I'll master it. Thanks for sharing, especially when Thanksgiving has already passed for you! :)

corrine said...

very interesting recipe, just perfect for the christmas holidays. thanks for sharing. :)

Kathleen Richardson said...

Wow, does that sound good. I just read another blog with a recipe for chestnut cheesecake and now you come along with this for an apple tart. Jackpot ideas for the upcoming holidays! Thanks for the idea.

Karen's Vegan Kitchen said...

What a beautiful tart. I may have to make this for my Thanksgiving meal!

Chef E said...

Absolutely gorgeous and looks delicious! will give the recipe a try!

AikoVenus said...

This looks so delicious! Normally I don't eat apples unless in an (extremely rare)apple pie or tart. ^^

Erica said...

Yummy! This looks so good!

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myveganlondon said...

Bravo ! I remember having this dessert on sundays. The original recipe has got butter (for the pastry) and eggs (for the topping), so my mum did her best to make it vegan, and the entire family just loved it. Thanks for the souvenir!

L'Acadienne V├ęg├ętarienne said...

Look's so good!!!

Fermento said...

I made this for dinner last night. I used my own crust recipe (which is not vegan) but I was fascinated by the filling. It was delicious and since it was mostly fresh apples with only a little bit of sugar, not bad for us either. Thanks for posting this. It was beautiful and delicious.

thislittlevegan said...

Beautiful, will try it. Thanks Nathan!

thislittlevegan said...

Beautiful, will try this. Thanks Nathan!

Kissie said...

I'm speechless. Still in bed and reading this from my cell phone {amazing app allows me to read my favorite blogs in one quick swoop - though I may not comment, I have a great opportunity to read them}.

I digress, as simple as this recipe is..... I don't trust myself to follow it precisely. However, I have a daughter (my personal chef) who is always up to a challenge and never disappoints. I will share pics with you soon.

Wish I could share the calories.

Rose said...

Is flax seed absolutely necessary? I have an allergy to it and would love to try out some of these recipes! :)

Mademoiselle Julie said...

Oh my, thank you baking G*d, this was probably the best thing I baked thus far! Turned out beautifully & oh so hard to share! YUM!