At some unknown point, Thanksgiving day desserts lost their appeal to me. Maybe it's because I always eat too much at dinner and so there really just isn't room for dessert. Maybe it's because I never really cared for pumpkin pie. It could have coincided with my gluten allergy diagnosis—you almost give up on desserts for a while when that day comes. Regardless of when or why it happened, I just stopped getting excited about holiday dessert.
This year I decided to change that. I came up with something simple, yet luxurious and light. An apricot glazed apple tart. This may end up being my favorite apple dish. The crust is crunchy, the apples sweet and spicy, and the apricot glaze adds a wonderful gooeyness that holds it all together.
And it actually is pretty simple to make. Let's start with the crust. You literally throw it all in a food processor and pulse until it starts rolling together into a ball.
Next press the dough into a tart pan. So let's talk tart pans. First off, unless you are using a ceramic pie/tart dish, only bother with the metal ones that have a separate bottom. These are the ones that you literally lift the finish product out of the pan. Unless it is a newer, seriously non-stick version (but do these really exist?), make sure you grease your tart pan well before pressing the dough into it. I like to use coconut oil for this, but you can use vegan butter or shortening. Make a special point of really greasing the bottom piece so that you can remove the tart from it when you are done. And make sure you don't press the dough too hard, but use a light touch or you will never get it off the bottom piece. Obviously I speak from experience here! Next use a fork to poke some holes in the bottom and then bake it empty for 15 minutes.
While it is baking, peel, core, and then thinly slice the apples. Set them aside and then make the maple syrup and cinnamon mixture in a small bowl. Once you remove the blind-baked crust from the oven, arrange your apples on the crust in an overlapping pretty style. Brush with the syrup/cinnamon mixture and then return it to the oven to bake for an additional 40 minutes.
About 10 minutes before the tart is done, heat the apricot preserves in a pan on the stove top. Once it is warm, strain it to separate the apricot chunks from the liquid. You won't need the apricot chunks for this, but please don't throw them out. Slather them on your toast tomorrow morning for breakfast. Or make muffins with them. Or spoon them into your coconut yogurt. Or mix them in your soy ice cream tonight. You get my drift.
Once you remove the tart from the oven, brush the apricot glaze over the apple tart and allow to cool completely before serving. Once it is cool, you can lift the bottom out and serve.
You are going to love this. It is elegant so people are going to think you spent a lot of time on it. This is the perfect little sweet treat after your heavy Thanksgiving dinner and it won't make you have to unbutton your pants in the end.
Happy Thanksgiving! Xoxo
Time: 1 hr 45 minutes
1 1/2 c. almond meal
5 gluten-free graham crackers (Kinnikinnick makes a gf,v version)
1/3 c. Earth Balance butter
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 macintosh or honey crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
10 oz. apricot preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heavily grease a 10 inch tart pan or 4 small tart pans (coconut oil works good here but you can use Earth Balance or vegan shortening as well).
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers to crumbles and then add the rest of crust ingredients. Pulse to combine until a ball forms. Lightly press into your tart pan, making sure not to press too hard or you won’t be able to get it out of the pan once it is done. Using a fork, poke the dough a few times. Bake for 15 minutes and then remove, leaving the oven on.
In the meantime, peel, core, and thinly slice your apples. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup and cinnamon. Arrange your apples on the blind-baked tart crusts to overlap. With a pastry brush, brush the syrup/cinnamon mixture on the top of the arrangement and put back in the oven and bake an additional 40 minutes. Remove from oven.
10 minutes before the tarts come out of the oven, heat the apricot preserves on the stove top until it is liquid and pliable. With a small colander over a bowl, pour the liquid apricot preserves over the colander to separate the whole apricot pieces from the liquid.
Using your pastry brush again, once you remove the tarts from the oven, brush the liquid apricot glaze over the tart. Let cool completely before serving.
Nutritional Estimations: Calories 389. Total Fat 18 g. Cholesterol 0 mg. Sodium 247 mg. Potassium 64 mg. Total Carbs 54 g. Fiber 4 g. Sugars 41 g. Protein 5 g. Vitamin A 1%. Vitamin C 8%. Calcium 7%. Iron 6%.