By Cat, Jan 2015 (Photo, right, by Cat; note this is not what this Apple tart recipe will look like)
See also: Pies, Tarts & Turnovers Menu
Two years ago I switched to a ketogenic eating plan (high fat, low carb), but I miss favorite treats like tarts. So I get excited when I see a recipe that uses ground nuts instead of grain-flour. I’m not big on gluten-free ‘flour’ because it includes questionable starchy ingredients (gums). ‘Sweet’ is another thing I miss on this eating plan, so I’ve learned to use stevia for an occasional sweet treat.
This recipe uses almond meal for the crust, which is great for me. But it uses maple syrup for the caramel glaze, which cannot be replaced with stevia or xylitol (a sugar-alcohol) because they will not caramelize. The saving grace is cream in the caramel glaze, which helps to counter the effect of the maple syrup.
Apple Tart with Almond Crust and Maple-Caramel Glaze
This recipe is adapted from one in Better Nutrition magazine, Sept 2014 issue, by Jonny Bowden PhD., CNS, and Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC.
Be sure to use sweet apples such as Golden Delicious or Jonagold, and grade-B maple syrup in this recipe. Maple syrup comes in two grades: A, which is pancake syrup, and B, which is for all other uses. Grade B is darker, richer, and less processed – more like the healthful molasses – than pancake syrup.
If you use stevia for the apple filling, the original recipe calls for 1 packet, which means it is the kind of stevia cut with fiber like inulin, for use in sweetening coffee or tea. This is not the same as pure stevia extract powder (which does not come in packets, as only just a few grains are equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar).
It goes without saying that the butter and cream in the recipe is from pastured dairy animals, preferably raw.
If you don’t have an apple corer, use a melon baller to scoop out the centers. For thin, uniform slices, use a mandoline such as the one pictured below.
Ingredients & Equipment
- Almond Crust:
- 2 ½ cps blanched almond flour, or almond meal
- 2 ½ Tbsp salted butter at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- Apple Filling
1 ½ Tbsp Rapadura sugar, or 1 packet stevia
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 5 – 6 medium-sized sweet apples, cored & sliced
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- Maple-Caramel Glaze
- 3 Tbsp grade-B maple syrup
- 1 ½ Tbsp butter
- pinch of unrefined sea salt
- 1 ½ Tbsp raw cream (or ½ Tbsp raw whole milk, 1 Tbsp raw cream)
- 11″ tart pan (with removable bottom) (Photo, right, from Amazon (3))
- mandoline or very sharp chef’s knife (Photo of mandoline, above, form Lehmans (2))
- small cup
- large bowl
- small saucepan
- Make crust: combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until it holds together, forming a dough ball. Alternately, beat egg just until combined, then beat in maple syrup and vanilla extract. Cut butter into almond flour, then mix in egg mixture until it holds together, forming a dough ball.
- If mixture is too dry, add 1 Tbsp chilled water.
- Press dough with fingers, evenly into pan and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Filling: Combine sweetener and spices in small cup, mixing well with a fork.
- Core apples, but do not peel; slice them thinly. Place a few slices at a time in a small bowl, and sprinkle spice mix and lemon juice over; add more slices on top and sprinkle with more spice mix and lemon juice; repeat layers until all apples are in the bowl. Drizzle butter over all, the toss gently with your hands to coat all the slices.
Layer seasoned apple slices on top of tart crust, starting around the outside, with slices roughly perpendicular to the crust as you go around to make a ring. Repeat inside the ring to to make a spiral until the entire crust is covered (you can reverse the tilt of the slices if you wish). (Photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons)
- Cover tart with foil and bake 45 – 60 minutes, or until apples are fairly tender. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes to brown the crust lightly, watching it so it doesn’t scorch.
- Remove tart from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
- Glaze: While tart is cooling, combine maple syrup and butter in small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly for 3 minutes.
- Carefully add salt and cream (it may splatter), and whisk again about 1 minute until mixture is a deep caramel color. Watch closely to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
- Finish tart: Drizzle glaze over tart, brushing gently to coat apples evenly, but be careful not to move the slices. NOTE: if glaze has thickened too much for easy spreading, rewarm it briefly to liquify, watching it carefully.
- Allow tart to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- Better Nutrition magazine, Sept 2014; recipe on page 66