An Apple a Day – (Almost) No-sugar apple and almond pistachio frangipane tart

I have kept this tart in the archives to post today because today it is exactly 1 year ago that Rossdibi of Ma che ti sei mangiato suffered a stroke at age 30. She wants to make the 3rd of March 2008 a happy day and has launched An Apple A Day. An Apple a Day is a food blogging event with apples as the main focus because apples can help prevent strokes. Participant should make something with apples and one (or more) of the following ingredients: Almonds, Black Tea, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Fish, Peperoncino or Tomatoes. All foods that can help prevent strokes.

I took this tart to a small birthday celebration of a friend of mine. One of the other friends that was coming doesn’t eat wheat and prefers not to eat regular sugar (yes, it’s that friend, fortunately she can eat more now). So instead of using regular sugar and wheat flour I made the crust with palm sugar and spelt flour. The tart has a almond pistachio frangipane filling that I sweetened with maple syrup. The only tiny bit of sugar is in the apricot preserves that I used to glaze the apple slices with.

The only thing I wasn’t totally satisfied with was the texture of the filling. The frangipane was wetter because of the maple syrup. I expected this to happen though. It still tasted very good.

Note – I used butter in my crust and the frangipane but you could substitute this with a vegetable alternative to make it healthier.

Sweet shortcrust pastry (adapted from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay)

270 g (2 cups) (spelt) flour

3 tbs palm sugar, beaten to a powder with a meat tenderizer

150 g (5 oz) cold butter, chopped

2-3 tbs iced water

Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough and process until just combined. Knead the dough lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Roll out the dough between baking paper and line a 23 cm (9 in) tart pan. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is golden. Allow to cool down.

Filling (adapted from Essentials of Baking by Williams-Sonoma)

115 g (4 oz / 1 cup) blanched almonds

55g (2 oz / â…“ cup) pistachio nuts

155 g (5 oz / â…” cup) + 1 tbs maple syrup

¼ ts salt

1 ts vanilla extract

½ ts almond extract

1 large egg

60 g (2 oz / 4 tbs) butter, room temperature

Process the almonds and the pistachio nuts in a food processor until finely ground (be careful not to over-process or the nuts will get oily). Add the maple syrup, salt, vanilla, almond extract and egg. Mix until combined. Add the butter and mix until well blended. The mixture will be quiet liquid. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Allow to firm up in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Topping (adapted from Essentials of Baking by Williams-Sonoma)

1-2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tbs butter, melted

1 tbs maple syrup

75 g (2 ½ oz / ¼ cup) apricot preserves

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Arrange the apple slices in two circular rows onto the chilled frangipane. Mix the butter and maple syrup and brush the mixture onto the apple slices.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Heat the preserves until melted. Strain the preserves through a sieve. Brush the apple slices with the strained preserves. Allow to cool down completely.

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9 Responses to An Apple a Day – (Almost) No-sugar apple and almond pistachio frangipane tart

  1. courtney(aka glamah16) says:

    I love apples and have been looking into cookin more with raw or natural sweetners. The natural flavors of the apple and almonds shine through in this.

  2. naomi devlin says:

    Yum! That sounds delicious. Might have to try and get a gluten free version of that in before the English apples are all gone.

    x x x

  3. Aren’t you a dear, Linda? Your friend is lucky to have you!

    This is a beautiful tart. And that is also an amazing event!

  4. Miss Ifi says:

    Wow.. that just looks beautiful!!! I would beg for a piece but if it’s one year old.. well it’s for sure gone.. but it is LOVELY.

  5. cakebrain says:

    Apple tarts are my favourite apple dessert! That looks absolutely delicious!

  6. Mansi says:

    Hmm!! that looks yummy Linda! I should give a go to tarts sometime soon!

  7. linda says:

    Courtney – It’s allows fun to experiment with other sweeteners.

    Naomi – go get these last apples!

    Patricia – thanks 🙂

    Miss Ifi – a bit too old to share 😉

    Cakebrain – thanks 🙂

    Mansi – once you start with tarts…

  8. Apples and pistachios are such a dynamic combination and look just beautiful in this elegant tart.

  9. Tartelette says:

    Apples and/or pears are so good with frangipane! This is my favorite kind of pie, especially with a shortbread crust 🙂

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