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 180Â°C (350Â°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
Â¼ ts salt
1 ts vanilla extract
Â½ 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 Â½ oz / Â¼ cup) apricot preserves
Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (350Â°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.