© 2018 by Cristina Foung.

Apple Blossom

Tart

Over the holidays, I had bags and bags of hand picked apples that needed using up. With my family's variety of dietary needs however, I was hard pressed to find a recipe that would fit the bill and look presentable. After researching several apple tart recipes, I ultimately combined three recipes into one that I have been refining over several bakes. It's vegan, nut free and added salt free but this would be an easy recipe to make with your favorite butter-based pastry crust as well.

Here's what I came up with, using the Joy of Baking's French Apple Tart and Country Living's Apple Blossom Tart recipes. The crust recipe I used comes from Minimalist Baker and is largely unchanged, though I left out any added salt and used quite a bit more water. 

Disclaimer: Additional refinements to this recipe will likely be needed. Please bear with me as my rough notes were for personal use.

Ingredients


Apple blossom:

  • 6 small to medium-sized apples, cored and cut into 1/8 inch slices (adjust to 3-4 apples if apples are large)

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup apple sauce (I use homemade apple sauce consisting of just apples - I also tried 1/2 cup of apple butter but found the extra volume and moisture in the apple sauce better. If you have a plentiful supply of apple butter, that will work too and amp up your apple flavor)


Crust:

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup (148 g) coconut oil (must be scoopable)

  • 6-7 Tbsp ice cold water


Apricot glaze:

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves

  • 1 Tbsp water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
     

  2. Gently hand toss apples, brown sugar, spices, and granulated sugar in a bowl. Let stand for 45-60 minutes, gently tossing every 15 minutes, until apple slices are soft and pliable.
     

  3. While the apples are softening, make the crust following the Minimalist Baker directions (minus the salt when baking for low sodium diet). [[Note: I used up to 7 tbsp of ice water to get my dough to come together. The original recipe calls for much less.]]
     

  4. Place the rolled out crust in a tart pan with a removable bottom, being careful to not rip the crust or pull it too much (otherwise there is a higher likelihood for shrinkage). Line the unbaked crust with parchment paper or foil. Fill with pie weights, distributed evenly over the entire surface. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes (butter crust should become golden brown but coconut oil crust does not seem to brown much). Remove from oven and remove the parchment paper and weights. Place the crust back into the oven for about 3-5 minutes or until the crust is dry to the touch. Remove crust from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
     

  5. To make the apricot glaze, heat the apricot preserves in a small saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to remove lumps. Add water and mix. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze over the bottom and sides of the pastry shell to seal the crust and prevent it from getting soggy. Please note that you should have glaze left over which will be used later. Place the tart shell into the oven for 3 minutes to dry glaze. [[Optionally, if you make your crust ahead of your tart bake, simply leave crust to cool and dry, rather than 3 minute additional bake time.]]
     

  6. Spoon the applesauce into the pre-baked tart shell and smooth out to evenly coat. [[Note: Depending on how much your tart shell shrinks, you may use more or less apple sauce. Either way, the apple sauce should come up the sides of your tart shell half way.
     

  7. At this point, apple slices should be thoroughly pliable. Drain apples, discarding any accumulated juices. Arrange apples in an overlapping circular pattern, starting on the outside edge and continuing in a snug spiral shape until you reach the center. Don't be alarmed if you have apple slices leftover. [[Note: As you select and place apple slices into your tart, save some of your thinner, more pliable slices for the center of the rose/blossom. You may also encounter some slices breaking so it's always good to have some extra held aside depending on how tightly you need to spiral at the end.]]
     

  8. Bake until apples are just tender, 25-30 minutes. Apples should be soft to a fork but not mushy. Cool on a wire rack, at least 1 hour.
     

  9. Brush apricot glaze over tart for a shinier finish. 
     

  10. If you're feeling daring, you can torch the apple skins with culinary torch or put your tart under the broiler to add a bit more golden color. If you go with the broiler, watch your tart like a hawk and optionally tent your crust with foil to prevent burning. [[Note: I definitely burnt my tart under the broiler the first time I made this recipe. You have been warned.]]
     

  11. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!