Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Apple Pecan Tarts

I have been experimenting with different piecrust combinations, trying to find one that has good taste and texture, and can be used in a variety of recipes. After a few flops, I came up with a winner. These slightly sweet crusts come out crispy and can easily be removed from the tart pans. They are best precooked and then filled with your favorite toppings. I was missing apple pie, so that’s what we had for dessert last night. Try other fruit fillings: fresh sliced strawberries glazed with sugar free jam or blueberries cooked down with a little maple syrup.

A full recipe should make a 9” piecrust or 24 tarts made in cupcake papers in mini-muffin pans.
 I cut the recipe in half and it made five 4” tarts.

1 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
½ cup chopped dates
2 tablespoons agave nectar
½  teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice

Mix almond meal, coconut, and pecans in a food processor. Add the dates, agave nectar, and spices and pulse several times until blended.

Grease the pie plate or tart pans. Pat the nut dough in to the pans, pressing onto the bottom of the pans and up the sides. Prick the bottoms with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.

Apple Filling
4 or 5 large apples
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup raisins

Peel and cut apples into bite-sized pieces for tarts or larger slices for pie. Put in a pan on the stove along with the agave nectar, spices, and raisins. Bring to high heat, then turn down to simmer for about 15 minutes, or until apples are tender. (If apples become dry, add a little additional agave or maple syrup.) Mix arrowroot with a little water and mix in with apples. Stir until combined. Pour apple mixture into pie or tart pans. Bake for about 10 minute or until crusts are warmed through. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.

Toasted coconut
Canned coconut milk that has been chilled in the refrigerator to thicken it.

Loosen tarts from pan and remove with a small spatula. (Serve full-sized pie from pan.) Top with coconut milk and some toasted coconut.

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