It’s apple pickin’ time! And here’s another wonderful recipe from our good friend, vegan chef Pam Brown, founder and former long-time owner of the Garden Café on the Green in Woodstock, New York, to help you enjoy them. Actually, any kind of fruit can be used — pears, peaches (peeled) or berries — instead of apples, according to Pam.

“One thing to be aware of,” she points out, “is that peaches and blueberries give off a lot of liquid.” Adds Pam, “To solve this, I precook them a little and then drain the liquid away. Cool the fruit and then proceed with the recipe.”

This is a rustic tart and Pam emphasizes, “It does not have to look like it comes from a bakery.”

Serves 4 (See Tips below to serve more)

Equipment

Medium mixing bowl

Dry measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Rolling pin

Baking sheet (Pam uses a 9×13-inch sheet but she says any low-sided pan will work)

Parchment paper or vegetable spray

 

Ingredients

1½ cups unbleached white flour

½ cup corn meal (not the coarse grind)

2 tablespoons unrefined sugar

⅛ teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons chilled Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick, cut into small cubes

1 teaspoon lemon juice

6 tablespoons non-dairy milk of your choosing

6 large Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and chopped into medium chunks

¼ cup arrowroot flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons non-dairy milk

2 tablespoons unrefined sugar

Optional topping:

¼ cup apricot jam

½ tablespoon water

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet with organic grapeseed or canola oil (not olive), or line with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, add the flour, cornmeal, 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar and the baking powder. Pulse quickly until well combined. Distribute the Earth Balance around the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles small grains of sand.
  4. Pour the lemon juice into the 6 tablespoons non-dairy milk and wait 1 minute for it to curdle to make “buttermilk.” Add 4 of the 6 tablespoons of the buttermilk to the food processor, pulsing again until a ball starts to form. (If the dough is too crumbly and not forming a ball, add the rest of the liquid. Flatten into a round disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Toss the apples with the arrowroot, maple syrup, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Remove dough from the refrigerator and divide in quarters.
  7. Using the rolling pin, roll dough into a 6-inch circle. Add ¼ of the apples to the center of the circle. Gather the dough around the apples, pleating the dough as you go. (See photo.) Repeat this with the other three pieces of dough.
  8. Brush the tarts lightly with the 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar.
  9. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is brown.
  10. To make the optional topping, add water and jam to a small pot. Melt on a medium-low flame, stirring with a rubber spatula. Strain through a mesh strainer. When the tarts come out of the oven, cool for 10 minutes, then brush the glaze on the fruit. This makes for a beautiful presentation and adds another layer of flavor.

Tips:

  1. To make more, smaller tarts, divide the dough into 6 pieces instead of four, rolling out each piece to a circle of about 3 inches instead of 6 inches. (You can also make 1 large tart with the dough and cut it in pieces to serve.)
  2. If the dough becomes warm while you are rolling it out, fill with the fruit and refrigerate for 10 minutes before baking, Pam advises. Chilled pastry dough going into a hot oven will brown and crisp better than warm dough.
  3. Since the Earth Balance is not butter, it can get a little sticky as it warms. Pam usually freezes the sticks of Earth Balance before cutting them into cubes. Remove from freezer and roll it in a little flour first to prevent sticking.