My wife and I were dining out the other day, and I couldn't help but notice how much presentation affects the whole experience of eating. Obviously, if the food tastes awful, it doesn't matter what it looks like, but when the food is delicious and beautiful, well, that just seems to magnify the whole effect.
Chef Jeannette designed this exquisite tart to be a feast not only for the taste buds, but also for the eyes. It's gluten-free, with a dense almond flour crust that's well suited to fall fruits. Seasonal, low-glycemic apples are the primary ingredient-a great source of quercetin, one of the strongest natural anti-inflammatories in the plant kingdom! Here, the apples are topped with a very small amount of pure pastured maple caramel glaze to delight your palate without adding much actual sugar to your diet. This tart tastes best served shortly after cooking, so plan accordingly. -Dr. Jonny
Maple Caramel Apple Tart
Try class B maple syrup, which is darker, richer, and less processed than its class A cousin.
2½ cups blanched almond flour (such as Honeyville)
2½ Tbs. salted pastured butter, room temperature
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ Tbs. dry sweetener (such as palm sugar or erythritol), or 1 packet stevia
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
5-6 medium-sized sweet apples, cored, and thinly sliced (try Crispin, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbs. pastured butter, melted
Maple Caramel Glaze
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1½ Tbs. pastured butter
Pinch of sea salt
1½ Tbs. organic half and half
- To Make Crust: Combine almond flour, butter, syrup, vanilla, and egg in food processor, and pulse until it holds together, forming a dough ball. If mixture is too dry, add 1 Tbs. chilled water. Press dough evenly into an 11-inch tart pan, and set aside.
- To Make Filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small cup combine sweetener, cinnamon, and ginger, and stir with fork to mix well. Place apple slices in large bowl a few slices at a time, and sprinkle spice mix and lemon juice over each layer. Drizzle butter over all, and toss gently with your hands to coat all the slices.
- Layer seasoned apple slices on top of tart crust, starting around the outside, forming a ring, and moving inward to form a spiral until entire crust is covered. Cover tart with foil, and bake 45-60 minutes, or until apples are fairly tender. Remove foil for final 10 minutes of cooking time to brown crust lightly.
- To Make Glaze: While tart is baking, combine syrup and butter in small saucepan over
medium heat. Whisk mixture constantly for 3 minutes. Carefully add salt and half and half (it may spatter), and whisk constantly 1 minute more, until mixture is a deep caramel color. Watch closely to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
- Remove tart from oven and allow to cool, about 10 minutes. Drizzle glaze over tart, brushing gently to evenly coat apples, but being careful not to displace them. (If glaze has thickened too much for easy spreading, rewarm it briefly to liquefy.) Allow tart to cool nearly to room temperature before slicing and serving.
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per serving: 427 cal; 10g pro; 29g total fat (7g sat fat); 36g carb; 47mg chol; 104mg sod; 7g fiber; 25g sugars
Notes from Chef Jeannette
Unlike in a pie where the fruit is hidden, in a tart the apples are "on display," so it's best to choose varieties that hold their shape well when cooked. Because this recipe calls for little added sweetener, avoid tart apples such as Granny Smith or Braeburn.
To quickly core the apple halves, use a melon baller to scoop out the centers. For thin, uniform slices, use a sharp chef's knife or a mandoline.