Up until recently, my best lady friends and I would get together to celebrate food and each other. The simple of it was: whoever hosted the gathering provided the main meal, and the other two would bring appetizers and dessert. The one caveat to our mini dinner parties was that it all had to be vegan, in order to accommodate one friend’s diet. We were all more than happy to do this. For someone like me, who eats everything, it was a (good) challenge to try my hand at vegan dishes; for another friend, she was borderline vegetarian anyway with quite a few vegan meals filling her weekly rotation, so it wasn’t difficult in the least; then vegan friend obviously got to revel in all the deliciousness we tried out together.
The borderline vegetarian friend moved out of state a little under a year ago, so we have not been able to keep up with the gal pal dinners. This rustic apple tart was my last contribution, and what a send off!
Rustic Vegan Tart
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) Earth Balance, cold
pinch of salt
1/3 cup ice cold water
2 large Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples
2 Tablespoons + 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar, separated
1 1/2 Tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
1 Tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- Peel and core the apples. Thinly slice, about 1/8″. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the unbleached all-purpose flour with the salt and cold Earth Balance vegan butter. Pulse several times until small pea-sized chunks of butter remain.
- Drizzle the ice cold water over the butter-flour mixture and pulse two or three times to barely combine.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured parchment sheet. Collect the dough into a round and knead several times. The dough will be soft and pliable. It should not be sticky.
- With a rolling pin, roll dough out – away from the body. With every roll forward, rotate dough to allow for an even, circular pattern. Roll out to about 1/4″ thickness.
- Transfer the dough circle to a piece of parchment on an rimless baking sheet.*
- Combine 2 Tablespoons of dark brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour. Sprinkle evenly over the dough circle.
- Arrange the thinly sliced apples in a circle, being sure to layer them toward the center of the dough. Be creative with your pattern.
- Fold the edges of the dough over the apples. Press the corners together as you fold to keep the dough from falling down.
- Brush the apples with the melted Earth Balance. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tablespoon of dark brown sugar over the apples.
- Place the tart in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. When tart is thoroughly chilled, bake for 50-60 minutes. The crust will turn golden and the edges of the apples will just start to crisp. Be sure to watch in the last few minutes of bake time so the apples don’t burn.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the parchment paper and tart to a wire rack to cool.
*If you don’t own a rimless baking sheet, just turn your normal baking sheet over and use the bottom as your flat surface. Just be careful placing it in the oven (its rim wants to catch on the oven rack).
Coconut sugar can be substituted 1:1 in place of the dark brown sugar.