Incredibly simple & healthy apple tart

Friends, my house smells like cinnamon apples right now, and I am loving it! =)

I don’t know about you, but I love pies. But pies, like most desserts, are loaded with sugary sweetness.

When I was in France for a semester of college, my host mom occasionally made this apple pie that, instead of apples doused in sugary syrup, was just cut apples layered over a crust. I remember thinking, why don’t we do that in the US??

Then I realized, we do. We just call them tarts.

So that is what I set out to make! A yummy, healthy apple tart, inspired by my French host mom.

My first task was to find a healthy simple pie crust. I don’t know about you, but I actually don’t care at all about pie crust. The only reason it is there is to transport delicious pie filling into my mouth. So, I didn’t want a pie crust with butter or loads of sugar, because frankly, I want to put sugar in other places I care more about.

The closest, simplest recipe I could find was from Gluten Free Vegan Girl. However, I didn’t want to buy dates so I used raisins. I also changed up the proportions a little bit. And it turned out great! In the future however, I am thinking about adding some olive oil in the crust to make it a little less dense and a bit more soft. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

Also, I did mine a bit too long in the oven, and the edges of the crust were a bit too done. Make sure to watch the tart carefully so nothing burns! Learned my lesson the hard way. 😉

tart

 

Oatmeal raisin pie crust (adapted from Gluten Free Vegan Girl)
3 cups oats
2 cups raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of sea salt
2 tbsp water or as needed

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Pour oats in a food processor. Grind into a fine powder.
  3. Add in raisins, vanilla, and salt. Blend until it begins clumping slightly and there are no more raisin chunks.
  4. Add in 1 tbsp water and blend. You want the dough to clump up entirely and start forming a ball. Keep adding water until dough like consistency.
  5. Press down into pie pan.

Apple tart filling (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
3 apples, sliced thinly
2 tbsp butter of choice
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Layer half of the apple pieces in the pie crust. Brush half of the butter over them. Sprinkle half the sugar and cinnamon over the apple pieces.
  2. Layer the other half of the apple slices on top of the first layer. Brush the remaining butter on them. Sprinkle with the remainder of the sugar & cinnamon.
  3. Bake in oven for 30-50, or just until apples are soft and edges are browning. Watch carefully to make sure the crust/apple edges don’t begin to burn!

Butternut squash & apple pizza

I have an addiction to pizza.

2013-09-26 18.41.46-1

There’s just so many ways to make pizza, so many toppings, so many combinations. It’s such an easy & delicious meal that I just can’t help myself. Not that I’m trying to stop it anyway. =)

And this pizza is the epitome of autumn. It’s so pretty colored with the squash and the apples. Butternut squash is probably one of my favorite things, and blue cheese is up there too, so clearly this pizza & me were made to be together.

As a side note, I always use the same basic pizza crust recipe because it’s wonderful & awesome. But, I think it’s quite fun to adapt the spices I add to the dough based on the recipe. Today I took out the other spices & just added rosemary to complement the squash. I think it turned out nicely!

2013-09-26 18.46.35-1

Perfect pizza crust recipe (adapted from the book ‘Pizza’ by Carla Bardi)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 cup bread flour
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp rosemary

  1. Thoroughly mix active dry yeast with 1/2 cup warm water until yeast has dissolved. Set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes (or just as you prepare the other ingredients, if you’re impatient like me).
  2. Combine all the other ingredients in a large bowl. When yeast/water mixture is ready, add that too.
  3. Proceed to add more warm water as necessary to make a slightly sticky dough.
  4. Dust counter with flour. Get flour all over your hands too.
  5. Take the dough out and knead it for awhile (8 minutes ish).
  6. When you’re done, pour some olive oil in the bowl and put it back in there. Cover it with a towel and say good night. Let it hang out for as long as possible (an hour would be great, but 20 minutes will do).

Butternut squash & apple pizza (adapted from Savvy Eats)
2 apples, cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled & cubed
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese
Olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. In a large pot, toss the apples and butternut squash with 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Cover and heat over low for 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring often, for about 15-20 minutes. Apples & squash should be slightly browned by this time. Remove from the stockpot.
  3. Spread out the dough in a pizza pan, then brush lightly with olive oil.
  4. Distribute the squash & apples evenly over the crust. Crumble the gorgonzola & goat cheese over the pizza.
  5. Bake at 450F for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and the edges of the crust are firm.