Last week when I was at Whole Foods, I glanced over to their bakery and saw so many delicious tarts. The one that caught my eye was their apple tarts, especially since we're now in apple season. All that I had to buy were a couple apples and some apricot jelly. The rest of the ingredients should be something that everyone already has in their cupboard. I recommend purchasing jelly instead of jam because you need something that does not have any seeds or chunks of fruit. If you can only find jam, then it must be heated and their sieved, to remove all the excess fruit.
Also if you don't have time to refrigerate the dough for an hour, it can be rolled out and put into the tart pan right after kneading. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate while slicing up the apples.
Basic Single Pastry Crust ( From Veganomicon )
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tb sugar
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/3 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegan shortening
* 1/4 cup cold water, plus 2 Tb if needed
* 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
For the Filling
* 4 granny smith apples
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3 Tb vegan butter
* 1/2 cup apricot jelly or warmed jam, sieved to remove all fruit and seeds
* 2 Tb water
First prepare the crust
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
2. Add the shortening by the teaspoon, but you don't need to be precise about this. You just want to add it in small chunks in three batches and then cut it into flour with each additional. Cut the shortening in until the dough in crumbly and pebbly.
3. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the water. Add the mixture to the dough in three batches, gently mixing it into the dough with a fork, until the dough holds together when pinched. If need be, add up to 2 tablespoons more water.
4. Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently a few times, just until it holds together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour, then flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
5. When ready to roll out the crust, place a large piece of baking parchment on your work surface. Unwrap the dough and place it on the parchment. Sprinkle your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle. It may slip around a bit from the parchment, but that's okay, just work steadily and gently. Your crust is now ready to use.
6. Lift the parchment and flip the crust into a pie plate. Tuck in and trim the edges. Refrigerate while you make your filling.
Preheat oven to 400 F
7. Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller.
8. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices. Then arrange the apple slices on top, in concentric circles. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of sugar and drop little pieces of butter over the top of the tart.
9. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the edges of the apples begin to brown. Rotate once halfway through cooking.
10. When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the water and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture.Allow to cool before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
On another note, there's a pumpkin festival going on this weekend at my old university. They raise them all year long and then sell them for about $5 each in mid October. So many pumpkin..really pretty!