Guangzhou is finally starting to cool down, and I’m pretty excited. My first autumn in China–WOOT! To celebrate, I spent my evening baking some super yummy, and surprisingly easy-to-make, mini apple tarts. You know, since autumn and apples go hand-in-hand, and all.
If you’re looking for something that’s easy to make, delicious AND impressive looking, look no further! With its buttery/crumbly cookie crust, spiced applesauce base and sweet sliced apples arranged to resemble a rose, this dessert will be sure to charm.
Full recipe after the jump…
The Cookie Crust
- about a cup and a half of oatmeal flour (just run some rolled oats or steel cut oats through a food processor)
- two tablespoons of powdered (food processor) Splenda or some other sweetener (half a cup if you’re using regular powdered sugar)
- a quarter teaspoon of salt
- six tablespoons of cubed frozen reduced-fat margarine (seems like a lot, I know, but this is what’s going to give you your butter cookie texture and taste!)
- one egg
- half a teaspoon of lemon juice
The Tart Filling
- three apples
- lemon juice
Combine the oatmeal flour (save around a quarter cup to add in slowly later), salt, Splenda and frozen margarine in the food processor and pulse until the margarine is coarsely cut. Beat the egg with the lemon juice and slowly add it to the dry mixture, pulsing as you go. When chunks start forming, take the mix out of processor and knead it into a dough on a floured surface. Add in the remaining bit of oatmeal flour as necessary. Place your dough in a plastic bag and let it chill in the freezer for about half an hour. During this time, you can prepare the applesauce and slice the apples for the tart.
Once chilled, portion the dough into 12 equal sized balls and press them into silicone baking cups. I flattened the dough in my palms first and just used my thumbs to gently press the dough into the cups, rotating as I go.
Put the cups into the oven at 325F/~160C for around 10-15min. Take them out just before the cookies crusts start to brown. Let them cool.
Peel and core your apples. Set aside the apples and combine your apple cores/peels in a saucepan with a quarter cup of water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Splenda. Cook on medium heat until the cores start to soften, then continue to simmer on low heat. When the cores and peels are cooked and the excess water has evaporated, puree the mixture, allowing it to cool first.
For the apple roses you have two options:
1. The easy way! Run a peeler around the apple. Try to create really long strips. This will not work with super ripe apples.
2. If your apples are very ripe and kind of soft, cut you apple in quarters and slice it with a mandolin slicer or slice thinly with a knife.
Scoop your applesauce into a piping bag and put a bit in each cookie cup.
If you use a veggie peeler to prepare your apples, gently roll your apple strips and set it on the tart. If you sliced your apples, take once slice, roll it into a cone and set it in the center of the tart. Arrange the slices in a circular fashion around the center until the entire tart is covered. Sprinkle the tops with some cinnamon sugar!
Place your decorated tarts in the oven on the low shelf at 300F/150C (if you can control where the heat is concentrated on your oven, shift the heat to the top of the oven). Watch your tarts carefully! You’ll want to take the tarts out as soon as the apples start to brown.
Let them cool or serve them hot! Whatever you want
The whole process took me less than a hour. Pretty good for an impression looking tart, I’d say!
Full slideshow here: