Simple Apple Tart

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Simple Apple Tart
Source: Smitten Kitchen via Alice Waters

This lovely tart is super simple to make. Unlike other tarts, it’s not too sweet or heavy. There’s an apple glaze made out of the peels and cores, which I didn’t find to be quite necessary, since the tart alone was delicious enough.

Makes about: 1 9-inch tart
Prep time: 30-45 minutes (b/c chopping apples takes forever, plus you need to chill the dough)
Bake time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients
Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly soft, cut into ½ inch pieces
3 ½ tsp chilled water

Filling:
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (keep the cores and skins)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3-5 tbsp sugar

Glaze:
½ cup sugar
peels and cores from the apples

Special equipment
Tart pan, rolling pin

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. To prepare dough: combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
3. Cut in the butter with two knives (this actually works!) or with your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the largest pieces appear to be large peas.
4. Dribble in water until dough. Keep working the dough until it forms a ball, and flatten into a disk.
5. Chill dough for about 30 minutes, or until the dough is cold, but still malleable. (Chilling helps firm up the butter and makes it a bit easier to roll. Also, this is a great time to peel and chop the apples!)
6. Roll dough into a circle about 14 inches in diameter. (Roll between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper for easy cleanup, or use a lightly floured surface).
7. Place dough in a 9-inch tart pan and press the dough along the bottom and sides. The dough will overhang, but that’s okay ☺
8. To prepare filling: Overlap apples in the tart pan in a ring starting from the outside edge and move toward the center.
9. Fold any overhanging dough over the fruit and crimp at 1 inch intervals.
10. Brush the 2 tbsp melted butter over the apples and onto the dough.
11. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the sugar over the dough and about 3 tbsp over the apples. You can use less if desired for a less sweet tart.
12. Bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until apples are soft with browned edges, and crust has caramelized.
13. To make glaze: Put peels and cores in a saucepan with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup and brush over cooled tart.
14. Let tart cool before serving. Enjoy!

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Spiced Applesauce Cake from Smitten Kitchen

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Spiced Applesauce Cake from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I made this mainly to use up some extra applesauce, and it makes a deliciously moist and flavorful cake. The apple flavor blends into the background, making it taste mostly like a yummy spice cake. It’s super easy and fast to make ☺

Makes about: 1 Bundt pan (or, a 9×9 square pan)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 35-40 minutes.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
½ cup walnuts (optional)

Special equipment
8×8 square pan lined with parchment (or a greased Bundt pan)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix together vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.
3. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. Stir in cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
5. Stir in flour and mix until blended.
6. Stir in walnuts.
7. Pour batter into prepared pan.
8. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Granola Apple and Pear Crisp

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Granola Apple and Pear Crisp
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

The granola topping is quite yummy. Adding ½ cup butter seemed a little egregious, so I did reduce the amount of butter. I also added maple syrup instead of honey. It’s a delicious crisp, although it seems a little too rich for breakfast. Also, 3 pounds of apple is probably more than 5 cups, so perhaps this is why my crisp didn’t take as long to bake.

Makes about: One 9×13 tray
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients
Filling
5 cups chopped apples and pears (original recipe called for 3 lbs of apples)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon

Granola topping
¼ cup butter
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups oats
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup shredded coconut

Special equipment
9×13 baking pan.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F. (I baked at 350, and it turned out fine).
2. Mix apples with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in the baking pan.
3. Melt butter with the maple syrup. Stir in flour, oats, almonds, and coconut. The original recipe suggests cooking until clumps form, but I neglected to this (and it turned out fine)
4. Sprinkle granola mixture over the apples.
5. Bake until apples are softened, about 20 minutes. If the granola browns too early, cover with foil, then bake.

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Healthier Cinnamon-Apple Cake

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Healthier Cinnamon-Apple Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I tried making Smitten Kitchen’s Mom’s Apple Cake, but then I accidentally added too much flour when I halved the recipe…so I improvised! The resulting cake probably isn’t as moist as the original, but that could be remedied by baking a little shorter (15 minutes instead of 20) and by adding a bit more liquid. The apple topping really adds a nice amount of flavor and juiciness. I also reduced the sugar and put added some whole-wheat flour. If I made this again, I’d probably stir some of the apples into the batter, increase the soymilk to ½ cup, and bake for 15 minutes.
(also, they tasted better on the 3rd day, when the apple soaked into the cake…)

Makes about: 1 9×13 pan, or about 40 pieces
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 15-20 minutes or until knife comes out clean

Ingredients
Topping:
3 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks
1 tbsp cinnamon
2.5 tbsp sugar

Cake:
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder.
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
½ cup soymilk (I used 3/8 cup, and the cake was a little dry)
2 ½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup walnuts (optional)

Special equipment
Knife for cutting apples, 9×13 bakng pan

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix apple chunks with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
3. Mix together vegetable oil, sugar, soymilk, vanilla, and eggs.
4. Add in flour, salt, and baking powder.
5. Stir in walnuts if desired.
6. Pour batter into prepared parchment-lined pan.
7. Sprinkle apples evenly over the top.
8. Bake 15-20 minutes or until knife in the center comes out clean.
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