Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Fuss Free Vegan Apple Tart from Scratch - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Since late 2019, I have been trying to be a vegetarian. Wow! It's more than a year now... and I have been good so far except having two non-meat-free meals per week. 

I have been eating free-range chicken for a meal on every Friday and salmon or anything for a meal on every Sunday. I could have persevere further to go completely meatless but decided to let go for these two meals because these are the times that my family and I love sharing our favourite food together.

Apart from being a vegetarian, I have been trying to explore various vegan recipes. I must admit it is really difficult for me to be a vegan because I love butter, milk, eggs and cheese. Nevertheless, it is worth a try if the vegan food turns out to be unknowingly vegan and also super delicious.

So here, I'm curious to see if I can bake a delicious vegan apple tart from scratch, using the plain everyday vegetable oil. No vegan butter. No vegetable shortening. No ridiculous rare ingredients such as egg substitute or food binder.

You know what? YES, I can! And this is my vegan apple tart.

vegan apple tart fuss free
Yes! I can bake this beautiful Vegan Apple Tart from scratch
... using our everyday vegetable oil.

Prior this bake, I have been researching and found several pastry recipes that are made with vegetable oil. These recipes are pretty generic and contain:

1 cup all purpose / plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
60g (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
2-3 tbsp iced cold water

I asked myself... Is the pastry delicious? Will the addition of water make the pastry less crispy?

Thus, I modified the recipe slightly. I omitted the addition of water and added a little more oil. I was expecting the pastry with no butter, egg or any binder to collapse but it didn't! It turned out to be really good being the biscuity and crumbly type. Definitely not soggy. And I'm happy!!!

In fact, this apple tart is fuss free and super easy to bake! I don't have to chill and roll the pastry. I don't have to pre-cook the apple filling and pre-bake the pastry. I just pressed the pastry onto the tart pan, assembled the tart and bake! Easy! I'll show you... Watch my video.

However, I have to warn you something... this pastry is fragile and can break apart easily especially when it is removed from the tart pan or transferred from a wire rack to a plate. I have managed to do that but not sure if everyone else can do the same too. So, I would suggest that...
  • the apple tart should not be over-loaded with too much apples. Two large or 3 small apples are the maximum amount that you can used.
  • the freshly baked apple tart must set aside to cool for about 15 minutes or until the pastry is set and cooled enough to touch before removing it from the tart pan. If you are not confident removing the tart from the pan, just serve the warm apple tart from the pan. It's definitely better to enjoy this apple tart as a tart, rather than a crumble. Agree? Either way, it's going to be delicious. Serving and enjoying the tart from the pan is also not that bad.

Music: Bensound

fuss free vegan apple tart
The tart survived!
I have managed to transfer the tart onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
vegan apple tart
And I can transfer it onto a plate, slice and serve.
Whether it is on a plate or rack, it is going to be equally yummy!

"Mum, why are you baking this vegan apple tart?" My son knew that this apple tart has no added butter because he saw my written recipe when I was baking the tart.

After he had his first mouthful of this apple tart, he insisted that all apple tarts should be made with butter. Oh, I don't deny but he couldn't stop nagging while savoring the rest of the tart. Assuming that he didn't like this tart, I asked for his plate when he finished his first slice but he said "Mum, can I have another one?"

I was like "Hmmm"... but was laughing quietly in my heart. I know... Although the traditional apple tarts that are made with butter are nice, this vegan apple tart can be equally nice too! 

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Here's the recipe.

Makes one 20 cm round tart

For the apples:
2 large or 3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 0.5 cm thin slices - Do not use more than this suggested amount!
freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon
20g caster sugar

For the pastry:
150g all purpose / plain flour
20g (2 tbsp) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt - please do not omit this!
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon - please do not omit this!
75g (1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) neutral tasting vegetable oil

To assemble:
20g (2 tbsp) light brown sugar - This is the reduced amount and the sweetness is just right for us.
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon - please do not omit this!

To finish:
1-2 tbsp apricot jam, preferably vegan-friendly
1 tbsp rum, optional
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract

For the apples:
Combine apples, lemon juice and sugar in a large bowl. Toss until the apples are well-coated with the other ingredients. Set aside for the apples to "sweat".

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.

For the pastry:
Sift flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil and stir until mixture forms a wet sandy dough. Transfer dough into a 20 cm round tart pan with a removable bottom and press until the dough is evenly distributed and the surface is smooth.

To assemble:
Remove any excess liquid from the apples and use paper towels to blot dry the apples. Arrange apple on the pastry crust. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly on the apples.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the assembled tart on the prepared tray and bake for 60 mins or until the apples are tender and golden brown at their edges.

Using a microwave or low stove heat, warm the apricot jam slightly. Add rum and vanilla and mix until combined. Brush the freshly baked hot apple filling generously with all of the jam mixture. Allow tart to cool slightly in the pan for about 15 mins or until the pastry is set. Remove and transfer tart onto a wire rack to cool further. WARNING: This apple tart pastry can be very fragile and can break apart easily. If you are not confident removing the tart from the pan, it's ok to serve the warm apple tart from the pan. It's definitely better to enjoy this apple tart as a tart, rather than a crumble. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Best to consume within the day of bake. Storing the tart at room temperature might cause the pastry to be soggy on the next day. To store, wrap the uneaten tart tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, thaw frozen tart in a fridge overnight, bake in preheated oven at 180°C / 375°F for 10-15 mins or until the apples are thoroughly warm and pastry is biscuity again.

Happy Baking
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