Maple Apple Tartlets with Chunky, Deeply Flavored Apple Jam Make the Most of America’s Favorite Fruit
Apples, apples everywhere. We even found apples on our front doorstep, thanks to a friend who dropped off two bags filled with crisp, sweet-tart and juicy just-picked Honeycrisp apples. Perfect timing, as I wanted to adapt the Quince-Apple Mermelada Tartlets from the Rancho La Puerta Cookbook. That recipe inspired today’s Maple Apple Tartlets.
Maple Apple Tartlets feature deeply flavored, maple syrup sweetened Chunky Apple Jam atop a crunchy round of gluten-free Oat and Almond Crust. The crust resembles a large, crisp cookie with a fragrant taste of orange zest.
Sweeter, saltier when hot
When salting or sweetening foods, it’s important to keep in mind this cooking tip. In terms of tasting salty or sweet, temperature matters. When foods are tasted cold, they’ll taste less sweet or salty than they will taste when hot.
Case in point, Chunky Apple Jam. The first time I tasted the hot apple jam, it was much too sweet for me. After a day in the fridge, the jam tasted less sweet, but still sweeter than I liked. The next time I made the apple jam, I used the same Honeycrisp apples but reduced the amount of maple syrup. Now the hot Chunky Apple Jam was only a bit sweet, though perfect when tasted at room temperature or cold.
So I gave a range for the amount of maple syrup in the Chunky Apple Jam recipe of 2-3 tablespoons. The bottom line: adjust the amount of maple syrup you use when preparing the apple jam based on both the tartness of your apples, and also on whether you plan to eat the Maple Apple Tartlets hot or cold.
Maple Apple Tartlets – Chunky Apple Jam
Atop an Oat and Almond Crust
To form the gluten-free tartlet crust you will need either eleven 3-inch individual tartlet pans, or a single 2 ¾-inch round cookie cutter or tart ring. Top the Maple Apple Tartlets with Chunky Apple Jam and a dollop of lightly sweetened labneh (strained yogurt), Greek yogurt, whipped Cream or Coconut Cream.
Enjoy these gluten-free Oat and Almond Crusts throughout the year as a base for other fresh or cooked fruit.
Note: Although both lemon and orange zest are suggested, I now prefer orange zest for both its fragrance and brighter taste.
Adapted from the Rancho La Puerta Cookbook by Deborah Szekely and Deborah Schneider.
Oat and Almond Tartlet Crusts
Makes eleven 3-inch or twelve 2¾-inch Tartlets Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup blanched, sliced almonds
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Zest of 1 orange or lemon
1 egg white
¼ cup maple syrup
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the oats, sliced almonds, nutmeg and zest 10 times to begin breaking up the oats and almonds.
- Add the egg white and maple syrup. Pulse a few more times until the dough sticks together, though whole pieces of oats and almonds will remain.
- With tartlet pans: Place the tartlet rings on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly spray them with oil. Put a slightly rounded tablespoon of dough in each tartlet pan. Holding the pan with one hand, flatten the dough just on the bottom of the pan using water-moistened fingers. Repeat with the remaining tartlet pans.
- With a cookie cutter or tart ring: Place a cookie cutter or tart ring on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough in the ring with water-moistened fingers as with the tartlet pans. Then carefully lift off the cutter or ring. Clean the cutter or ring and repeat the process.
- Bake the Oat and Almond Crusts until golden brown and crisp, 10-12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let the crusts cool about 5 minutes. Then turn each tartlet pan upside down to remove the crust. For the crusts not in a tartlet pan, use a thin spatula to loosen each of them from the baking sheet.
- Allow the tartlet crusts to cool before topping and serving them. The Oat and Almond Crusts can be made a few days in advance and stored in an airtight container until needed.
Chunky Apple Jam
Makes 6 cups
Active time about 1 hour
12 cups peeled, cored, ½ inch diced sweet, firm apples (6-12 apples depending on their size)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup dried, fruit-sweetened cranberries
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup. (The amount depends on both the tartness or sweetness of the apples and whether you serve the filling hot or cold.)
- Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in the apples and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cranberries, nutmeg and salt. Cook a few minutes more to soften the apples.
- Blend in the apple juice and maple syrup. Add the cinnamon stick. Bring the juice to a boil. Lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes until the apples are tender. Increase the heat to high to evaporate any remaining apple juice in the pan, 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick. Purée one-third of the apple jam in a food processor. Fold the puréed apples into the remaining mixture. Serve the Chunky Apple Jam either hot, warm, room temperature or chilled.
- Just before serving, top each Oat and Almond Tartlet Crust with about ½ cup of Chunky Apple Jam. Garnish the Maple Apple Tartlets with a spoonful of lightly sweetened labneh, Greek yogurt, Whipped Cream or Coconut Cream.