This vegan apple tart features a flaky crust filled with a layer of buttery apple puree and topped with slices of tender, baked apple. This rustic tart makes the perfect plant-based treat for any occasion!
This apple tart is one of my favourite desserts to make in autumn. It’s the time of year where nature reserves, parks and orchids around London are abundant with wild apples (especially crab apples), so I wanted to create a recipe that celebrates seasonal apples. It looks impressive, but it’s incredibly easy to make, so it’s one of my favorite desserts to serve at dinner parties. The combination of flaky shortcrust pastry, creamy and delicately spiced apple filling and tender baked apples makes a combination that’s hard to resist!
How Does it Taste
A flaky shortcrust pastry case is filled with a thick and creamy apple puree and topped with tender baked apples. This tart tastes isn’t overly sweet, so it’s emphasis is on the natural taste and sweetness of the baked apples.
You can either make one large tart for multiple servings or 4 individual tartlets. I’ve used a combination of sweet red apples and sour green apples, but you can use any apple of your choice. If you’re using wild crab apples, they can be a little bitter so I'd suggest sprinkling some extra sugar on top to balance out the bitterness.
How to Store this Tart
This tart is best eaten on the day it'
s baked, as the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not serving it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. I wouldn’t suggest storing it in the fridge as this case cause the crust to become too hard.
Can this Tart be Frozen
Yes, you can freeze tart, but as I’ve mentioned before, this tart is most delicious when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, place it in a container or wrap in in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To defrost this Tart, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed.
Can I use Store-bought Shortcrust Pastry for these Tarts
Yes, ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry can be used instead of making your own. If you want to save even more time, you could use a ready baked pastry crust, but I promise you it won’t taste as good as a homemade pie crust.
What Tins to Use
I'd recommend using an 8-9 inch tart or quiche tin with a removable bottom. The removable bottom makes it much easier to remove the crust from the tin once it's been baked.
Apple Tart Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the Shortcrust pastry:
Plain flour: You'll need some all-purpose flour to make the vegan shortcrust pastry.
Sugar: The sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness. You could use caster or icing sugar instead of granulated sugar. Vegan block butter: I used the Flora vegan butter block, but ant plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil: I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
For the filling:
Apples: I’d recommend you use a sour apple such as the granny smith, Golden or the Blushing Golden to make the filling.
Lemon juice: The lemon juice helps to balance out the sweetness and also brings out the tartness of the apples.
Butter: You’ll need some plant-based butter to give the filling a smooth a velvety consistency.
Sugar: I've used caster sugar as it dissolves faster than granulated sugar. I wouldn't recommend using fruit syrups as they'll darken the colour of the filling.
Cinnamon: A hint of cinnamon will add a delicious warmth to the filling.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken and to set the filling.
For the topping: Apples: You’ll need a combination of a red apple such as Fuji or Red Delicious and green Granny Smith apples for the topping.
Butter: You’ll need some melted plant-based butter to brush on top of the apples. This will help them to cook better.
Sugar: A sprinkling of sugar will help to balance out the sweetness of the apples.
Apricot jam: This ingredient is optional, but I like to brush the top of the tart with a bit of apricot jam to give them a beautiful glaze and to help the colours of the red and greed apples pop.
How to Make Apple Tart
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 3-4 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film and place in fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F/gas mark 4. Sprinkle some flour onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about ½ cm thickness and create a round shape big enough to fit a 8-9 iinch tart tin. Lift the dough away with the help of the rolling pin and place into the tart tin. If the dough breaks apart, just cover the cracks with the scrap pieces of dough. Press the edges down, trim away the excess dough and prick the base of the pastry case with a fork.
Line the pastry case with a piece of baking paper. To make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure that the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry case. Fill the lined pastry case with baking beans, and then place it in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly golden. Remove the pastry from the oven and let it cool down for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling, place diced apples, lemon juice, butter, sugar and cinnamon into a saucepan and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until tender, stirring continually. Use a food processor or hand blender to blend to a smooth puree. Transfer the apple puree back to the saucepan. Combine the almond milk with the cornstarch and add this mixture to the saucepan and cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring continually until the puree thickens slightly.
Let the filling cool down slightly, pour the filling into the cooked pastry case, and arrange the sliced apples on top, brush with melted butter and sprinkle 1 tsp sugar over the apples. Place I the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes. Once cooked, let it cool down completely for the filling to set, once cooled, glaze the top with apricot jam and serve.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use a tart tin with a removable bottom so that the tart is easier to remove once it’s baked.
I recommend using the gram measurements, rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, crispy pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter and water are chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.