Saturday, March 30, 2013

Paleo Apple Pie Tarts

For our last night of the Paleo Challenge, I wanted to make another special dessert- something more than just the usual cookies that we have come to know and love.  My husband really loves apple pie (as do I), so I started searching for a recipe for a Paleo pie crust so I could try to make a Paleo version.  I found this one using almond flour, so I decided to go for it!  Instead of making a full pie, I went with little mini pie tarts. This was partly due to the fact that I had gotten this really cool mini-pie maker from my sister-in-law for Christmas, and I still had not used it.  This was the perfect chance!  It really is a cool little machine- here it is:

It reminds me of a waffle iron, but for pies.  Pretty neat.  Anyway, I first made the pie crust dough, which you could really use for any type of pie, but I wanted apple!  Then I made the filling which was easy enough, and voila!  Here is what I did:

Paleo Apple Pie Filling
(enough for 4 mini pies)
  • 1-2 apples, peeled/cored/sliced
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • lemon juice
As you slice up the apples, toss them into a bowl and add enough lemon juice to coat them.  This will keep them fresh as you go. Add the honey and cinnamon and allow to sit for a few minutes to get the apples soft and gooey.  Use as the filling for the pie crust.

Paleo (Gluten-Free) Pie Crust
(makes 1 pie crust, or enough for 4 mini tarts- top and bottom)
  • 2 1/3 c plus 1 T almond meal/flour
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T olive oil
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients with a fork.  Then, add the egg and oil and start mixing it up with your fork.  Once it started to incorporate, I used my KitchenAid to mix it thoroughly, but you can also knead it up by hand.  It should be able to form a nice ball, and it will be a bit oily.

To "roll" it out, I put down a piece of parchment to avoid any type of sticking.  It is tough when you can't use regular flour for that!  I tried to use the rolling pin, but without flour it got a bit sticky.  I just used my hands and pressed down on the dough to form the circles.  For the tarts, I made a bunch of small circles of dough, but if you want to do a whole pie, go ahead and press out a large circle.  I also just took small chunks of dough each time I wanted to roll out an individual circle.  My little pie maker also came with the circular cutting tool, which made things easier.  Heads up: the dough will probably feel really oily, but that is normal.  Here you can see my work station:

Once I had 4 bottom pieces and 4 top pieces cut out (and used all the dough), I got my machine all preheated and ready to go. You could also bake the pie(s) in a 350 degree oven using just a full sized pie pan or even mini pie or tart tins.  In my machine, I first fit my bottom layer in, filled them with some apple pie filling, and placed the top layer on, as you can see below.  HINT: This crust may be a little crumbly so do your best to piece it back together if it falls apart in this process at all.  HINT #2: Try to get some of the apple goop from the bottom of your bowl into each tart.  We discovered later that we wished there had been more saucy/goopiness.

After 5 minutes or so, mine looked like this (almost done):

If you are baking yours in the oven, just check to see when they get golden brown and bubbly- that means they are ready!  Here are my mini pies fresh out of the "oven":

We enjoyed these later on at night, and we found that they tasted better when heated up in the microwave for 30 seconds.  They also would have been great served with some sort of cream, but alas, I didn't make any (whipped coconut milk works great).  Regardless, here is what we ended up with:

These were good.  Like I said, we wished they had been a little gooier, and of course I missed my buttery flaky Pillsbury crust.  But however you want to make your pie or tarts, these crust and filling recipes are both great ones to try!  Enjoy!

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