I think that if these little mini apple crostatas were on the Rosh Hashanah menu when we were kids, there might have been more dinner guests than we had chairs. Honey cake, while a perfectly great holiday dessert has nothing on these easy little free-form tarts.
While these are not the fanciest dessert ever, they look at home on the good dishes as they do on a napkin. If you can make a simple dairy-free pie crust (and I know you can do that) and slice some apples, you have dessert. Need some pie crust making assistance? This link should help.
One dough recipe will make 6 large-sized individual tarts. If you want to stretch the recipe to serve more people, you can certainly make the crostata smaller and probably form 8-10 tiny tarts. While they take almost no time to prepare they do take a while to bake - but the good news is that you can make them ahead of time and reheat right before serving. Wrap them carefully in foil and store at room temperature.
To make these little magical tarts, roll out the tiny crusts, brush with a mixture of honey, pomegranate concentrate, lemon zest and juice. Pile with thinly sliced apples, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for two days. Ok, not really but it feels like it – to get them to that melt-in-your-mouth stage they take about 40-50 minutes in the oven. To get the dairy-free crust to look brown, you will probably want to brush the edges with a beaten egg. Heat the leftover honey, pomegranate and lemon mixture and brush those tarts (gently) right out of the hot oven for that pretty shine.
And it took longer to write the detailed recipe than it did to make and eat the whole thing.
Make them in little tart pans or free-form as crostata. But make them. And make sure you have enough chairs because you’ll probably need them once people know you’re baking these little Apple Honey Crostata.
|Rosh Hashanah Apple Honey Crostatas, Gluten Free||
- 300 grams AP GF flour (150 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 75 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (2⅓ cups)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 200 grams Spectrum solid vegetable shortening (generous 1 cup)
- 70-100 grams ice-cold water (1/3- ½ cup)
- 8-10 tablespoons really good honey
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate
- zest of one lemon
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- pinch kosher salt
- 4-6 medium to large green apples (or your favorite)
- 1 whole lemon cut in half (for squeezing on apples as you slice them)
- 2-4 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar (sprinkling on apple filling)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (sprinkling on crostata)
- 1 whole extra-large egg, beaten (for brushing the dough)
- In the bowl of a food processor pulse the flour, sugar and salt (and cinnamon if using) a few times. Drop small pieces of the shortening over the flour. Pulse a few turns until the mixture resembles large coarse crumbs. While the processor is running, pour ice cold water down the chute, a little at a time JUST until the mixture comes together into a rough ball. Stop with the water immediately or you’ll have dough soup. Depending on the humidity or the condition of your flour, it can take anywhere from 70 grams to the whole 100 grams of ice water. But do stop and see if it forms a ball before adding more water.
- Remove dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and carefully remove the blade. Squish the dough once or twice to gather all the stray pieces and form into a log. Slice off as many pieces as you wish to make as crostata or tarts – from 6 up to 10 (10 will be tiny tarts). Roll each into a ball with your hands and flatten. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour or so, or overnight. Bring to chilled room temperature.
- For crostatas – Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking pans with parchment. On the parchment paper (cut to fit your baking pan) place up to five dough disks (about ⅛ inch thick) with lots of space in between and cover with plastic wrap. Using a rolling-pin, roll them into small circles as evenly as possible. Remove top plastic and move parchment back to baking pan. Set aside and repeat with other parchment.
- For tarts – Preheat oven to 400. On plastic wrap place one dough disk. Top with more plastic. Roll the disk into a circle slightly larger than the tart pan about ⅛ inch thick. Remove top plastic. Flip the plastic so it rests on top of the tart pans and remove the plastic wrap. Slide dough into the tart and settle it evenly. Pinch off extra dough. Chill while you prepare the remaining tarts. Place the tarts on baking pans, as many as you can fit on each. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe container, heat honey just slightly until it is warm but not hot. Add the pomegranate concentrate, lemon zest, lemon juice and pinch of salt. Stir. Set aside.
- Peel apples and core. Slice thinly into even sized pieces. Sprinkle with lemon half to keep apple from browning.
- In the center of each crostata, place a teaspoon of the honey-pom mixture and spread leaving about an inch bare around the edge. Place apple slices in overlapping circles over the mixture piling them up only about two layers high. Carefully pick up edge of dough and fold in toward the center. A very small offset spatula will help with that task. Take care not to break the edge where it folds, but if it tears, just pinch the dough together. Repeat for each circle of dough.
- For tarts, do exactly the same with the honey-pom mixture and only pile the apples to just the rim of the tart.
- Sprinkle a generous ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar over the apples in each crostata or tart making sure to get some to fall onto the lower layers that you can see. Finish with a slight sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Beat the egg and brush on the edges of the dough on each crostata and just barely onto the edge of the tart. Place both pans in the oven. Bake at 400 for 5 minutes. Turn oven to 375 and bake 35 minutes more. Turn oven to 350 and bake about 10-15 minutes more or just until the apples are very soft (a knife goes through them easily) and the crusts are brown and top of the crostata and tarts are dark golden brown.
- Remove from oven and using a pastry brush, immediately brush with any remaining honey-pom mixture. Don’t try to move the brush, let it sit on the apple and melt the mixture until it flows. Otherwise you’ll disturb the apples. If you’ve run out of the honey-pom mixture, just heat up a little honey in the microwave and use that instead. What you want is a nice shiny finish.
- Serve while warm or if you are making them the day before, cool completely at room temperature. Cover with foil carefully. Reheat in a low (325 degrees) oven on a baking sheet (use parchment underneath for crostatas, and serve warm – about 10-15 minutes.
Need more Rosh Hashanah ideas?
(The Gluten Canteen’s Book of Nosh is a great resource for all your holiday baking needs. Or just because you like to bake good stuff. Thank you for your support. A mitzvah. Thank you.)