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Apple Almond Crumb Tart

January 9, 2014

It was Novio’s birthday. My sister was planning to make dinner for him. That meant one thing for certain: he would be eating brisket that evening. She asked me if I could select a cake for him.  Chocolate? One might think so. But no. If it’s in front of him, he will, of course, eat it. But he doesn’t crave the stuff like some people (hello) we know.

I checked out the options at the bakery she was headed to. Lots of chocolate. Lots of custardy things. No and No. Apple crumb tart. Hmmm. Described as having a cookie base, chunks of fresh apples and topped with a crumb topping. It was a winner. Later that evening, I asked him what he thought of it. “It was good,” he said and paused, “but a little bland.”

It got me thinking. Seems straightforward enough. Start with a mix of lovely Farmer’s Market apples- two tart and one sweet.

tart and sweet apples

A cookie bottom that I would just press into the pan. Something like the Mierbteig my mom used to make that she learned in Viennese cooking school decades ago. Creaming butter and sugar. Only in this case, creaming dairy-free Earth Balance sticks, with sugar and flour. And using a food processor to do it.making a cookie dough

going for a cornmeal-like feeal

Not necessary to pre-bake the bottom. Just press the mixture into pan and pile the apples on.

diced apples on the crust

I played around with a few versions. One topping had 25% less flour/meal. This version had 1/2 c. almond meal and 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour.

topping over applesI knew I wanted something very flavorful but different from the usual apple & cinnamon pairing. I went for almond meal and added pure almond extract to boost the flavor and aroma. As long as I have an almond theme happening, I’ll use almond milk. Have you tried unsweetened almond milk on your cereal? It’s really really good!

almond flavorings

Fifty minutes later, this comes out of the oven.

Baked apple crumb tart

fresh out of the panGrab some ice cream

apple almond crumb tart

Had to make another version with more crumb topping. If you like fewer crumbs, use the ratio above. If you want more crumb, and I did, follow the measurements I use below. And you get this robust and flavorful apple almond crumb tart.

lots of crumb on this tart

No dairy products, no eggs. Viola!!* I do believe we have another Vegan dessert here. Yes, by golly, we do!

Apple Almond Crumb Tart


1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 stick (2 oz.) Earth Balance, very cold, cut into small pieces
1 t. vanilla
2 T. unsweetened almond milk
3 large apples, peeled and diced- I used 2 Granny Smith and 1 Fuji
1/2 c. almond meal
1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 stick (2 oz.) Earth Balance, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/2 t. pure almond extract


Preheat oven to 350°.

Pulse the flours, sugar, butter substitute, vanilla and almond milk in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture is sandy. Don’t wash the bowl just yet -we’ll need it again.

Line a greased 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease paper.

Press dough into bottom of pan and a little up the sides.

Peel apples and cut them in a medium dice.

Arrange apples on top of pressed cookie dough.

Pulse together almond meal, flours, sugar, almond extract and Earth balance (butter substitute) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Scatter the amount of topping over the apples that you like..

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until top is set.

If you try hard, you can get 10-12 slices. Excellent warm, chilled or at room temperature. Equally terrific with vanilla ice cream or coconut milk vanilla ice cream.

Vegan Apple Crumb Tart

*I’ve been saying Wa-LAH! all my life, but whenever I read it, I always think, who’s this Vi-O-LA?? And what does she have to do with what I’m reading? I must be finally cured of that, because I automatically typed Viola above. But just to be sure, I yelled to Novio, “Is Wa- LAH spelled like VI-O-LA?” I gave him his chuckle for the day. I should start charging.

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