Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up very soon and I’ve got a lot to get done. Today, I spent the entire afternoon baking tarts. I was pretty thankful (heh, get it?) when I stumbled upon tart tins at the grocery store, having wasted an entire batch of pumpkin tarts by getting them stuck in my muffin pan. I’ve got lots more pastry coming up, as well as a whole slew of warm, familiar flavours to fill up your vegan holiday tables! I’m really excited because I love holidays more than most. There’s a story, but I’m going to save that for another post.
As for Thanksgiving, I don’t wish to promote a whitewashed and unfair version of history, but I do love having a reason to get my new family together and I relish the opportunity to do something spectacular for them, so they know how special they are. Whatever your feelings on the matter, I hope you spend all your holidays doing things you love, with the people you love and that you get to eat some amazing homemade food. When it comes to pastry, you can view my tips for better gluten-free pastry right here. I don’t like a fancy tart, but feel free to fuss with these to your own preference. More to that point, I don’t peel my apples usually, so it’s a little messier. My apple filling for my tarts is a little buttery, has raisins, and plenty of sweet, autumn-y cinnamon flavour.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (My gluten-free mix; use brown rice flour for better texture)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy margarine, chilled and chopped
3 – 6 tablespoons ice cold water
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut the margarine into the flour until it is broken up into about pea-size pieces. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough come together into a lose ball. Divide the dough in half, shape into a disc shape, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Roll out onto a well floured surface, until it’s very thin (what is that? 1/8 inch?). Cut out circles and press lightly into your tart tins and chill. Let the dough rechill in the fridge between roll outs.
Buttery Apple Filling
Enough for 15 tarts
1/4 cup non-dairy margarine
6 Royal Gala apples, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (peeled, if you like)
2 tablespoons all purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup seedless raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cinnamon vodka, or water (My recipe is here)
2 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt
Heat the non-dairy margarine and apples in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to coat the apples. Once the apples start to release their juices, add the sugar, raisins, cinnamon, vodka, water and salt and stir. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the apples, until tender. Set aside and let cool.
Apple Tart Assembly
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
Preheat oven to 400 F. Pre-bake pastry in the tart tins for about 5 minutes. Fill each pre-baked tart tin with a couple of spoonfuls of filling. Top with more pastry, if desired. Brush the top and edges with a little non-dairy milk. Bake on a large baking sheet for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool on baking racks.