By Lori Ross
This is a very healthy and flexible little tart that uses ground dried fruit and nuts for the crust (no butter) and just enough sugar to sweeten the fresh fruit. It is absolutely delicious! My most luscious tart included dried apricots and walnuts with a filling two fruits…one layer of applesauce and a layer of blueberries cooked with port! I suspect making this with a layer of fig jam, apples and topping it with blue cheese would create a rococo masterpiece! This tart may also be made with graham cracker crust (see Key Lime Pie) or half crushed nuts and half graham crackers (just replace half the graham crackers with ground nuts and proceed with graham cracker crust recipe.
2 ½ cups walnuts, pecans or almonds
1 ½ cups dried fruit (e.g. chopped pitted dates, raisins, dried apricots)
Pinch of salt
3 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp of honey
1/2 cup apple juice, port or water
Combine walnuts and dried fruit in food processor. Process until well mixed and ground, but not smooth (about 40 seconds). It should be a coarse texture when done. Press evenly into a 9-inch tart pan. Set in refrigerator while making the filling.
Slice apples by cutting into quarters. Cut out core and slice crosswise in 1/4 inch thick slices.
Place apples in a large skillet with rest of the ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently on medium heat. Remove apples with a slotted spoon into a bowl and cool completely. Cook remaining liquid in pan until reduced to half, then cool.
Spread cooked apples evenly over crust. Brush apple-juice syrup over apples. The tart can be served right away or it will keep in refrigerator until needed. Keep tart covered in refrigerator so it doesn't pick up moisture. Top with whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream if desired.
Pear Nut Tart: replace apples with pears
Berry Nut Tart: replace apples with 3 cups pitted berries whole (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) or sliced in half (e.g. strawberries). Proceed with cooking instructions for filling and after 10 minutes, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup water and stir into warm berry mixture to thicken. Once thickened, take off heat and when cooled, pour into tart crust and refrigerate. No need to reduce liquid or glaze the berry tart.