Today I am in an apple-y mood and am sharing my recipe for a (very) rustic vegan apple tart. This is a vegan dessert which is really easy to throw together and which I make in exactly the same way as I did when I wasn’t vegan. I just swap dairy butter for vegan and make sure the cider is vegan friendly.
My home is perched atop a hill in Frome, one of Somerset’s finest market towns, while my boat is moored in Dorset which, as a foodie, means that I am living in one of the best parts of the world!
My home base of Somerset is probably best known for cheddar cheese and cider, with rolling fields, ancient apple orchards and caves supplying the local famers markets, food festivals, restaurants, pubs, cafes and me with fantastic local produce!
If I had to pick one foodstuff to sum up Somerset it would be apples; they pop up everywhere! You’ll find them in delicious sparkling ciders, in huge vats of scrumpy at local shows and being pressed by hand at food festivals.
The Somerset apple year begins in winter when we still wassail in the orchards – 12th night sees folk gathering to lay toast and pour cider at the roots of the trees to drive out any bad spirits and encourage the trees to produce a bumper crop in the new year – it’s a good excuse to share hot mulled cider and spiced apple juice around a fire and chat with friends!
In Spring the trees pop on their fancy dresses and show off their beautiful blossoms to the bees and we wait all summer to see what autumn will bring. Apple Day is celebrated with fresh juice from presses large and small, with toffee apples and with cider!
Then, of course, there is apple in pies and cakes. Shortcrust topped apple pies, apple crumbles, apple turnovers, apple cake and apple muffins. Today I’m sharing my favourite with you – it combines really good Somerset cider and fabulous Bramley apples in a rustic vegan apple tart. Serve it up with a dollop of whipped coconut cream, a jug of vegan custard or a scoop of vegan ice cream and, of course a glass of ice cold cider!
I used Orchard Pig’s ‘Truffler’ cider in my apple tart recipe – it is vegan friendly and made just down the road a way. If you need to check whether your alcoholic tipple is vegan friendly check out Barnivore which is a god send when you are gazing at a shelf of unlabelled wine in the supermarket! I’m still astonished that there is no imperative to label wines with their ingredients and am delighted whenever a company makes the effort and does so off their own back!
- 500 g block of ready made vegan shortcrust pastry
- 2 kg bramley apples
- 150 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60 ml vegan Somerset cider
- 150 g apricot conserve
- 2 tbsp vegan butter or margarine
Grease a 25cm flan tin.
Roll out the pastry on slightly floured board, lift it carefully into the tin and press gently into shape. Trim the excess then press the pastry up around the edge again so it stands proud of the tin to allow for shrinkage. Prick all over with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
Peel and core the apples and slice thinly. Reserve the neatest ones to decorate the tart, pop them in a bowl with 25g of the caster sugar and the lemon juice and toss to coat. (This will stop them going brown)
Put the remaining apples in a saucepan with the water, cover and cook until soft.
Add the rest of the sugar, the vanilla, vegan butter, cider and apricot conserve to the cooked apples and cook, uncovered and stirring frequently until you have a thick purée.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan, line the chilled pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is dry and beginning to colour slightly.
Spread the apple and cider mixture evenly in the pastry case. Arrange the reserved apple slices prettily on top and bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until the apple slices are beginning to caramelise.
Serve hot, warm or cold with vegan ice cream.
For a finishing touch, and if you want to get that shiny stickiness on your vegan apple tart, brush it with a little warmed apricot conserve. It is delicious hot but, if you can wait, it is better cold when all the flavours have developed.
If you are feeling in a very apple-y mood too, you might like my Apple Pizza
If you haven’t got any apples to hand, why not pin my Vegan Apple Tart for later?