The air is getting crisp, the sweaters are coming out, the days are getting shorter, and the ripe apples are plentiful. I was given a bounty of crab apples from my parents and, although I use applesauce as an egg replacer in many recipes, I wanted to make something sweet to eat that showcased the tart, fresh fruits. As soon as the first leaf turns yellow, I have an insatiable desire to make everything taste like fall - pumpkin, chai, and caramel are my go-to favorites and make the most of the season’s fresh produce. This tart definitely embodies my love for rich, spicy flavours but balances it out with the tart, slightly crunchy apples and the light, flaky crust.
Vegan Caramel Chai Apple Tart
For the crust:
2 cups of flour(I used a blend of coconut, almond, and potato to make it gluten-free, but white or whole wheat will work just fine)
¼ cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
⅓ cup of olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ - ⅓ cup cold water
Grease and flour your 9” pie or tart pan. Sift dry ingredients together and then slowly add olive oil, combining well, and then the lemon juice and ¼ cup of water. Mix until it begins to form a ball, adding more water one tablespoon at a time if it seems dry. Press into your pan, spreading evenly. Place the crust in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
For the filling:
8 crab apple or 3 large apples
2 tsp of fine-ground chai tea
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp corn or potato starch
2 tbsp maple syrup or dry sugar
Cut and core apples, leaving skin on and slicing thinly. Toss in lemon juice, tea, maple syrup or sugar, and vanilla. Add starch and mix well. Place apple filling in rows in cold pie crust and place in oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes, leaving in for longer if you desire a crispier crust.
While the pie is baking, prepare the caramel sauce:
½ cup vegan margerine
2 cups brown sugar
¾ cup non-dairy milk
2 tbsp corn, arrowroot, or potato starch
Melt the margarine or in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and ½ cup of non-dairy milk. Whisk until combined well and bring to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes. In a small bowl, mix remaining milk and starch. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the mixture in the bowl. Allow to cool and thicken.
Remove pie from oven and brush with caramel sauce.