This apple-marzipan tart with almond crust is a delicious and beautiful way to enjoy Fall apples. And, it’s simpler than it looks because you make the almond flour crust and creamy almond paste layers in the food processor – without washing it between layers!
I arrange the pretty apple topping a little differently very time, which allows for creativity and variation in the size of the apples. Here I have two spirals in different directions. Or I might arrange the center like a rose, which you can see in other photos.
The distinctive almond flavor of the marzipan makes a great combination with tart apples and a bit of lemon juice. I use a relatively small amount of sugar in the filling, so be sure to taste it in case your preference is for me. The tart is gluten-free and vegan (if you use maple syrup)/dairy free, too.
When we have fresh apples, I buy lots because I love baking with them. Then the race is on to make as many apple dishes as we can eat, plus lots of fresh apples in salads and as easy snacks.
Three layers in this tart
For an apple tart, I like a simple almond-flour crust so that the filling and apple topping can shine. This crust has only four ingredients, not including water. After you whizz the ingredients in the food processor, just press it into your greased, parchment-lined springform or tart pan. Poke 15 times with a fork. Bake for ten minutes to crisp it a bit.
Then, rather than just place the apples onto the crust as with some tarts, I decided to add this marzipan layer, which is amazingly easy.
And you don’t even need to wash the food processor out from using it for the crust. That’s my favorite kind of recipe.
The marzipan layer comes out smooth and satiny, and soft enough to press down over the crust.
To add even more flavor, you let the apple slices sit in a lemon-honey (or maple syrup, for vegan) mixture while you are making the crust and the filling. I used blueberry honey, but the blueberry aroma was very subtle, and you could use your favorite. As I noted, using maple syrup makes for a vegan option.
Do you need to peel the apples?
In my browsing around for apple tart ideas I saw many with peeled apples. But I love how the red color seeps from the peels into the lighter parts of the fruit as the tart bakes.
Since I buy organically-grown apples, I feel safe leaving the peels on to get that color effect. These Jonathan apples have such lovely red colors in the peel, and I like how the color highlights the arrangement of the apples. The peels are quite soft when baked. Plus, the red is a great color combination with the mint leaves I used for garnish.
If you are using conventional apples, or prefer to remove the peels, go for it!
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I shared this recipe with the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop this week!
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Apple Marzipan Tart with Almond Crust
- 2 cups almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 2 tablespoons water stirred together and allowed to gel for 5 minutes
Almond-paste “marzipan” filling
- ⅓ cup water + 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 cup almond meal
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil at room temperature
- 1/3 cup gluten-free 1:1 flour such as King Arthur
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4-6 medium Jonathan or Granny Smith apples about 1 ¼ pounds
- 3 tablespoons blueberry honey or maple syrup, divided
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for dusting, to taste
- For the crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9″ tart or springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place it inside.
- In a food processor bowl, add the almond flour, salt and the coconut oil and pulse to blend.
- Add the flax/water mixture and pulse until the dough gathers into a ball (see note 1).
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared tart pan. Press the mixture evenly across the base, then use your fingers to press it up the sides partway.
- Prick the base of the crust all over with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up.
- Bake for 10 minutes, until it’s just starting to turn golden at the edges. Set aside.
- For the marzipan filling
- Mix the ground flaxseeds and water in a small bowl and set aside to gel.
- In the same food processor as you used for the crust, combine the almond meal, coconut sugar, coconut oil, almond extract, lemon juice and 1:1 GF flour, and blend into a paste.
- Pour in the flaxseed mixture and pulse to combine until it forms a loose ball.
- Remove the almond paste ball from the food processor and gently flatten the dough across the crust as evenly as you can. Don't press too much sideways, because it could lift the crust. If you don't use all the filling, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, and freeze if you don't use it all within 5 days. If you have refrigerated it, let it come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before pressing it into the pan.
- It makes a rather thick layer of filling, but for a 9-inch springform pan it is about the right balance with the apples.
- For the apples
- Cut the apples from their cores and slice them ⅛ to ¼″ thick. Transfer the slices to a medium mixing bowl and add a mixture of 1 tablespoon of the honey (or maple syrup), the lemon juice and cinnamon. Toss until the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Arrange the apple slices across the base however you’d like, overlapping them as much as possible. Reserve the honey or maple/lemon mixture at the bottom of the bowl for brushing the apples later.
- Bake the tart (still at 350 degrees F) for 25 minutes, then remove it from the oven and gently brush the remaining honey/lemon mixture over the apples. Return the tart to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until the apples are very tender and the crust is deeply golden around the edges. While the tart is still hot, gently brush the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon-honey or maple-lemon over the apples.
- Let the tart cool for at least 15 minutes. If you like, sprinkle a little extra cinnamon over the top. If you used a tart pan with a removable bottom, remove the sides. Use a sharp knife to slice the tart into even wedges and serve.
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