Monday, December 24, 2012

Individual Paleo Cran-Apple Tarts

These little tarts are a wonderful dessert for a holiday party or a treat at home.  Because they are made individually in cupcake liners, you don't have to worry about cutting slices from a tart.  A great grab-and-go snack or dessert, they certainly got the approval from my family this holiday season and I think they will get the approval from yours.  I made a cran-apple cinnamon topping for them, but you could do cran-orange or straight cranberry (just add orange juice or water plus sugar in place of the apple juice).  A hint of cinnamon gives them a warm flavor and a splash of lemon juice makes them taste extra fresh.  To turn this treat into a special breakfast, add a bit more sea salt to the crust mix before  baking and they end up tasting like toast and jam.  However you make them, they are sure to be a hit.  Enjoy!

A salty-tangy-sweet dessert
2 + 1/3c almond flour
1/3c butter, melted
2tbs maple syrup
1/4tsp ground sea salt (more if desired)
1-12oz package fresh cranberries
1c apple juice or fresh apple cider
1/2c sugar (optional) ... you could also use 1/4c agave syrup or pure maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  In a medium sized bowl, mix melted butter with almond flour, maple syrup and sea salt.
2. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  Using about 2tbs of crust dough, press down into the cupcake liners until you have a firm crust along the bottom and around the edges (you want a large indent so that the filling fits nicely into the middle).
3. Bake in the oven until the crust is deep golden-brown, about 10-15 minutes.  Check on them every 5 minutes and if they start to puff up, use a small spoon to press them back down.
4. When golden and toasted, take them out of the oven and out of the pan completely.  Let them cool to room temp.
5. Meanwhile, make your filling.  Place 1 package cranberries, 1c apple juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2tsp lemon juice and sweetener of your choice (sugar, maple syrup, or agave) into a medium sauce pan.  Turn to high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Turn down heat to medium and simmer until all the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened (it will thicken even more when it cools).  This takes about 15-20 minutes.  Let cool about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until its thick like jam.
6. Using a spoon, scoop about 2tbs of cranberry mixture in the center of each tart.  Place the tarts on a tray and refrigerate until cold.  Serve cold or at room temp.  These will store in the fridge for a week.  Enjoy!

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