I have a lot to be thankful for. Although it’s two months before Thanksgiving, it’s never too early to express thanks to Him. My parents live in the Fort Lauderdale area, so this past week wreaked havoc on my nerves, but not only because of Hurricane Irma.
Mom can’t drive anymore and we recently found out that Dad’s cancer returned and spread to his lungs and bones. On top of that, he was hospitalized with bronchitis several days before Irma was to hit SE Florida. As of the Thursday prior to Irma hitting Florida, Dad calls me from his hospital room and tells me that he’s going to check himself out tomorrow [Friday] if the doctors won’t release him. He doesn’t want to be in there anymore. He wants to be with Mom… doesn’t want her to be alone at home when Irma hits. The doctors advised him against it, but if he wanted to leave, he’d need to sign a release form. I pleaded with him to listen to the doctors. “Dad, please stay in the hospital… Mom can be with you… you’ll both be safer there than at home…” That night I hardly slept. I called first thing Friday morning. Dad told me he was checking himself out of the hospital. Again, I pleaded with him to stay and have mom stay there with him.
He told me that she can’t – the hospital won’t allow it – because of Irma, it’s on lockdown. No guests, no visitors allowed. No matter what, he just wanted to be with her.
Well, what could I say to that? I get it.
I just thank G-d they made it through okay. Throughout the weekend, he was short of breath, very tired and sounded very weak. On Monday, the hospital opened its doors to emergencies only. That’s when Dad was rushed to the hospital again; this time he suffered a minor heart attack. Again, I thank G-d that he got there when he did and he’s doing much better now.
At last, I can finally breathe… a little. I felt helpless. I felt on edge. I felt frustrated. I wanted to be there to help them, but what good would that do? I’d just be another victim needing water and waiting on line for gas.
I am thankful for my family, friends and everyone who pitched in this past week to help those who needed aid. We sincerely prayed for everyone living in Florida, along the east coast, and in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Please know y’all are in our heartfelt thoughts and prayers – always.
Dad – you’ve been though a lot, especially this past week. Apple pie has always been one of your favorite desserts.
Don’t eat gluten? Or dairy? …Or refined carbs? No worries! This apple tart is like none other you’ve tried. Just because it’s gluten and dairy free doesn’t mean it tastes like dry, flavorless cardboard. It’s bursting with flavor. It’s moist. It’s loaded with apples. And cinnamon. And almonds. Did I mention bursting with flavor??
Let me put it to you this way. My husband, David, doesn’t like crust. Since I’ve known him, he eats the pie filling… scrapes it off the crust and leaves over the crust. (Crazy, right?!)
Not this time! Here’s how this recipe came about – The crust recipe is from one of my favorite blogs, SallysBakingAddiction.com. She posted a recipe for a Chocolate Coconut Almond Tart, which looked amazing, so I made it. David ate everything, crust and all. In fact, he said it was probably the best crust he’s ever had.
Wait a minute – healthier… and tastes better?!? This gave me ideas. The first of which I bring to you today!
Here’s a much healthier, revamped and improved version of the traditional apple tart you’re used to.
Dad, this one’s for you!
In a medium sized baking dish, combine apples with lemon juice. Mix in vanilla. Add cinnamon mixture to apples. Stir to coat evenly. Set aside. Once the coconut milk mixture thickens, pour over apples, stir to coat and cover.
Bake for 50 minutes covered. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
In a food processor, pulse together almond flour and almonds until coarse.
Add melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Pulse until combined. *see note
Firmly press mixture in to tart pan.
For the crumb topping – in a food processor, pulse together almond flour, pecans and walnuts to a chopped consistency.
Add remaining ingredients and pulse until just combined.
Spread out on baking sheet (see photo above) and bake for 10 minutes.
Texture should be slightly crunchy on the outside, but softer in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.
When cool enough to handle, break apart into smaller pieces and add to tart.
Cover and refrigerate at least two hours prior to serving. For best results, make one day in advance. Enjoy!
- 1 cup (140g) whole raw almonds, unsalted
- 1 cup (90g) almond flour
- 2 Tablespoons (40g) pure maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) coconut oil, melted (I used cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil)
- 6 apples (I used a mix of 3 Gala and 3 Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced into ¼” slices
- juice from one lemon
- ½ cup (105g) coconut palm sugar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) full fat coconut milk
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) water
- 3 Tablespoons (40g) cold pressed organic coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons (43g) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons (14g) tapioca flour
- ½ Tablespoon (7g) vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅔ cup (67g) almond flour
- ⅓ cup (40g) pecans
- ¼ cup (30g) walnuts
- 3 Tablespoons (40g) coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tablespoons (17g) organic coconut palm sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (43g) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) full fat coconut milk
- ½ Tablespoon (4g) cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C).
- In a food processor, pulse together almond flour and almonds until coarse. See photo above.
- Add melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Pulse until combined. *see note
- Firmly press mixture in to tart pan. Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool on wire rack while preparing filling.
- In a medium sized baking dish, combine apples with lemon juice. Mix in vanilla.
- In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger. Add to apple mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine water, palm sugar, coconut milk. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add coconut oil, maple syrup. Slowly add tapioca flour while mixing. (Adding tapioca flour too quickly causes lumps, so go slow). Tapioca flour is a thickener - see photo above for proper consistency. Once the mixture thickens, pour over apples, stir to coat and cover. Bake for 50 minutes covered. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Let cool for approximately 20 minutes before adding to the shell.
- Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C).
- Line a baking with parchment paper, or line with a silicone liner and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse together almond flour, pecans and walnuts to a chopped consistency.
- Add remaining ingredients and pulse until just combined.
- Spread out on baking sheet (see photo above) and bake for 10 minutes. Texture should be slightly crunchy on the outside, but softer in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.
- When cool enough to handle, break apart into smaller pieces and add to tart.
Store covered up to three days or up to five days in refrigerator.