This is gluten/dairy free and suitable for vegans. It is definitely one to do at the moment with lots of apples everywhere. I made this using apples from my parent’s garden which is heaving with them left, right and centre. I am all about the crunch with things and I love the way this base stays super crunchy and you have lots of texture going on between the layers. I like to serve it with my coconut whipped cream but any cream will do the job! You can use honey or unrefined caster sugar if you want to keep this vegan for the base and it’s worth noting that caster sugar tends to give the base more of a crunch.
For the biscuit base
100g chestnut flour
100g almond flour
120g sunflower spread (vegan)
70g honey/unrefined caster sugar
For the puree
5 medium apples (600g), sliced thinly with a mandolin
4 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tbsp honey/unrefined caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp sunflower spread
Zest and juice of half a lemon
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Few gratings nut meg
2 tbsp amaretto liquor
For the topping
3 medium apples (300g) sliced into 1/2cm thin slices
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp melted coconut oil/sunflower spread
Unrefined caster sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 170 degrees and cut two sheets of baking parchment big enough to fit on an oven tray.
Start making the puree by putting all the ingredients except the amaretto into a large saucepan and set to a medium to high heat. You can add in the vanilla pod skin for extra flavour. Mix everything around and cook for about 10-12 minutes until the apple slithers have softened and then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Remove the vanilla skin and taste to check for seasoning in case it needs a touch more sugar to balance with apple’s acidity.
While the apples cook start making the pastry base. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix until it forms a thick paste. This will take about 4 minutes and then tip dough into the centre of one of the prepared baking sheets. Place the second baking parchment sheet on top and use a rolling pin the evenly spread out the pastry to about 1 cm or less thick. Carefully peel off the top sheet of baking paper and use a butter knife to cut and mould the pastry into a large but neat circle. Roughly the size of 13-14 inch cake tin. The pastry must be as even as possible to gain an even bake. Then place onto an oven tray and into the oven for about 6 minutes before turning the tray round and baking for a further 7 minutes. It should be golden brown and be a little hard on top when finished and in total can take between 13-15 minutes to bake so keep an eye out. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.
For the last layer turn oven to the grill setting at about 200 degrees and line two baking trays with baking parchment. In a small bowl mix the maple syrup, cinnamon powder, vanilla extract, coconut oil together to form a paste and lay out all the apple slices onto the baking sheets in rows. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat all the apple slices in the paste and place under the grill for about 6-7 minutes to crisp up and go golden.
It is possible to make everything the night before and carefully wrap up the biscuit base, apple topping in cling film and keep the puree in the fridge. Simply assemble just before eating by spooning on the puree layer and decorating with the apple topping. Finish with a gentle dusting of icing sugar and serve with a dollop of cream fraîche. Boom!!