May is celiac disease awareness month and what better time to post this gluten-free apple tart recipe than now! For many people gluten-free products and recipes are just a new food trend to follow, however, there are those who are required to follow a strict gluten-free diet because they are living with celiac disease. This gluten-free apple tart recipe is a good one because it uses oat flour as its base. Now, you may choose to substitute the oat flour with another of your choice such as chickpea flour, whole wheat flour (non-gluten free option), or practically any other grain.
Before I get to the recipe, I want to briefly and very simply review what celiac disease is in case you are not familiar with it. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in 100 people around the world. When an individual with celiac disease eats gluten their body creates an immune response that causes an attack on the small intestine. This type of attack damages the small intestine, specifically, the small projections that line the small intestine (a.k.a. villi). Damage to the villi makes it difficult to properly absorb nutrients into the body. The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet.
Non-celiac wheat sensitivity and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are terms used to describe those who experience similar symptoms to celiac disease, but don’t actually have celiac disease. In these individuals, symptoms are resolved after removing gluten from the diet.
Now that you have a general understanding of celiac disease, let me define gluten for those of you who aren’t sure what it is. Gluten is simply a protein found in foods including wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. This includes wheatberries, durum, semonlina, spelt, farro, and graham. There are other products that may contain traces of gluten so it is important to be aware of this. The best way to determine which foods you should or should not avoid is to speak to your health care professional (medical doctor, specialist or dietitian).
Getting back to this recipe, I should mention that although oats do not contain gluten, there are some medical experts that recommend those living with celiac disease to choose oats that are clearly labeled gluten-free. This is because oats are often grown beside products such as wheat, thus allowing for potential cross-contact. This is something you may want to consider, again, speak to your health care professional for more details.
As I mentioned above, oats may be substituted with other flour options including wheat, chickpea, nut, etc. I personally do not follow a gluten-free diet, but I did want to add some variety to my diet as I always do. So, rather than choosing a whole wheat flour, I thought I would use oat flour instead. In case you don’t typically cook/bake with oat flour, all you need to do is grind whole oats in a food processor or coffee grinder! You can read more about the benefits of oats in my previous blog entries and I strongly suggest you do, if you haven’t already done so. Other than being a gluten-free recipe, this apple tart recipe fits within many different special diets. The recipe does not contain any dairy, refined sugar or animal products.
What I really like about this recipe is how simple it is to make! You do not need special equipment, just a mixing bowl, spatula, pie plate, knife and an oven…really that’s it! Hope you enjoy this recipe and be sure to let me know of any changes/additions you make! Bon appétite.
- 1.5 cups oat flour (grind whole oats)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of cold water
- 2 granny smith apples (or apple of your choice)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium sized mixing bowl, start with crust. Mix the oat flour, salt, syrup, and oil together until crumbly. Start adding 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time. You will need approximately 4 tablespoons of cold water, or until your mixture starts to form a dough but is not at the point where it is wet and sticky.
- Place the dough in a 9 inch pie plate. Use your fingers to spread the dough and fill the plate, using your thumbs to create a slight edge.
- Bake your crust for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, slice your apples and put them in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Pour this over the sliced apples and toss to coat well.
- Once the crust is pre-baked, place the apples (overlapping) on the crust. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the tart and add the remaining maple syrup on the apples. You can use a brush or just pour to coat the entire tart. Bake for another 15-18 minutes.
- Remove the tart and enjoy warm or let it cool. Depending on the type of apples you use and how sweet you prefer the tart, you may wish to add some Turbinado sugar on top of the tart.