Beyond Zucchini: Spiralize Your Apples!

 

Like most people I know, the stories and accompanying photos of the wonders of low-carb spiralized zucchini sold me on the Paderno spiralizer. I bought one and for the longest time used it only for zucchini pasta. Then I graduated to sweet and russet potatoes for curly fries.  Even with this change, however, I was caught in a spiralized vegetable rut. One day, however, I decided to see how the spiralizer worked with fruit. I had a large apple with which I experimented, using all three blades of my spiralizer (incidentally, I hear that the new, improved Paderno spiralizer has four blades). What happened next was a revelation: the spiralizer churns out apple spaghetti as easily and prettily as it cranks out zucchini spaghetti! Moreover, the flat blade turns out a beautiful, thin apple ribbon!

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The top blade cuts fruit and vegetables into ribbons. The other two blades cut fruits and vegetables into spaghetti-shaped strands.

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To use an apple on the spiralizer, peel and core the apple, then attach it to the spiralizer between the handle and the blade. The peel may be left on the apple for an attractive splash of color depending upon the manner in which you plan to use the apple.

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Apple ribbon spiralized with the flat blade. Look how thin the spiralizer blade cuts this apple!

 

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Not much difference exists between apple spiralized with the larger and the smaller spaghetti blades.

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This spiralized apple is truly a long string of gorgeous spaghetti-shaped fruit!

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This end of the apple is left when all the apple that can be spiralized, is spiralized. You know what this end piece is good for? Eating as you’re stirring the spiralized apple into your batter : )

The apple ribbons make a lovely tart. I like the apple spaghetti because when used in breads, cakes, or muffins, the thin strings of apples disappear into the batter rather than remain as chunks. Little chunks are ok, and some people may like their rustic appearance and texture; however, sometimes chunks fail to disperse evenly through the batter, and sometimes they sink to the bottom of the batter. I like the way the thin strings of spiralized spaghetti seem to disappear into the baked item in which they are stirred, adding apple richness and flavor without adding chunky texture. Not all apple varieties will work as equally well in the spiralizer; some are more mushy in texture than others. I use Honeycrisp, a variety that holds its shape well. The Pink Lady variety also works well.

I use the flat blade to spiralize apples for tarts. The photos show an apple tart, the crust of which  I made by processing two tablespoons of butter with crumbs from failed pumpkin cakes pressed into the tart pan, so I can’t really give a recipe for that crust. I’ve written, instead, my usual recipe for tarts. The rest of the tart recipe is the usual recipe I use. Photo illustrations for making the dough and assembling the tart, which is similar to my pear tart recipe, are available on this post.

 

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Gluten-Free Apple Tart With Almond Vanilla Filling

Crust

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons well-chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
30 grams (about 1/4 cup) blanched almond flour (NOT almond meal)
90 grams Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour
60 grams sweet (glutenous) rice flour
25 grams tapioca starch
25 grams arrowroot starch
1 tablespoon ground white chia seed (or ground flax seed)

Almond-Vanilla Filling

40 grams (about 2/3 cup) blanched almond flour (NOT almond meal)
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
7 tablespoon coconut (or palm) sugar
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
Powdered sugar (optional)

Apple Topping

2 large Honeycrisp (or 3 medium Pink Lady) apples, peeled
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sherry (the wine, NOT cooking sherry)

Apple Topping:

Put the apples through the flat blade of a spiralizer to create flat ribbons. The ribbons will come apart, but that’s ok. They will still look lovely on the tart. In a bowl, gently mix together the spiralized apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sherry. Set aside to allow the apples time to macerate in the sugar – sherry mixture.

Crust:

In a medium bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Using your hands or a pastry blender, cut the pieces of butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture looks like corn meal, with only a few larger pieces of butter. Stir the egg yolk into the dough mixture, until the mixture forms into a ball (if mixture is too dry, add cold water, 1/2 tbls at a time, until the mixture is moist enough to form into a ball). Flatten the ball of dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for thirty minutes in the refrigerator.

Almond-Vanilla Filling

Mix all the ingredients, EXCEPT for the powdered sugar, together until smooth.

Assembly:

Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it warm to nearly room temperature.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.Lightly grease the removable bottom of a tart pan with butter. Flatten out dough; sprinkle both sides of the dough with rice flour.Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper, and roll into a 9 inch circle (I
place the wax paper on my silicone pastry mat to keep it from slipping while I roll
out the dough). Using paper as aid, turn dough into the prepared tart pan; peel off paper.
Press the dough into the pan and up the sides of the pan as needed; seal any cracks
in the dough.Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 10 minutes (to allow the butter to firm so that it creates a more flaky crust when melts as it bakes). Bake the crust until golden and the bottom is set, about 20 minutes. Cool the crust.While the crust is cooling, prepare the almond-vanilla filling. When the crust has cooled, spread the filling evenly over the bottom of the crust. Drain the apples and spread the apple ribbons and pieces evenly over the almond-vanilla filling.

Bake the tart at 350° Bake the tart at 350 degrees, until the filling starts to turn golden brown.Cool the tart.Push the bottom of the pan up, releasing it from the rim of the pan.
Slide a cake lifter carefully and gently between the tart crust and the pan bottom,
and gently ease the tart onto a platter. Sprinkle the tart with powdered sugar.

 

 

 

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