No-bake apple tart

I’m having trouble finding words to describe how much I love this dessert. Had I known it was going to look and taste this good, I would have made two! Better still, it’s one of those desserts that can be added to your not-so-guilty pleasures of the holiday season. Why? Because it requires no flour, no sugar, no baking…and yet it’s super delicious!

No-Bake Apple Tart | A Dash of Compassion

First, I have to admit: I’ve never been a big fan of pie or tarts. I would much prefer a serving of pie filling, minus the heavy, buttery crust. So when I started dreaming about this idea for an alternative no-bake apple pie, I imagined a soft apple filling spiked with cinnamon and complementing spices, as well as my favourite alternative to a pastry crust, which is a simple blend of nuts and dates and a pinch of salt.

This is my first time making a crust with just walnuts, and dare of say I like them much better than my usual almond-based recipe. The raw walnuts provide a soft, buttery flavour and pair perfectly with the caramel flavour of the dates. The apple filling is made simply by simmering apples with apple cider and spices, and then layering it with a simple date cream. I used Granny Smith apples here, but feel free to mix it up if you wish. Enjoy!

No-Bake Apple Tart | A Dash of Compassion

Print Print

No-bake apple tart

Yield: one 8-inch tart

Ingredients:

For the crust:

    • 2 cups California walnuts
    • 1/2 cup chopped dates, soaked and drained
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the filling:

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 + 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped dates, soaked and drained

Directions:

For the crust:

    1. In a food processor, process the walnuts to a coarse meal. Take care not to over process or they'll turn into butter.
    2. Add the dates and salt and pulse to combine. The mixture should stick together when pressed between two fingers. If it seems too dry, add more water 1 tsp at a time.
    3. Press the mixture evenly into an 8-inch tart pan with a removeable bottom. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  1. In a large pan, carefully mix together the apples, 1 cup apple cider, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Heat over medium heat until the liquid comes to a boil, and then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the apples are soft but not mushy and the liquid is reduced.
  2. While the apples are cooking, blend the dates and remaining 1/4 cup of apple cider until smooth. It should resemble a soft cream.
  3. To assemble, remove the tart crust from the freezer and spread half of the date cream over the crust. Next, add a layer of the cooked apples, overlapping in a ring formation, and then top with the remaining date cream and another layer of apples. Garnish with walnut halves, if desired.
  4. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge until ready to serve.

This recipe was submitted to the California Walnut Commission for its California Walnuts Holiday Blogger Challenge.