My favorite Italian dessert is also the easiest. This is called torta di mele morbida (soft apple tart), Paleo-adapted from my amazing friend Giorgia Pistellato in Venice. Not a fancy dessert – it’s is an everyday sweet with apples and cinnamon that always pleases (and reminds me of my former opera career in Italy.) This Apple Torta is a perfect choice for beginning bakers and children, simply because it NEVER FAILS! A luscious last-minute recipe like this can be a useful stand-by in your kitchen, since it uses common ingredients that you probably have on hand. Please be SURE to use organic apples, because apples are one of the fruits sprayed often with pesticides, where the toxins remain in high concentrations. If it’s organic, that means it’s not GMO, and so it will help protect your microbiome. Equipment needed: A food processor. Yield: One 9- to 10-inch tart.
- 3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Fuji, or Pink Lady
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener (not Baking), or your favorite non-glycemic sweetener.
- 1 1/2 cups medium-shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon unprocessed salt
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional, for butter flavor)
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup any unsweetened coconut milk or alternative milk
- Zest of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 orange
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (place jar in lukewarm water to melt oil)
- 1/4 cup more sweetener for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Optional garnish: 1 tablespoon sweetener finely ground.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- to 10-inch cake pan, springform pan, or tart pan. Dust it with coconut flour or arrowroot powder.
- Core the apples and slice very thinly—1/8 inch thick. I love to include the peels, so peeling is optional. Place sliced apples in a bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss gently.
- In a dry food processor fitted with the “S” blade, grind the sweetener to a very fine powder. Add the shredded coconut. Spin it for a minute to a very fine powder. Open the lid, stir the bottom, replace the lid, and grind again until the powder is uniformly fine.
- To the ingredients in the food processor, add arrowroot powder, baking powder, salt, and nutritional yeast (if using). Mix well. Now add the eggs, coconut milk, zest, and vanilla to the mixture and process briefly.
- Pour half the batter into the baking pan. Arrange half of the apple slices in one layer on top of the batter, making a flat fan pattern covering the bottom of the pan. Pouring the remaining batter on top, spread it smooth, and cover with the remaining apples in a fan pattern.
- Drizzle melted coconut oil over the apples. Sprinkle with sweetener and cinnamon. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Garnish with a bit of sweetener if desired. Deliziosa!
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