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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC




Diminutive crostatas, a.k.a. mini-galettes, whatever you call them, these delicious vegan fruit tarts are fun and easy to make. Whole grain, fruit-sweetened, they make a nutritious snack, lovely breakfast, and an elegant dessert. Fold the dough over, empanada-style, and they are perfectly leak-proof for kids’ lunchboxes or post-exercise pick-me-ups too. Gluten-free, nutrient-dense, loaded with flavor, not fat.


Hint: For an elegant presentation, shape the crostatine in 4 ½” mini fluted nonstick tart pans, with removeable bottoms for easy extraction. Or, for a rustic look, fold the dough edges in little pleats to create an edge to hold the fruit filling and its juices.


Makes about fifteen 4½” crostatine

Prep time: 30 minutes

Bake time: 25 minutes


1½ cups apricot paste from 2 cups unsulfured apricots

1 cup buckwheat flour

½ cup besan (Bengal gram flour, available in South Asian groceries) or chickpea flour

½ cup medium Japanese sweet potato (satsumaimo), pricked with a fork, microwaved or baked, then peeled while hot

1 tablespoon flaxseed, freshly ground

¼ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon, freshly ground

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1-2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce


3 ripe pears, cut in half, seeds removed, cut in ¼“ slices

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 red plums, cut in half, pit removed, cut in ¼” slices

½ cup red or black grapes

½ cup blackberries

½ cup blueberries

½ cup raspberries

¼ cup each cup of pine nuts

¼ cup pistachio nuts, chopped

¼ cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

2 cups unsweetened soy or almond yogurt, strained to make 1 ½ cups vegan crème fraiche (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°F or 350° F for convection baking.


In a small heatproof bowl add the apricots and just cover with water. Microwave for 2 minutes. Alternatively, simmer the apricots in a small pot on the stovetop for 5 minutes. Cool. Purée the softened apricots with its soaking water in a high-speed blender for a minute or until uniformly smooth with the consistency of soft jam.


Add the lemon juice to a medium mixing bowl. Prep the pears and add them to the bowl, mixing them well with the lemon juice to retard oxidation.


In a food processor bowl add the flours, ground flaxseed, Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Pulse to mix.


Cook the Japanese sweet potato until fork tender, about 4 minutes in a microwave, or 45 minutes in a 425°F oven. Peel while piping hot, quickly, mash and measure out ½ cup, and add immediately to the food processor together with 4 tablespoons of the apricot paste. Run on high for at least 2 minutes or until the ingredients gather into a soft dough. If the mix is too dry and fails to gather, add applesauce, a tablespoon at a time and reprocess.  If the mix is too soft and moist to gather, add buckwheat flour, a tablespoon at a time. The consistency of the dough should be soft and pliant, though not at all wet, much like Play-Doh.  


Lightly flour a board with buckwheat flour. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk and roll out to 1/8” in thickness, flipping it over as you roll and sprinkling a bit more flour if needed to prevent sticking.  Use a 4” cutter or lid to cut out disks. Roll roll the perimeter of each disk to flatten further.


If using tart pans, fit each dough disk to a nonstick tart pan. Spread apricot paste on surface. Arrange the pear and plum decoratively as you like. Fill in the center along the edges artfully with berries or grapes, cut in half if they are large. Set each composed tin on cookie sheets, leaving an inch between each tart.


 If pleating the crostatine galette-style, lay each dough disk out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread apricot paste on the surface, leaving ½” along the perimeter.  Lay down the pear and/or plum slices, overlapping, as you like. Enfold the dough around the edges of the fruit, folding the dough in small pleats as you go.  Add the smaller fruit decoratively over the top and along the edges of each tart.


After all the crostatine are composed, thin ½ cup of the apricot paste with water, mixing it well. Using a pastry brush, apply a coat of this apricot glaze over the dough and its fruit filling.


Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the cookie sheets. Brush on another coat of apricot glaze, lightly cover each cookie sheet with a large piece of parchment paper, return the cookie sheet to the oven to bake for an additional 10 minutes. The crostatine are ready when their crusts are golden and toasted on the edges, and the fruit is soft and juicy.


Transfer each crostatine to a cooling rack. Glaze a final time with the apricot glaze. The crostatines’ fruits will release a fair amount of juices during baking, but these juices will congeal as the tarts cool.  Garnish as desired with additional berries and nuts.


Hint: Add a little more excitement by also garnishing each tart with a dollop of plant-based crème fraiche, made from unsweetened soy or almond yogurt, strained in muslin for about 90 minutes.


These tasty crostatine will keep around 5 days, well wrapped, in the fridge.  They freeze beautifully if you bake them in advance of use. To reheat, defrost the tarts and then place them in a preheated 200°F oven for about 5 minutes or until well warmed through.


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