Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
Sweetie Pies! Tasty Fruit Crostatas & Sweet Empanadas
plant-based, no added fats, gluten-free
Makes one 9-12” crostata, 8- 12 individual crostatas, 16-20 small empanadas
Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes
These rustic and simple fruit tarts are easy delicious snacks, great for breakfast, elegant at a brunch or as dessert. Larger crostatas slice beautifully to serve a crowd, or you can individualize them for a more elegant presentation. The empanadas make terrific hand pies for kids' lunchboxes or to pack in your sports or yoga bag for an after-workout pick-me-up. Nutritious chickpea flour & tofu are used for the dough, lending a lovely texture, nutty flavor, lots of phytonutrients & healthy fiber.
2 cups dried organic unsulphured apricots
½ cup water
3 cups chickpea flour (a.k.a. garbanzo, besan or gram flour in South Asian markets)
½ cup firm tofu, drained well or pressed
2 tbs flaxseed, freshly ground
2 tbs arrowroot
4 tbs apricot paste
zest of 1 organic lemon or ½ organic orange
½ tsp Ceylon or true cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups thinly sliced organic apple or pear with peel, berries, pitted cherries, peeled & sliced orange or mango
Juice of 1 lemon
Grated ginger (optional)
2 tbs apricot paste diluted with orange juice for glazing
fresh raspberries, champagne grapes, gooseberries or currants
zest of organic lemon, lime, orange
dried lavender or rose petals (use sparingly)
Directions Preheat oven to 350°degrees F
Combine apricots & water & microwave for 2 minutes on high. Blend in food processor to create a paste with the consistency of marmalade.
Prepare fruit. Toss in bowl with lemon to thwart oxidation. Combine all dry ingredients for dough in food processor and pulse to blend. Add tofu & apricot paste & run for a couple of minutes to allow time to create a soft, pliant dough. Should have consistency of Play-Doh. If more moisture is required, add almond milk or water VERY conservatively, a tbs at a time. If dough is too wet, add chickpea flour. You want the dough to be soft but not too moist or it will impede rolling.
Flour a board with chickpea flour and roll to around 1/8” thickness, flipping it over as you do adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking. For smaller crostatas & empanadas, roll thinner, particularly along edges.
Spread apricot paste on surface, leaving ¼- ½” border for empanadas only. For a larger crostata, arrange fruit decoratively, overlapping slices, leaving 1” border to fold dough pleats over the fruit. For smaller crostate, enfold dough around the edges of the fruit as in a mini-pie. For empanadas, arrange less fruit on ½ of the surface; fold dough over to create a half moon & seal the edge with a fork or petite folds along the border.
With a pastry brush, baste the dough with the apricot paste/orange juice mix. Set on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
For a large crostata bake for 25-30 minutes or until fruit is soft & crust is golden. For superior results, 2 minutes before done, gently slide pies off the paper directly onto baking rack, so underside can crisp up too. Smaller crostatas & empanadas require less cooking time, 15-20 minutes. Check them at 10 minutes.
Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Juices from fruits will congeal upon cooling. Garnish as desired & before serving, brush warmed apricot-orange juice basting paste one more time.
These tasty crostatas will keep around 5 days in the fridge. They freeze beautifully. If not serving fresh out of the oven, reheat at 250°F for until warmed thoroughly. Enjoy!
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