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Getting Creative With Dessert Crust

October 24, 2010

While perusing my favorite thrift store, I erroneously purchased a Tiara Dessert mold thinking it was a some sort of specialty tart pan. Umm…

Of course, the moment Jonathan spotted the popular 1980’s cake pan, he questioned my assumption.  I promptly ignored him to search the web for an apple tart recipe.  I settled on Alice Waters’s Apple Tart, because the ingredients are simple, and the method is laid out in easy steps at one of my new favorite corners of the internet. Also, I still really need to eat all of the apples from the Eckert’s trip. Luckily, before baking an especially unusual tart with my Tiara, I realized my mistake and opted to make the recipe galette-style.  The result was simple magic.  Deb, of the has such a beautiful and easy-to-follow layout, that I encourage a visit her site when you make this tart.  And you should make it as soon as possible.

For a cocoa twist on the Alice’s crust recipe, follow the instructions below.  I had a little too much fun experimenting in the kitchen after gobbling the previous dessert.  I made my chocolatey crust vegan, but you may certainly substitute with 3/4 cup butter.  The crust is crunchy and boasts a dark chocolate flavor.

Vegan Cocoa Crust
Makes 9-inch crust

1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp granulated (vegan) sugar
3-4 Tbsp cold water

To Do:
1: In a large bowl, combine the flours and the cocoa.  Add  oil, vanilla and sugar. Mix until a cornmeal texture forms.  Add 3 Tbsp water and knead until well combined and only more if the dough is too crumbly. Add  water or flour, 1 tsp at a time, depending on how crumbly or sticky the dough is.
2: Mold into a ball, cover and refrigerate 1 hour.  (Dough may be left overnight, but allow it to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before use.)
3: When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
4: Roll dough into a 12-14 inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Place in a pie pan if desired.  Layer with filling of your choice, additional sugar and/or margarine (optional).  Bake for 1 hour or until crust is just crisp.

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