Yield: 6 servings
|6 larges||Granny Smith apples|
|2 tablespoons||Unsalted butter|
|¾ cup||Solid vegetable shortening|
|¼ cup||Boiling (not just hot) water|
|1 tablespoon||Fresh lemon juice|
|2 cups||All-purpose flour, sifted|
FOR THE APPLESAUCE
FOR THE PASTRY
Peel and core the apples; cut into thin slices, to thicker than ¼".
Put the apples, butter, lemon juice and honey in a heavy saucepan with a lid. (Don't try using a lightweight pan; you need a heavy pan that conducts heat well.) Cover tightly; cook over high heat for 10 minutes. Uncover. Stir to break up the apples into a smooth sauce. If necessary, keep cooking until the applesauce is completely smooth, stirring frequently to prevent burning or sticking. Set aside to cool. (You may cook the applesauce in advance and refrigerate. Bring back to room temperature before serving.) Put the shortening in a large bowl. Add the boiling water. Stir quickly to make a smooth mixture. Stir in the milk and sugar. Add the flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until you have used a total of 1½ cup flour. After that, add flour only until the dough clings together stiffly. Form the dough into a ball.
Flatten between sheets of wax paper, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, to allow the dough to "relax." After 15 minutes before you are ready to prepare the tart shells, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let it soften slightly. Roll out the dough, either on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper, to a thickness of ⅛". Cut into six 4" circles, using a plastic lid (such as that of the shortening can) or a cardboard template as a guide. (You may save any leftover dough, well-wrapped, in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.) Preheat the oven to 400'F.
Turn a standard muffin tin upside down and gently drape a circle of dough down the muffin shape, pressing in place lightly. Repeat with the remaining dough circles, making certain the shells don't touch one another (if possible, use a 12-muffin tin and skip spaces so the tart shells don't touch.)
Bake the shells for 12-14 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
Allow the shells to cool slightly before gently removing them from the muffin tin to finish cooling right side up on a wire rack. (You may prepare the tart shells one day ahead and store in a covered container.)
At serving time, fill each shell with ⅓ cup room-temperature applesauce. If desired, drizzle with additional honey. You also may warm the tarts briefly in the oven - 5 minutes at 350'F. (If you'd like to gild the lily, serve with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or low-fat "ice cream.")
Per serving: 487 calories, 5 grams protein, 74 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 20⅖ grams fat (6⅖ grams saturated), 3 milligrams sodium.