Clean Apple Cinnamon “Pop Tarts” (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free)

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Phew! These have been such a long time coming. When the pop tart train rolled into blog land, I couldn’t help hopping aboard. Who didn’t, at some point in life, LOVE pop tarts? I was a huge fan of the funky flavors like s’mores, chocolate frosted (with those majestic white sprinkle crumbles), apple cinnamon, brown sugar and so on. Toasted or not, with milk or on their own — there was just something about that crumbly crust and thin layer of filling that I couldn’t get over.

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

I haven’t had a pop tart in YEARS. So when homemade versions debuted all over my favorite food blogs and overwhelmed my Pinterest feed, the wheels started turning. I had to create a “clean” version of that wondrous breakfast pastry.

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

I noticed that a lot of people were using pie crust recipes for the outer pastry, but as I remember them, pop tarts were less flaky and more crumbly. I also wanted to nail the filling. It had to be sweet and flavorful without being overwhelming.

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

So after lots of trial and error, here is my attempt at clean pop tarts. I’m shocked by how delicious they are while remaining completely vegan and grain/gluten/sugar-free. They’re buttery, crumbly, sweet but not too sweet, pleasantly filling, and they’ve satisfied each and every one of my childhood breakfast cravings. Please do give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! If you like to snap pics of your food like I do, post to Instagram and tag #offbeatandinspired so I can see your results! (Find me on IG here!)

Were you (or are you) a pop tart fan? What’s your favorite flavor? Let’s talk nostalgic breakfast foods!

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Clean Apple Cinnamon "Pop Tarts" (Grain/Gluten/Dairy/Sugar-Free) - offbeat + inspired

Were you (or are you) a pop tart fan? What's your favorite flavor? Let's talk nostalgic breakfast foods!

Apple Cinnamon Almond Pop Tarts – Gluten/Grain/Dairy/Sugar-Free!
yields about 6 pop tarts

For the Crust

350g finely ground blanched almonds
2-3 small, or 1 large pitted Medjool date
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil (I like to use this kind from Trader Joe’s, or this kind by Nature’s Way)
1 tbsp light coconut milk (if needed)

For the Filling

1/2 a sweet/tart apple such as Honeycrisp, Jonagold or York Imperial (cored – peel it if you prefer, but I like to leave the skin on!)
4-6 small, or 3 large pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup light coconut milk (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In the bowl of a food processor, combine blanched almonds, dates, cinnamon, salt and coconut oil. Pulse until fully combined, resembling wet sand. If you’re able to form a ball of dough, move the mixture to a large piece of parchment paper. If not, add 1 tbsp coconut milk and pulse again.

After you’ve moved the dough to the parchment paper, rinse out your food processor bowl and make the filling. Add the apple, dates, coconut milk and cinnamon and pulse until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure everything is thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Once you’ve formed the dough ball, press it into a rough rectangle on the parchment paper, cover with another sheet of parchment and roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin. Be very careful to press and roll slowly and steadily, as this dough is prone to crumbling.

Cut as many rectangles from the rolled out dough as you can. Use a very sharp knife and cut slowly. The rectangles should be roughly 3 x 4 1/2 inches.

With a spatula, carefully slide up to 6 rectangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spoon about 1/2 tbsp of filling onto the middle of each rectangle, spreading with the back of the spoon, being sure to keep the filling about 1/2 inch away from the edge.

Form the rest of your dough into a ball again, press into a rectangle and roll out the same as the first time. Cut 6 more rectangles and place them carefully on top of the filled rectangles. Press the edges lightly with your fingers until they’re all sealed. Crimp the edges lightly with a fork, and then poke 8 holes as shown, using a toothpick or skewer.

Bake at 375 for 13-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.

Carefully move the pop tarts to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before serving. These will be much more fragile than a flour-based pop tart, so handle them gently! They’re SO worth the extra care though. Once they’ve cooled, they won’t be as crumbly. If you have leftovers, wrap and store them in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Crust-Lover’s Layered Apple Pie

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Apple pie. It’s in a league of its own. And for such a highly revered dessert, it’s very forgiving. There are thousands of recipes and renditions of “traditional” apple pie being celebrated all over the country. From the type of crust, to the variety and cut of the apples, to the spices and toppings — apple pie lends itself generously to adaptation.

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

I’ve always enjoyed this dessert simply because it heralds the coming of fall. And as if a buttery, flaky crust filled to the brim with ripe, cinnamon apples wasn’t enough — the smell! When an apple pie is baking, everything, and I mean everything…is right with the world.

But I have a confession. When there’s a steaming slice of apple pie on a plate in front of me, there’s only one thing going through my mind: do I save the crust for last and power through the filling, or do I go straight for the crust, scoop up some of the filling for a perfect crust/apple ratio and toss the leftover mush? I know…terrible.

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

This dilemma has had me tweaking apple pie recipes for years. I’ve sliced the apples thinner, dried them before baking, topped them with crumble instead of a second crust to let more moisture escape during the bake — the list goes on. The thinly sliced apples definitely improved things, and minimizing the amount of butter and sugar I added to the filling kept the goop-factor fairly low — but there was still something missing. I wanted that golden, savory crust all throughout the pie. I wanted every single bite to have that flaky, toasty layer just like the prized edges I always saved for last. I also didn’t want to keep compromising the filling. I wanted sweet, tart apples cloaked in a rich, smoothly spiced sauce — and I wanted that marvelous blend to exist in a thin layer between beautifully golden crusts. Multiply that delightful little combo by three, and you get what I’m calling the Crust Lover’s Layered Apple Pie. You could also call it Lasagna-Style Apple Pie — if you’re able to shake the image of tomato sauce mixing with apples and pie crust.

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

This pie has 3 crusts and 3 thin layers apple filling. It’s literally everything I dreamed it would be. I topped it with a scoop of homemade spiced vanilla whipped cream — and it was incredible.

This is my new go-to apple pie recipe. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did!

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Do I have any fellow crust enthusiasts out there? Anyone suffering from the same filling-overload-dilemma? I would love to hear about all of your apple pie woes and delights! Please share in the comments at the bottom!

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

The Handcarved Acacia Cake Stand can be found at Anthropologie, here! The Latte Bowl can also be found at Anthro, here!

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Crust-Lover's Layered Apple Pie - offbeat + inspired

Where to buy…

the Handcarved Acacia Cake Stand (small) / Anthropologie
the white Latte Bowl / Anthropologie
the Emile Henry Artisan Ruffled Pie Dish / Williams Sonoma
the Red Railroad Stripe Napkin / Ortolan Organic

Crust-Lover’s Layered Apple Pie

For the Crust

75g, or a scant 2/3 cup rye flour
175g or 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8 oz. or 1 cup salted butter
1/3 cup or 80 ml cold water

I used Heidi Swanson‘s Flaky Rye Pie Crust recipe, as shared on the Herriott Grace blog here.

Follow this method for making the crust. It yields such a beautiful flake, and the dough is a dream to work with.

For the Filling

5 medium sweet-tart apples (I used Braeburns)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground clove
6 tbsp. salted butter, chilled and cubed

For the Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom

First, make the crust! Follow this method.

While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and butter your pie plate.

Remove one of the chilled discs of dough from the fridge and divide it in 2 equal parts. Roll them out on a lightly floured surface into two rounds that will fit inside your pie plate. These will be your internal crust layers.

Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightl golden and puffy.

While the internal crusts are cooling, adjust your oven temperature to 475 degrees F.

Core, peel and thinly slice your apples (I use this nifty little gadget to do it all at once), put them in a large bowl and add the sugar and spices. Stir with a wooden spoon or toss with your hands until the apples are evenly coated.

Remove the remaining disc of chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Keep it as round as you can!

Transfer the dough to your pie plate and trim the edges, leaving about 1/2 inch of overhang that you can fold under and press to make a perfectly smooth edge.

Spread a layer of apples, about 1/2-3/4-inch thick, on the bottom of the pie crust. Dot this layer with 2 tbsp. of cubed butter, and top with one of your pre-baked crust rounds. Repeat this for the next 2 layers. The very top layer will be apples dotted with the last 2 tbsp. of cubed butter. Make sure you use enough apples on that top layer to hide the crust layer beneath it.

Place your pie on a rack positioned in the bottom third of the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes. Start checking the pie around the 25 minute mark to make sure the crust and apples aren’t browning too quickly.

When the pie is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

While the pie is cooling, make the whipped cream. Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla and spices in a medium bowl and beat with a hand mixer on high for about 2-3 minutes until the cream thickens enough to hold its shape. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. I suggest adding a healthy scoop to each slice of pie as you serve them.

If you try this recipe and take a picture of it, please share it on Instagram or Steller and tag me @tifforelie so I can see! I would love to know how it turned out for you! Find me on IG here, and on Steller here!

 

Autumn Layers | Anthropologie, Free People + Block Shop Textiles

Autumn Layers | Anthropologie, Free People + Block Shop Textiles - offbeat + inspired

If I have any say in this at all — fall has arrived. It’s decided! This morning, I woke up at 6AM and it was perfectly chilly outside. My sisters and I had plans. We were going to eat spiced pancakes, drink hot coffee and watch the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls while the sun came up. We did, and it was wonderful.

Keep reading!

SOUTH | a rooftop dinner with MasterChef Season 5 Competitors Elizabeth Cauvel + Dan Wu

SOUTH | a rooftop dinner with MasterChef Season 5 Competitors Elizabeth Cauvel + Dan Wu - offbeat + inspired

I haven’t hosted an event since my own wedding. It’s something I’ve thought about and awkwardly tiptoed around, but there was never anything pushing me to actually do it. That push came about 2 months ago when Dan Wu, Lexington’s resident MasterChef Season 5 competitor, sent me a message on Facebook telling me that when Elizabeth Cauvel (one of his co-MC5 competitors) found out he and I knew each other, she told him she’s been a huge fan of offbeat for a while and it’s what inspired her food styling aspirations! I can’t accurately explain my reaction to that news. “Giddy” is the world’s biggest understatement right now.

Keep reading!

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5

Outfitted | Elizabeth Cauvel of MasterChef Season 5 - offbeat + inspired

Meet Elizabeth! You probably already know her because she’s kicking butt on MasterChef Season 5 right now. The girl just made top 3! Hashtag awesome.

How we met is kind of crazy. She had been following offbeat + inspired for about a year prior to the airing of MC5. I found this out because fellow Lexingtonian and early MC5 competitor, Dan Wu, told me that when Elizabeth found out he and I lived in the same city, she flipped! Well I flipped too. We all flipped. Before I even knew she was a fan of the blog, I had picked her as my fantasy BFF from the show. Naturally, Dan and I lured her to Lexington with the idea that the three of us should host a MC5 dinner together. [I posted all about the dinner here!]

Keep reading!

The Coffee Ice Cube Latte + My Steller Obsession

The Coffee Ice Cube Latte + My Steller Obsession - offbeat + inspired

First, Steller. It’s an app I started using recently, and I’m completely hooked. It’s the most visually stunning, sleek and intuitive storytelling app I’ve ever seen. The idea is to create stories with photos, video, sound and text. There are different fonts and layout options that have the look and feel of an uber-stylish coffee table magazine, flipping pages and all.

Keep reading!

Alpine Mud | A White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon Cocktail

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

The second (and final) recipe of my Juniper Ridge Wildcrafted Tea collaboration with Kristan Raines of The Broken Bread is a bourbon cocktail that I’m absolutely head over heels for — and just in time for National Bourbon Heritage Month!

Keep reading!

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Kristan Raines (of The Broken Bread) and I recently teamed up to create a few recipes infused with wildcrafted tea from Juniper Ridge. I’m so excited to be collaborating with this girl. She is incredibly talented, sweet as can be, and her recipes and food photography are hypnotizing. If you haven’t already checked out her work or followed her on Instagram, you must!

Keep reading!

Clean Eating | Medjool Date + Vanilla Bean Café Au Lait De Coco

Clean Eating | Medjool Date + Vanilla Bean Café Au Lait De Coco - offbeat + inspired

I’ve had to get creative with my coffee lately. I’ve done pretty well avoiding dairy ever since my Whole30 detox, probably because it wasn’t one of my main vices to begin with — but when I’m not in the mood for black coffee, I go straight for the half and half. I’ve tried substitutions like almond milk, and made bold efforts to convince myself that the flavor was similar enough…but it just plain wasn’t.

Keep reading!

Lexington Love | A Taste of France at Le Deauville

Lexington Love | A Taste of France at Le Deauville - offbeat + inspired

Visiting Paris has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Seeing Julie & Julia for the first time dug the well a little deeper, but the thing that pushed me over the edge into trip planning mode was moving to Lexington, Kentucky. It’s not a coincidence that two of the three “Lexington Love” posts I’ve done so far have been about French/European-inspired eateries. There’s an atmosphere and an old-world charm built into a French crafted experience that just can’t be matched. Dozens of restaurants in this city have phenomenal food, trendy interior design, friendly hosts and personality that instantly turns first-timers into regulars — but Le Deauville French Bistro at 199 North Limestone makes you believe you’re actually in France.

Keep reading!