Country apple and cherry tart is sweet addition to low-carb diet

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Last October, Auburn resident Cathy Bianchi found out that her husband was diabetic, and his cholesterol was sky high. He had to make major changes real quick, she said in an e-mail. So we cleaned out the cupboards, freezer and refrigerator, and then bought some books. After some research, the Bianchis decided to take the low carb route instead of sugar free. The first ones were pretty bad (heavy, like leather and not much taste), she said of recipes she tried. I did some more reading and began to bring things together. The results have been well worth it, she said. Eating low carb has been such a benefit to both of us, she said. I have been able to take regular recipes and convert them over ” like the apple and cherry tart below. I make his bread, chocolate chip cookies, zucchini bread, butter cookies and double chocolate brownies. He is not going without any of life's sweet pleasures, eats three balanced meals a day, with snacks, and really doesn't miss the sodas. n Country Apple and Cherry Tart (Serves 10, with 125 calories, 22 grams carbs, 6 grams fat, 2 grams protein and 4 grams fiber per serving) 1/3 cup dried cherries 3 tablespoons apple juice (or brandy) 2 tablespoons Splenda ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon soy flour 4 cups sliced, peeled tart apples 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 recipe Browned Butter Whole Wheat Pastry (recipe follows) extra flour 1 tablespoon sliced almonds milk sugar free caramel sauce granulated or coarse sugar (optional) In a small saucepan, mix cherries and apple juice. Heat just until liquid is hot, but not boiling; set aside to cool and let cherries plump. Mix together Splenda, soy flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over sliced apples, then mix together. Gently add the vanilla, cherries and remaining apple juice. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and sprinkle lightly with flour. Roll out pastry crust to approximately 12 inches in diameter. Gently fold into quarters and move to foil-lined baking sheet. Unfold. Place apple mixture in center of crust, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold border up over apple mixture, pleating the pastry. Sprinkle center with almonds. Brush top and sides of crust with milk. If desired, sprinkle lightly with additional granulated or coarse sugar. Bake approximately 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve warm or cooled. n Browned Butter Whole Wheat Pastry 2 tablespoons butter, heated over medium heat until melted and light brown 2 tablespoons shortening 1¼ cups whole wheat flour 1 tablespoon Splenda ¼ teaspoon salt 4-5 tablespoons cold water Stir together the whole-wheat flour, Splenda and salt. Cut in the shortening and the browned butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing gently with a fork after each addition. Form into a ball, then roll out into a circle. Cathy Bianchi is owner of Cathy's Catering, (530) 823-7860.