One of the things I enjoy about baking is the opportunity to make delicious treats for friends. Since the vast majority of my friends are queer, and since so many queers and other folks in the pacific northwest seem to have dietary restrictions*, this gives me lots of opportunities to practice baking for friends who otherwise don't get to eat yummy foods when they go for a visit.
This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, though it does include egg in the pastry cream.
For the almond crust: if you don't have a 10" spring form tart pan, a 9" or an 11" will work fine. Because I love this recipe so much, I typically opt for the larger tart pan so I can enjoy more of the tart!
For the pastry cream filling: you can leave out the almond/soy milk and instead double the coconut milk. Since 1 can of coconut milk is approximately 2 cups, this is what I usually do.
For the fruit topping: the photos here show a tart decorated with two kinds of cherries (Bing, and Rainier), blueberries, and strawberries. On previous tarts, I have used plums, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pears, blackberries, peaches, apricots, figs, or apples.
I recommend reading through all of the instructions prior to cooking.
*Don't ask me why, it's just a Thing.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Fruit Tart
Prep Time: 1 hour, divided
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Servings: As many slices as you can get from one tart!
Almond Crust | Gluten-Free
2 cups fine unblanched almond flour
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling | Dairy-Free
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 cup almond milk (or more coconut milk or soy milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/16 teaspoon salt (just a pinch)
1 large whole egg
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter substitute
Any fresh, summer fruits you would like to add to your tart
1 Tbsp. jam (any kind) whisked together with 1 Tbsp water (optional)
Make the almond crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 10" spring form tart pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and ground cinnamon. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is somewhat sticky.
Add mixture to the spring form pan, and spread the mixture out evenly along the bottom and up the sides. Pressing into the pan. (If the mixture sticks to your hands just add a little oil to your hands)
Poke the crust with a fork all over the bottom and a few times on the sides. This will prevent the crust from bubbling up. If you have pie weights, you may also use these instead, though I typically use both.
Place pan in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
Make the dairy-free pastry cream filling
Place all of the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the whole egg and yolks to the dry ingredients, whisking until smooth. Set bowl near the stove.
Pour the coconut and almond milk into a 2 quart sauce pan or pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
When the milk mixture begins to simmer, stir it to evenly distribute the heat. Turn off the stove. Using a small ladle, slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture whisking all the while, until half of the milk mixture has been incorporated. Pour the rest of the milk mixture into the bowl. Whisk well and pour the ingredients back into the pot.
Turn the heat to medium-low and gently stir with a whisk as the mixture heats. As the mixture begins to thicken, turn the heat to low and begin whisking more quickly. Now is the time to minimize distractions because the magic will happen all at once, becoming a thick mixture resembling a loose pudding. Once thickened, it will begin to simmer very slowly. Continue to cook the custard for a full minute.
Remove the pastry cream from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter substitute.
Assemble the tart
As soon as you have fully incorporated the vanilla and butter substitute into the pastry cream, pour the pastry cream into the cooled almond tart crust.
Smooth the pastry cream with a spatula to create an even surface.
Once the pastry cream has cooled, decorate your tart with the fresh fruits you have chosen as the topping.
Mix together the jam and water to create a glaze. Brush the glaze over the top of your tart to give it a finishing gloss.
Cut, serve, and enjoy the tart!
Here's a few of the other tarts I've made, so you can get some inspiration for decorating yours.