Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart

Grain Free Caramel Tart (egg free and dairy free too!)
This tart has a lovely shortbread crust, and a sweet apple filling made all the better with dairy free caramel sauce. Sweetened lightly with coconut sugar, this healthier treat was a real win in this household! You don’t have to have any food allergies to enjoy this, but it is to grain free and gluten free, dairy free, and egg free!

I have a sweet daughter who can’t have gluten, dairy or eggs, and sometimes that is a challenge. We had been doing gluten and dairy free for a while, but when we found out about eggs, some of our favorite recipes were no longer useable. Thankfully, I have slowly been adding back in recipes that we love that are delicious and fit her needs. This year, I really wanted to figure out an apple pie or tart recipe that wasn’t stressful to make. I’ve made apple pies in the past for her, and they were wonderful, but also a lot of work. (Apple is her favorite pie/tart!).

Why you should own a tart pan

This year I went for the tart, and it was SO easy to make, and incredibly delicious too! That’s a great combination in my mind. We are looking forward to enjoying this at holiday meals. And if you don’t have a tart pan, get one! While I have been weeding out items from my kitchen I don’t use often, I actually added in an item, a tart pan, because I realized how much I was missing out by not having one (easy delicious desserts that make allergy friendly desserts stress-free!).

I ended up buying (Amazon links are affiliate) this tart pan after looking at what was available at local stores and am really happy with it. It’s a stainless steel 9 inch pan. I also love the rectangular versions such as this this rectangular pan, and will probably add that into my collection as well.

For this recipe, you need only three components. The crust (if you can make cookies, you can make this crust, plus no rolling needed), my uber easy dairy-free caramel sauce (or caramel sauce of your choice), and then the apple filling.

I would recommend serving it with whipped cream or ice cream, and the leftover caramel sauce. Yum!

Recipes:

Maple Sweetened Whipped Cream
How to make coconut whipped cream with an ISI dispenser
Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Chai Coconut Milk Ice Cream

A word on ingredients:

I’ve tried this crust in a variety of recipes recently. The combination of almond flour and tapioca starch works amazingly well in many recipes (like these Grain Free Mexican Wedding Cookies). I do use a finely ground almond flour (I used this brand). I’m not positive that a more coarsely ground flour would work the same. I also tried out a combination of using non-hydrogenated palm shorting, a combination of butter and non-hydrogenated palm shortening and butter, and all butter, and found that our favorite was the all butter version. If you need this recipe to be completely dairy-free, use the palm shortening option. I recommend this one or this one. Firm coconut oil is another great option; it’s just a little more finicky to work with in a recipe like this one.

I love the use of coconut sugar in this recipe as it lends itself naturally to a caramel flavor, so it enhances the caramel sauce. Yum!

While deceptively simple to make, this easy tart has so much flavor! I used Honeycrisp apples, which were perfect in this recipe. But you can use other excellent cookies apples as well, such as green apples, pink ladies, etc. I used a nine inch pan tart.

This amazing Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart is also egg free and dairy free! A delicious, elegant dessert from The Nourishing Gourmet.

Grain Free Caramel Apple Tart
 
Author:
 
While deceptively simple to make, this easy tart has so much flavor! I used Honeycrisp apples, which were perfect in this recipe. But you can use other excellent cookies apples as well, such as green apples, pink ladies, etc. I used a nine inch pan tart. Serves 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of finely ground almond flour
  • ⅓ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice, such as unrefined cane sugar, organic evaporated cane sugar, maple sugar)
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • ⅓ cup cold butter, or non-hydrogenated palm shortening (for a dairy-free version, use one of the palm shortenings listed above – firm coconut oil could also work, but is a little more finicky)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 large Honeycrisp apples
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar ((or sweetener of choice, such as unrefined cane sugar, organic evaporated cane sugar, maple sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour, arrowroot flour, or organic cornstarch
  • 2-3 tablespoons of caramel sauce
Instructions
  1. Make caramel sauce, and set aside to cool (can make a week ahead, if desired)
  2. In a food processor, combine the almond flour and tapioca flour with the salt and sugar. If using butter, cut into cubes and add, or measure the palm shortening out and place in the food processor. Pulse until the shortening or butter is blended into the flour in small pieces (biggest pieces should be the size of a small pea). Pulse after each addition of tablespoon of cold water. (You want the dough just to be moist enough that it sticks together when you pinch the dough into a small ball. I found that two tablespoons was just enough.)
  3. Press into the tart pan, making sure that there is a good ¼ inch or so of dough pressed along the side all around the tart pan. This will help make the tart more stable once cooked. Place in fridge. (you can prepare this hours ahead of time, if desired, just cover).
  4. Preheat oven to 375F.
  5. Peel the apples, core them, and then thinly slice. Toss them in a medium sized bowl with the lemon juice, sugar, and tapioca starch. Take the tart pan out and artfully fan out the apple slices in the pan in a circular pattern (if using a circular pan). You want the apple slices to be angled, but not flat (as you wouldn’t be able to fit many slices in that way). We only had a couple slices of apple leftover. Don’t pour the juice from the bottom of the bowl over the apples.
  6. Take the previously prepared caramel sauce, and brush on caramel sauce over all of the apples.
  7. Place in oven and cook for 40-70 minutes, or until the apples are fork tender, and the crust is cooked. I covered with foil at 40 minutes to keep the crust from over browning.
  8. Take out of the oven and cool thoroughly before removing the sides of the tart pan. Slice, and enjoy plain, or with whipped cream or ice cream, served with extra caramel sauce. Enjoy!

 

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup- a perfect fall and winter breakfast! The homemade syrup make the spiced pumpkin pancakes even more amazing! www.thenourishinggourmet.com

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Warm autumn spices and moist pumpkin puree enrich pancake batter to make the perfect fall breakfast – pumpkin pancakes (For regular soaked whole wheat pancakes see this recipe: Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes). To seal the deal they are drizzled with a delicious apple cider syrup. It’s all of the best things the season has to offer on one plate.

I was first introduced to the idea of this seasonal breakfast when a good friend made them for 50 plus people in Mexico about 10 years ago. They were a hit! I didn’t remember exactly how she made them so this fall I decided to give them a try starting with the star ingredients – pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and apple cider. How can you go wrong with those amazing foods? And I was pleased to find that they turned out similar to the first ones I tried so many years ago.

There is something beautiful about cooking with the seasons. The bounty that is provided at each unique time of year always delights me. It is another way to celebrate the world around us and be grateful to the one who created it all.

Next time you have a chance, put your comfy clothes on or embrace the PJs. Then start a fire if you have one and whip up a batch of these tasty pumpkin pancakes. It is highly suggested that you enjoy them with hot coffee; you might even want to add a bit of the apple cider syrup to your cup!

These pancakes can be made using homemade puree or canned. If you don’t have pumpkin, feel free to try sweet potato, butternut or kabocha puree. Whatever works for you is always best!

Other Healthy Pancake Recipes:

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, coconut milk, kefir, or buttermilk - if using a non-fermented liquid such as coconut milk, add in 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar, water kefir, or other live culture liquid (I used raw whole milk)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • Apple Cider Syrup (optional)
  • Butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large glass bowl, mix your flour, melted butter and milk. Cover with a towel and leave on the counter for 12- 24 hours. (I usually do this the night before.)
  2. In the morning in a medium-sized bowl whip the pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  3. Pour the mixture into the flour that was soaked over night. Stir until the batter is smooth.
  4. Heat a skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium heat. You will know it is ready if you sprinkle a couple droplets of water on the pan and they sizzle.
  5. Pour batter onto the skillet to create the size pancakes you desire. I prefer about 4 inches in circumference, ¼ of an inch thick.
  6. Cook until bubbles start to appear. Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Serve fresh off the skillet or place in a baking dish in a warm oven.
  8. Top with butter and apple cider syrup.

 

Soaked Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup - www.thenourishinggourmet.com

 

Spiced Currant Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free w/ Egg-Free Option)

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg-free option too
by Alison Diven, Contributing Writer

This baked oatmeal in mini muffin form is quintessential Autumn–and so fun for little snacks or little hands! With their hearty texture, warm spices, subtle orange notes, and mild sweetness, they cozy up perfectly to a cup of tea and your favorite sweater . . . or cuddly story-time with your little ones. They’re also chock full of healthy ingredients, so I feel good about doling them out any time of day or taking them along on outings for easy nourishment.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

This is great news because as my baby’s due date draws near (just 2 weeks now), it seems like there’s always another errand to run or midwife appointment to attend. Mama’s tired! I’ve baked several variations of these muffins and squirreled them away in our freezer for postpartum life, but truly, I’m already breaking into my stash. I can’t keep up with our daily food needs at the moment, so I’m extra grateful for foods like this that I can make in big batches when I have a burst of energy.

For the record, these freeze and reheat beautifully. I like them plain, slathered with butter, or broken up into a bowl with raw milk. My dairy-free son enjoys his solo or with a smear of almond butter and raw honey.

3 Variations to Try

  • Pumpkin Spice — One of my favorites! Just use pumpkin puree instead of mashed banana, omit currants and orange zest, and increase sweetener to taste.
  • Banana-Coconut-Chocolate Chip — My toddler’s favorite. Omit nutmeg, clove, orange zest, and currants. Add shredded unsweetened coconut and mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life has a soy-free, allergy-friendly product).
  • Cranberry Orange — Use chopped dried cranberries instead of currants and omit nutmeg and clove. Increase orange zest by up to double, depending on your taste.

Let your taste buds guide you! So long as you don’t overdo the wet ingredients, which will make your muffins forever gummy no matter how much you bake them (voice of experience here!), it’s hard to go wrong.

Spiced Currant-Orange Baked Oatmeal Mini Muffins (GF & DF) -- egg free option too

Related recipes you may enjoy from The Nourishing Gourmet:

Buckwheat Crepes (as Gluten-Free Sandwich Wraps)
Mini Zucchini Millet Muffins
Pumpkin Maple Baked Oatmeal
Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves (Soaked Whole Grain and Naturally Sweetened)

Spiced Currant Orange Mini Baked Oatmeals
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 mini muffins
 
Perfectly spiced and gently sweet, these flourless oatmeal mini muffins nourish any time of day and are especially nice for little hands. You can, of course, make them as regular-size muffins by increasing the cooking time to 30 minutes. I chose currants because their size suits mini muffins, but feel free to use raisins instead, either whole or chopped up. Now that my son can eat eggs, I use them for the protein and vitamins, but the recipe works great without them, between the holding power of oats and banana. Just add enough additional liquid to make a batter.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if needed)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
  • 2 eggs OR additional ¼ to ½ cup coconut milk for egg-free version
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut sugar or other natural granulated sweetener (liquid sweeteners add too much moisture)
  • zest of one orange
  • 6 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons currants (or raisins)
Instructions
  1. The night before baking, mix together the oats, coconut milk, and lemon juice in bowl and leave out, loosely covered, overnight.
  2. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and grease a mini muffin pan.
  3. Break up the thick, gummy soaked oats with a fork, then add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Scoop heaping tablespoons into the greased mini muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet

Warmly-spiced pumpkin filling is spooned into a hollowed-out apple shell that softens and caramelizes as it bakes. Topped with a simple caramel sauce this is a a rustic yet elegant fall dessert to serve to family and friends!

No need to limit yourself to pumpkin. This filling is based on a sweet potato pie recipe. I have also made it with buttenut squash and next up is kabocha. Carrot pie is also intriguing! My kids won’t go near winter squash in the lightly salted, roasted version that I adore. But this is one of their favorite desserts of all time. That’s a win in my book.

I’ve recently become even more excited about carotenoid-rich vegetables after discovering a new health benefit. Current research is showing that those with the highest serum-levels of carotenoids were 20-30% less likely to develop breast cancer. It’s probably a bit early to tell whether this is because those with more carotenoids are likely to be higher in other nutrients as well, but there seems to be at least some link since it has been noted across multiple studies.

Concerned that the apple shells may be too tedious? It turns out that hollowing an apple is easier than it may seem. This recipe calls for four huge apples (or 5 large) and the whole operation takes no more time than it would to make a crust – a sometimes stressful endeavor, in my opinion. I use red delicious because they are softer. Just half them, hollow out each side with a knife, then scoop out the center with a good spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well).

When you finish putting these together you are left with the perfect amount of apple with which to make an apple pie! Just toss it with some lemon to prevent it from oxidizing and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to put it together in the next day or two. Or try one of the savory apple recipes that have recently appeared on The Nourishing Gourmet.

Here are some apple recipe ideas:

Cranberry Apple Mini Pies (GF, if desired)
Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce (DF)
Apple Clafoutis (Grain-Free)
Potato Apple Soup with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola
Easy Pan-Fried Cabbage and Apples

We usually prefer our pumpkin pie chilled, but we love these warm. And you won’t want to skip the caramel. It’s definitely worth the quick extra step!

 

Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (GF/DF)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings (1 pie)
 
These rustic little treats are perfect for fall. Mix and match different orange squashes or use your own pumpkin pie filling recipe!
Ingredients
  • 4 very large apples (I use red delicious)
  • 2 cups pumpkin or orange squash puree (here are instructions for making your own)
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup coconut sugar (1/4 if you are using caramel sauce, ⅓ if not)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional, for those who don't need it to be dairy free)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (preferably fresh grated)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • lemon (sprinkle on apples to prevent oxidation)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, puree all pumpkin filling ingredients (everything minus the apple and lemon). Alternately you can use a good masher, however this will not work if your pumpkin is very stringy.
  3. Carefully and confidently, hollow out the apples - slice them in half (from stem to bottom). WIth a knife, carve out the apple on each side leaving the core intact, then scoop out the core with a good spoon (I used a grapefruit spoon). Leave about ¼" of apple attached to the peel. Sprinkle each shell with a little lemon before moving on to the next.
  4. Fill each shell with pumpkin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until done.
  5. Serve warm with Easy-Peasy Caramel Sauce.