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!
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.
- 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
- ½ 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
- Make caramel sauce, and set aside to cool (can make a week ahead, if desired)
- 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.)
- 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).
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- 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.
- Take the previously prepared caramel sauce, and brush on caramel sauce over all of the apples.
- 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.
- 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!