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!


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
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
  • 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
  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!


Grain Free Pumpkin Recipes Fit for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

grain free, gluten free, pumpkin

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin! These grain free, gluten free pumpkin desserts are lovely.

Pumpkin is one of the flavors of fall for good reason – There are so many delicious ways to enjoy it! Whether you are looking for a grain-free pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bars or a dairy free pumpkin spice latte, there are some lovely, favorite recipes shared below. They are making me ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Am I the only one that can’t believe that the holiday season is upon us? Where has this year gone? We are looking forward to the holidays, and our recent cold weather has helped get us into the spirit of the season.
As I was looking through the many recipes shared by myself and others here on The Nourishing Gourmet, I realized that there are a lot of beautiful, grain free pumpkin recipes, and that it would be fun to share them in a post altogether as a resource for you all.

(Related: 25 Nourishing Real Food Thanksgiving Dishes and 7 Delicious ways to use Thanksgiving Leftovers)     

 Meanwhile, I have some pumpkin puree to use, and it’s hard to decide what to make first!

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Puree (using a slow cooker): Speaking of which, if you are looking to make homemade pumpkin puree, I recommend this recipe as a really easy method!

 Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples (Grain Free with Dairy Free Options) - The Nourishing Gourmet
Pumpkin Pie Stuffed Apples: This is one of the newest recipes on the blog, shared by Natalie, and I love how creative and clever it is! No crust needed as the apples themselves create an edible dish to serve pumpkin pie in. How fun is that?
 Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No-Bake Cookies - GI 365 1 (1) (1)
Pumpkin Spice Cranberry No Bake Cookies: Pumpkin Spice cookies are studded with cranberries for a very allergy-friendly, yummy cookie that doesn’t even need an oven.
grain free pumpkin pie
 Streusel Pumpkin Pie (grain free, dairy free): This is a popular grain free pumpkin pie recipe that you will glad to see is easy to make as well!
Another option for pumpkin pie filling is this recipe for Maple and Honey Sweetened Pumpkin Pie. It makes an amazing filling, just use a grain free crust, like the above recipe, for a delicious pumpkin pie. Maple Honey Pumpkin Pie (with coconut milk)
Vegan and Paleo Ginger Snap and Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits on
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits: But why limit yourself to pie? These beautiful dairy free, grain free Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits are as beautiful as they are delicious! Thinking outside the box this holiday season is fun too.
Grain free pumpkin bars
Pumpkin Bars: What I love about making bars is that they are a more portable, easy dessert to make and serve. These grain free pumpkin bars would make a great kid-friendly addition.
Nourishing Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer-
 Nourishing Pumpkin Spice Creamer: No need to buy coffee creamer (often full of so much junk!) when you can make your own using simple recipes like this one! You can use whole milk or coconut milk in this recipe.
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte (vegan too!)
 Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte: Speaking of coffee, this is a really yummy (and popular!) recipe for a dairy free pumpkin spice latte that is so delicious! I find it much more satisfying than those I’ve gotten out.
 Pumpkin Chai Latte made with coconut milk and paleo-friendly!
Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte: Don’t enjoy coffee? You can still enjoy a “latte” by using chai tea! I find that the spices of chai go perfectly with pumpkin, and so they marry well in this creamy dairy free drink.
Of course, many of these recipes are made even better when topped with whipped cream!
Maple whipped cream is incredibly delicious and easy to make. Plus, it's entirely sweetened with pure maple syrup!
Maple Whipped Cream: If you can handle dairy, I recommend trying out this Maple Whipped Cream. It is SO good, and it’s lightly and naturally sweetened too.
A dairy-free dream! Delicious coconut milk whipped cream
Coconut Whipped Cream: If you can’t have dairy, coconut whipped cream is an amazing alternative! We love it. You can see my regular Vanilla Whipped Cream recipe here and my Stevia Sweetened Coconut Whipped Cream recipe here.

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)
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!
  • 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)
  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.

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake (And Giveaway!)

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake

This moist bundt cake has that lovely, childhood favorite flavor combination of chocolate and banana. It not only is enriched with cocoa powder, but it also is studded with chocolate chips. My inner child swoons. The inner adult serves it with a cup of coffee and enjoys them both.

This bundt cake also happens to be gluten free, dairy free, and egg free, and was made in a Teflon-free pan. I’m feeling pretty thrilled! My kids enjoyed it with a side of ice cream at my youngest’s birthday party, while the adults had cups of coffee with it. Either way, it was lovely. (Check out the giveaway below for a glass bundt cake pan and a Chemex coffee maker!)

What I love about bundt cakes is that they look so beautiful, even with just the lightest dusting of organic powdered sugar. I love frosting just as much as anybody else, but it certainly makes it easier for the cook when you don’t have to frost and decorate a cake! This cake took me several tries to get right. Because the cake batter has to keep its form more in this pan, making a gluten-free, egg-free version was a definite challenge. I tried out my regular soaked gluten free cake recipe, and it rose beautiful, and then fell into a gloppy mess while cooling. I tried a grain-free version, and it looked so promising while in the oven, but then also fell into a gloppy strange mess.

Finally, I got smart, and adapted a recipe that contained very little liquid, and went to the store to buy xanthan gum to help stabilize it. The girls and I watched it anxiously cook…it looked alright, but what would happen when it was taken from the oven? We gingerly removed it from the oven, and all of us held our breaths as it cooled, but it was stable! We made the recipe again, and once again, it not only didn’t collapse, but was delicious! Success was sweet for many reasons.

Plus, I was so excited to make the coffee and the cake free of any plastic or Teflon! It’s always my goal to reduce toxins whenever I can, and so I was really excited to learn about a heavy duty glass bundt pan, as well as enjoy the beauty and plastic-free-ness of making Chemex coffee. (One lucky reader gets to win both as well!). It was this beautiful cake pan that made me feel inspired again to try to make bundt cakes. I had gotten rid of my Teflon-coated bundt cake pan a while back, so it was pretty exciting to be able to make one in a glass pan!

If you are curious about some of the cautions with Teflon, you can check out this post by EWG. The Simax glass bundt cake is much thicker and sturdier than I thought it would be. I was worried it would be a thin, easily breakable pan, but it’s not. It’s made with borosilicate glass that is safe to heat up to 572F degrees (Tempered glass is safe to 425F). I started trying to buy borosilicate glass whenever I could because it doesn’t shatter like tempered glass does. I was also worried about the cake sticking to the surface of the pan, but everything has come out easily so far.

Plastic and heat is a no-go if you are avoiding leeching of chemicals. Learn how to make coffee without any plastic!

Why you should make your coffee plastic free

The Chemex coffee maker is one beautiful way to make coffee without any plastic. Why go plastic-free? There are many problems with plastic, some of which involve the chemicals they leech into your food and beverages. And here is why it’s so important to make your coffee plastic-free – heat breaks down those toxins into your food/beverages even faster, plus many of us have coffee every single morning. Between plastic and heat being a no go in my mind, and the frequency with which we drink coffee, I am much more comfortable drinking my coffee sans plastic. The Chemex is also made out of borosilicate glass, plus has a beautiful wooden collar and leather cord. Coffee making can be beautiful! Making coffee using a Chemex is as easy as slowing pouring hot water over coffee grinds, and it lends itself to a less bitter, smoother cup of coffee. Delicious!

(To enter the giveaway, check out the information below the recipe)

Recipe notes:

Unlike most of my recipes, this recipe does not contain soaked flours. When working with certain gluten-free flours, they aren’t as important to soak (for example tapioca flour doesn’t need to be soaked at all), but you could certainly use sprouted gluten free flours.
This makes a smallish bundt cake with the above cake pan, You can use a regular bundt pan, but because it will be larger in size, it may not rise as much in the pan. The texture is like a pound cake – rich and slightly dense, so go for small slices when serving. You can get 8-12 slices out of a cake.

A few supplies need in this recipe (affiliate links):

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake (And Giveaway!)
Serves: 8-12 servings
  • 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • ¼ boiling water
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed well
  • ½ cup of applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil (melt over low heat until just liquid – don’t get hot)
  • 1 ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease bundt cake pan really well with coconut oil.
  2. In a heat safe cup, mix together the chia seeds and boiling water. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, applesauce, maple syrup or honey, vanilla extract and vinegar. Whisk together. While whisking, gently pour in melted coconut oil. Mix in the chia seed mixture. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, coconut sugar, salt and xanthan gum. Using a hand mixer, blend the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Scrap into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the cake batter. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the cake feels firm to the touch. Let cool in pan for about 7 minutes, then carefully turn out over a cooling rack. Cool completely before serving. Dust with organic powdered sugar, if desired. Freeze leftovers.

 Giveaway Info

Giveaway Items for making Teflon Free cakes and plastic free coffee MightyNest is sponsoring this giveaway worth $200, and I am happy to work with them! They sell quality glass and stainless steel kitchen products, lots of great home products – all of which are earth-friendly and family-friendly products. Plus, they give back 15% to your school with each purchase you make. That’s a pretty sweet deal. Today, they are giving away one Chemex coffee maker, one Simax glass bundt cake, a food-grade silicone coaster, plus $100 to your local school!

US addresses only, winner to be announced the 15th of November. Entering the giveaway will automatically sign you up for a newsletter (that you can easily unsubscribe at a later date if desired). No purchase necessary, winner randomly selected.

Thanks to MightNest for sponsoring this giveaway! And thanks to my readers who buy through any affiliate links.