About a week or two ago, I met with one of my professors for coffee. We caught up for about an hour and it made me so glad and thankful I go to school that I do! I was reminded that there are professors who genuinely care about their students, their wellbeing and success in life. I cherish the fact that we have professors who pray before class, who reminds us to take a pause through the busyness of life and remember who we are living for.
Through this conversation, she told me her daughter had a gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and rice allergy. The bells in my head started to ding and I saw it as a challenge to find something that is completely safe for her to eat while retaining the same delicious flavor that a typical dessert has. My mom is also gluten intolerant and in the past, I have played with gluten free flours, almond flours, and coconut flours. However, I have always been able to use butter and eggs as a binding agent. This time around, I could not use butter as it is a dairy product nor could I use eggs due to the allergy. I did some recipe research, and while I came across many different crust recipes, none of them seemed to be able to produce something that looked like it would be a normal, full of gluten and full of dairy kind of tart. Many kinds seemed to be too crumbly, chunky, and not very appetizing. There were many close “candidates” but then would use a little bit of butter or an egg. And then I came across this crust recipe.
It perfectly excluded all five of the required items. I decided to try this recipe because of the color of the crust and how it seemed like it was able to hold its shape by itself. I cut the recipe in half as I was only testing it out, and I regretted it, only because I wish I made more. The crust came out beautifully golden brown and as it was baking in the oven, the whole apartment filled with a beautiful nutty smell.
To begin, measure out all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
Pour in the water and vanilla and thoroughly mix it together with a pastry cutter. Then, pour in the melted coconut oil and honey and make sure it is all incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly. Can you see the small specks of cinnamon? Smells soooo good!
Press the mixture into a tart tin. I am using mini nonstick ones since this is just a trial run. If you have a tart tin that is not a nonstick one, make sure you rub a thin layer of coconut oil all around the inside to ensure easy removal. Even so, because this mixture is crumbly, I recommend you use a tart tin with a removable bottom.
Press the crust up the sides of the tin.
Then, take the back side of a knife, and swipe the excess off. I am swiping to the left in this photo.
You will get a nice clean edge. Because I cut the recipe in half, it was enough for two tart shells. If you use a full recipe, you should be able to make one full 8 or 9 inch tart.
Bake in the oven until the sides are nice and golden brown. While these were baking, the bottom of the crust puffed up a little bit and I simply pressed it back down. Allow them to cool completely before removing from the tins. Gently remove them from the tins when cool. While I was removing them, one of the two stuck a little to the bottom and broke apart since it was not completely cooled. My strong recommendation to you is to allow it to completely cool and use a tart pan with a removable bottom!!
I am now down to just one tart shell. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil until it is smooth and one mixture.
Fill the chocolate into the tart shell, but do not fill to the top. The weight of the berries will cause the chocolate to rise.
Place it into the refrigerator to slightly cool to a room temperature. Then, fill it with the desired berries or fruit and refrigerate until the ganache is set!
Isn’t food so so beautiful?! And we have been given the privilege to enjoy and feast upon it!!
This recipe is a definite winner, and I’ll be using it in the future, allergy or not!!
Coconut Almond Berry Tart
(In the photos above, I cut the recipe in half. The below recipes are given in full measurements.)
recipe from Grass Fed Kitchen
1½ c almond flour/meal
¼ c coconut flour
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup cold water
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup honey
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted in liquid form
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, until well combined.
Stir in the cold water and vanilla extract. Using a pastry cutter, mix in the honey and coconut oil until there are no clumps.
Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a tart pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely (30 minutes on a cooking rack) before filling.
Chocolate Coconut Ganache and Berries
1 c semisweet chocolate chips (make sure they are allergen free. Some chocolate chips contain dairy. The safest choice is to use Enjoy Life chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1-2 cups of mixed berries
Over a double boiler or in a microwave on medium heat, melt the chocolate chips and oil until it is melted and completely comes together. Spoon into the tart shells. Make sure you leave 1/2 to 1 centimeter of the tart shell unfilled as the weight of the fruit will cause the chocolate level to rise. Place it in the refrigerator to cool to room temperature. Top with fruits (pat completely dry) and return to the fridge to cool completely. The mixture will thicken as it cools.