Gluten Free Nutty Tarts Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on May 12, 2012

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[donotprint]I recall seeing a recipe for a mixed nut tart some time ago and thought to myself – “what a great idea!” After all, I like nuts, I like tarts, what’s not to like about combining the two and coming up with a similar but gluten free recipe?

I think that the recipe just used some mixed nuts right from the can. Good in theory but did you know that lots of canned or jarred mixed nuts contain gluten? I know, it makes me crazy (or should I say nuts?) too – what the heck is gluten doing in a can of nuts?

I am fortunate that my grocery store has implemented a system where they put “GF” stickers under all the gluten free food in the store. So that made it very easy for me to notice that in my particular grocery store there were NO cans of gluten free mixed nuts available. I just wanted to take this opportunity to point out once again if you need to be on a gluten free diet, you need to READ labels. You can’t assume that just because something shouldn’t have gluten in it, it doesn’t.

All right, now that my little public service announcement is over, let’s get to those tarts! I wanted to also make them dairy free and I tried something a little different in my crust instead of just using shortening or dairy free butter substitute – so I experimented with using a can of Solo Almond Paste instead. It was a worthy experiment – the crust was not quite as flaky as one would be if made with either butter or shortening but the payoff was in taste! It was like a crust made with almond cookies!  It is also super simple to make – I just whizzed everything in the food processor and then pressed it into tart pans – no rolling! How much do we love that?

One thing to keep in mind is that you do not want to over process your crust dough or add too much water – you want just enough water so that when you squeeze a handful of the crumbs in your hand, they hold together. Resist with every fiber of your being to turn that bowl full of crumbs into something that looks like dough – trust me on this! And use cold water – I put some water in a glass with some ice cubes to really get it chilled.

Gluten Free Almond Tart Crust The tart crust dough will still look crumbly even when it is done

 

Gluten Free Almond Crust It will hold together when squeezed with your hand, like this

For my tarts I used a combination of sliced almonds, pine nuts and pistachios because I like those and I had them on hand but you can use whatever combination of nuts you like. My pistachios were already roasted and shelled so I used them as is but I toasted the almonds and pine nuts in the oven at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, roasting really enhances the flavor of nuts. And take note – it is not just cans, bags and jars of mixed nuts that can contain gluten, cans of single nuts can too so beware and read the label unless you are using whole nuts and shelling them yourself!

If you prefer not to mix flours you can use 1 ¼ cups of good, pastry quality gluten free flour instead – just check to see if it contains xanthan gum, if so leave it out of the recipe.

These tarts are fab just as they are but if you really want to gild the lily, add a scoop of dairy-free ice cream!

Gluten Free Nutty Tarts Recipe
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Gluten Free Nutty Tarts Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup superfine or Asian white rice flour
½ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup superfine or Asian sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1¾ teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt –use divided
One 8 ounce can Solo Almond Paste (not pie filling or marzipan)
2 – 4 tablespoons ice cold water
½ cup sliced almonds
½ roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
¾ cup raw honey
2 tablespoons Earth Balance, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
3 large eggs

Directions

Combine the white rice flour, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum and 1 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 5 seconds to combine. Break the almond paste into small chunks and add to the flour mixture. Pulse in long pulses until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the processor running, add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together when squeezed in the hand. Mixture will still appear very crumbly.

Divide the mixture between six 4 inch tart pans with removable bottoms (or one 11 inch tart pan), pressing the mixture into the pans firmly. Refrigerate the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If the nuts need roasting, place them on a baking sheet and cook for about 8 minutes or until the nuts are starting to brown and fragrant. Let cool.

Prick the crust in many places with the tines of a fork. Place tart pans on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until they are just starting to color.

In a large mixing bowl combine the honey with the melted Earth Balance, vanilla and almond extracts, remaining ¾ teaspoon of salt and whisk. Whisk in the eggs. Fold in the nuts. Divide the mixture between the pre-baked crusts. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crusts are brown and the filling is set around the outside and just a little jiggly in the center. Let cool and remove from the tart pans.

Servings

A gluten free recipe that makes 6 four inch tarts or 1 eleven inch tart.

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Ready for dessert?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cara May 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

I’ve made similar nut tarts for bake sales and they are always a huge hit – love your tip to use the almond paste in the crust, I’ll have to try that!

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Carol Kicinski May 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Thanks Cara – I am sure they would be a big hit at a bake sale!

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InTolerant Chef May 13, 2012 at 5:22 am

What a great idea, I love it! It would taste fantastic :)

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Dee May 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

wow, your photography and whole blog are so nice! I just started my own gluten-free blog after finding out I am sensitive to gluten. It has been challenging, but it is nice to know so many other people out there are in the same boat as me!

deelivingfree.blogspot.com

Reply

Carol Kicinski May 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Goo luck Dee! It is always nice to have a community. You should enter your blog into my gluten free global community page! Here’s the link, it tells you on the page what to send in. Welcome to gluten free world and improved health! http://simplygluten-free.com/gluten-free-global-community/

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