Almond Coconut Tart Crust (Gluten-free)

By Sally Cameron on November 24, 2013

Baked Goods, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Holiday Dishes, Thanksgiving

Grain-free, gluten-free, and almost like a cookie, here is a basic tart crust recipe that will work for many fillings. Press the almond coconut tart crust mix into a tart pan with your fingers, bake and fill. If you have not made a crust like this, it is easy. It takes about 10-12 minutes to assemble plus baking time. Tomorrow I will have the filling recipe out for my spiced pumpkin tart, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Almond Coconut Tart Crust | AFoodCentricLife.com

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Tart Crust

As I began menu planning for Thanksgiving, I realized that going gluten and wheat free was going to cause some unexpected changes. I had some recipe revamping to do. A tart crust made with graham crackers or anything wheat-based would just not work any more. The best alternative? Combining almond flour and coconut flour for a cookie-like crust.

For the almond flour, use  blanched almond flour. Almond flour is lighter in color and finer than natural almond meal, which is darker colored and coarser in texture. I use Bob’s Red Mill .

Almond Coconut Crust|AFoodCentricLife.com

Mix the Tart Base

In a medium bowl, mix the two flours and sugar together with a fork. I tested this recipe with both organic raw coconut sugar and organic light brown sugar, then mix in the melted butter. When the mix looks evenly combined, squeeze a handful together. It should hold, like in the photo below. The crust mix should feel moist.

almond coconnut crust|AFoodCentricLife.com

Press Crust Mix into Tart Pan

You will need a 9 1/2″ light metal tart pan with a removable bottom. When creating your tart shell, fuss a bit and take your time. It take about 10-12 minutes to assemble.  The time you take to make the crust perfect will be worth it. Pour the crust mix into the tart pan, distributing it evenly with your fingers. Work on the crust edge first. You want to create a strong, even edge.

Almond Coconut Tart Crust|AFoodCentricLife.com

Push and pinch the crust mix into the edge of the tart pan with your fingers and thumbs. Work to build it up in layers and keep moving around the tart pan. It takes a little time. Keep working it. A nice sturdy edge will give strength to the tart when you cut it. When you have a nice strong edge, pat the rest firmly into the bottom of the tart pan for the base.

Almond Coconut Tart Crust|AFoodCentricLife.com

Pre-Bake, Then Fill

When you have created your crust, smile at the beautiful tart shell you’ve just created, then bake it. The work will be worth it! Place the tart pan on a baking sheet for support to bake. I use a rimmed half-sheet baking pan and place a Silpat liner under it so it does not slide around. If you have one great. If not, just handle it carefully.

Bake the tart crust in a 350° oven for approximately 12-14 minutes. Timing will vary with ovens. You want it to be a light golden brown. Remove and cool. Use with your filling of choice.

Tomorrow I will post my spiced pumpkin filling for Thanksgiving, so you can delight your family with a wonderful gluten-free, grain-free pumpkin tart for dessert.

almond coconut crustAFoodCentricLife.com

Tools Note

Half-sheet and quarter-sheet rimmed baking sheets (or pans) are one of my top tools. They are sometimes called jelly roll pans because the have a raised edge, not flat, like a cookie sheet.

Jelly roll pans may have slightly different dimensions. As this tart is 9 1/2″, either should work. I use the real half-sheet size of 13″x 18″. Buy them online from Amazon. I have included a link here. You can also buy them at a restaurant supply store or a place like Bed, Bath & Beyond. Check around.

Whatever you buy, make sure they are heavy, not cheap and flimsy. Heavy duty ones stand up to use without warping. Cheap ones warp. That is why I included the link above. The manufacturer is Vollrath, also called Wear-Ever. They are more expensive but they will not warp, and they will last longer. There are other brands too, just be sure they are heavy duty.

In the photo, a silicone sheet lines the baking sheet. It prevents the tart crust from sliding around as well as protects it from the direct heat of the oven being in contact with the tart pan. It is optional, but nice to have. You will find Artisan and Silpat on Amazon. You can also find them at stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Recipes That Use Almond Coconut Crust

Here are the recipes I have made so far using this crust recipe. Both sweet and savory. More to come!

Note for a Savory Tart Crust

If you want to make a savory (not sweet) crust, please read my post for the cherry tomato tart and the crust adjustments. I eliminated the sugar, added an egg yolk.

Almond Coconut Tart Crust

Using almond flour and coconut flour, this tart crust or pie crust is wheat-free and gluten-free. Fill with the spiced pumpkin filling and bake for a wonderful finale to your Thanksgiving dinner. For a savory tart crust check the Cherry Tomato Tart recipe post.
Servings 1 crust (about 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups or 5 1/2 ounces almond flour 160 grams
  • 1/2 cup or 2 1/4 ounces organic coconut flour 60 grams
  • 2 tablespoons raw light brown sugar or raw coconut sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Equipment:

  • 9/12 ″ tart pan with removable bottom 24 cm
  • Rimmed baking sheet half sheet size
  • Silpat silicone mat

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350° (177 C)
  • In a medium bowl, mix almond flour, coconut flour, sugar and melted butter with a fork until blended, then blend until completely combined with your fingers. To test, squeeze a handful together. It should hold together and feel moist.
  • Pour the crust mix into the tart pan and distribute it evenly. Start by building the edges of the tart. With your fingers and thumbs, pinch and crimp the crust mix together to form a strong, fairly thick edge. Refer to the photos in the post for guidance. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Don’t hurry. It will be worth it.
  • Once you’ve created a strong edge, compress what is left of the crust mix into a firm base in the bottom of the tart pan with your hand. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. If you have a silicone liner, place it on the baking sheet first so the tart pan does not slide. If you don’t have one, no problem. Just be careful with the unbaked tart crust.
  • Bake tart crust for 14-16 minutes, or until light golden brown. Timing will depend on your ovens. Cool and fill as desired.

Notes

I used Bobs Red Mill coconut flour and almond flour for this recipe
45 Comments
  1. Hari Chandana - November 25th, 2013

    Very useful post.. thanks for sharing.. nice clicks too 🙂

  2. Michael - December 22nd, 2013

    Sally – I see by your pictures the crust is pretty thin, which I’ll remember to do for my next round of almond-pear tarts. My almond meal required 4 more tablespoons of butter before it would stick together, but the tart still seemed pretty bland. What tips do you have for the crust or almond paste filling or to punch up the flavor? Thanks.

  3. Sally - December 22nd, 2013

    Hi Michael. It’s really not that thin. I made it a pretty sturdy crust. I made this crust many times before posting, and several after. Maybe it looks thinner in the photo than in reality. It’s a simple recipe. The brown sugar provides a little sweetness, outside of that it is not meant to have a ton of flavor on its own, but the almond and coconut flours give it a nice taste. Did you use almond flour or almond meal? Either Bobs Red Mill or Let’s Do Organic? I was just thinking of using this for a pear tart. You might try adding vanilla extract or a little more sugar, but I have not tried that. Thanks for commenting and letting me know your experience. I try hard to create recipes that will work for everyone, but there can be many variables. If you make it again, please let me know how it comes out for you.

  4. chris - March 22nd, 2014

    I used a food processor to grind raw(skins intact) unsalted almonds to make the almond meal; since the store didn’t have almond flour. I also doubled the recipe, added 4 more tbsp of brown sugar (wanted it sweeter), 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup of butter total and voila a tasty crust on its own! A little more grinding time and this would’ve started to taste like Justin’s brand almond butter before it was baked.

  5. Sally - March 25th, 2014

    Hi Chris, interesting, but certainly not as healthy. Sounds like you wanted to really splurge. 1 cup of butter, 16 tablespoons, is a lot different than 4 tablespoons. I can’t imagine it needing that much butter, but the fun part of recipes and cooking is doing your own thing.

  6. Sig - April 5th, 2014

    I also needed the whole stick of butter (8 TB) to make it hold together –

    I was able to get 22 mini tarts (I used a mini muffin pan)
    I baked them and filled them with my home made lemon curd – delicious!

  7. Sally - April 6th, 2014

    I am not sure what you guys are doing needing stick (8 tablespoons of butter) versus 4 tablespoons to get it to hold together. I have made this many times and just as I wrote the recipe. It is not your traditional dough, not a traditional feel, so that may be the issue. You do not roll it out but press it in. Is that what you are doing? But whatever works for you. I am sure it is delicious and rich. Glad you made it work for your needs. I love lemon curd and bet that tastes terrific Sig. The mini tarts re a nice idea. Will have to dig out my mini tart pans and try that with lemon curd and fresh strawberries.

  8. Amy - September 13th, 2014

    Any suggestions for a substitute for the almond flour for those with nut allergies? All coconut flour? Or rice flour? Otherwise it sounds great 🙂

  9. Sally - September 14th, 2014

    Hi Amy. Ooooh, nut allergies are tough. Nuts are so good I don’t know what I would do, just adapt as you are having to do. All coconut flour won’t work. It’s a flour you blend with, not use all on it’s own, as it does not act like other flours. It takes a lot of moisture. And rice flour, on it’s own, don’t think so. It would require experimentation. I’ll have to think about that. If I ever come up with an alternative, you will see it posted. So many people have nut allergies. Might be a good idea to develop. Thanks for the comment and inspiration.

  10. Annie - November 25th, 2014

    In the comments, several people have noted needing more butter to keep the crust together. The problem may be in using melted, instead of softened, butter, or using a “spread” instead of actual “butter”.

    Being sugar free, I processed dates with the flours. Time will tell, but I’m expecting a delicious crust! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Sally - November 25th, 2014

    Hi Annie. Thanks for taking time to comment. I am really interested in hearing about the date test. Please report back. I just bought some dates and would like to try that too. Could be good. On the butter, I’ve made this crust about 2 dozen times. It sticks together fine with 4 tablespoons but I now use 5 for a little extra richness. I have never needed to use 8. The recipe calls for melted butter, not softened. I should test it with alternatives like coconut butter. Could be good for non-dairy people. The last time I used sucunat instead of brown sugar or coconut sugar. I’ll be making one tomorrow and filing it with pumpkin! happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  12. kristin burdsall - March 25th, 2015

    Great results from Cheshire UK! Measurements were perfect for me and i filled it with egg custard. Went down a storm on a Sunny spring Sunday afternoon tea 🙂

  13. Sally Cameron - March 30th, 2015

    Hi Kristin. Thanks for commenting from the UK! Glad to hear it was a hit. I want to try making it with a lemon filling for Easter and top with fresh sliced strawberries. It is a versatile crust.Try the hazelnut version it, filled with chocolate.

  14. miriam - March 29th, 2015

    If I want to use this for an apple pie do you suggest baking the crusted before also?

  15. Sally Cameron - March 30th, 2015

    Hi Miriam. Yes I would still pre-bake the crust. I have always wanted to try an apple tart with this. Let us know how it comes out.

  16. Gatita - August 15th, 2015

    Unfortunately, this was a complete failure for me, the crust came out extremely brittle and was literally crumbling like a sand castle as soon as I tried to cut the tart I made with it 🙁 The only thing I did differently was omitting the sugar because my tart was savory. I do not see how this could have caused such a disaster. I guess I will keep looking for a better low carb crust.

  17. Sally Cameron - August 15th, 2015

    Hi Gatita. I was surprised to see your comment about the almond tart crust. I have made that crust dozens of times and never had it be so brittle that it fell apart. I am wondering what happened and if I can help you figure it out, as it really is a great crust. For a savory crust (tomato tart) here is a post I wrote with the adjustments I used (no sugar, added egg yolk, and a little more butter). https://afoodcentriclife.com/cherry-tomato-tart/

    I just emailed you. Please write back and let’s see if we can figure out what happened. Did you use the ingredients I specified? How much butter? Thanks for letting me know you had a problem.

  18. Margaret - September 30th, 2015

    I also had to use a full 8 tbsps of melted butter to get the crust to bind properly, but I was using almond meal! It was all I had on hand 30 minutes before my in-laws came over for dinner. Maybe less healthy, but absolutely delicious for my salted caramel apple tart. My husband has requested it with pumpkin and chocolate custard. It will probably become a staple for our Sunday night dessert. So so so good. Thanks for the great find.

  19. Sally Cameron - September 30th, 2015

    Thanks for commenting Margaret. Love to hear that it was a success. What the heck, whats a little extra butter? I’ve been wanting to try it with apples. Maybe I will get to that soon since good apples are back in season. I did a pumpkin tart with it for Thanksgiving, recipe here, https://afoodcentriclife.com/spiced-pumpkin-tart/ and a chocolate orange version in a hazelnut crust for Christmas, recipe here. https://afoodcentriclife.com/chocolate-hazelnut-tart/

  20. Beth - December 13th, 2015

    I am making little tartlets (savory and sweet) for a tea party, and again for Christmas Eve.
    Three questions:
    1. Have you tried this recipe in mini tartlet pan?
    2. How does the dough freeze, or should I leave it in the refrigerator for 8 days?
    3. Should I make small holes in the bottom of the crust before baking so it doesn’t shrink (since they are soo small?
    Thank you very much for this recipe 🙂
    Regards,
    Beth

  21. Sally Cameron - December 13th, 2015

    Hi Beth. Thanks for the questions. 1) I have not made them in minis. I think the recipe will work fine, just watch your baking times. It will likely be less than a full tart crust. 2) It is not really a dough, as in traditional pastry dough. I have never tried freezing it. I always make theocrats mix just before I press it into the tart pans. Just made two this afternoon! Help me understand the 8day delay. I have made these many times adn timed myself. A full size takes 12 minutes to create, so they are not time consuming. Minis, will however, take longer. What are you filling the tart shell with? 3) no holes necessary. That is for a traditional roll out pastry crust. These crusts do not shrink. If you need any more help please let me know. And please let me know how you do.

  22. Beth - December 18th, 2015

    Thank you for your response. Well, the 8 day delay was so that I could pre-prep them for a High Tea Party that I am hosting this Sunday. I had PLANNED on pre prep, but that hasn’t worked out 🙁 so I am making them today for Sunday.

    I will be making Quiche (egg, ham, parmesan and basil) and Creme Brulee – obviously cooking with filling.
    Then, I will be filling with cold Grilled Chicken Salad – pre cooking tartlet crusts.

    It’s a friend’s birthday and we all had high tea in the UK and in Canada on girlie holidays together , so we are surprising her with a party and high tea to commemorate our 15 year friendship.

    Here’s the menu…
    Tartlets:
    Savory – Quiche (Eggs, ham, cream cheese, parmesan, basil?)
    Savory – Grilled Chicken Salad w/ Spiced Pecan topping
    Sweet – Creme Brulee (to use the egg yolks from Pavlova)

    “Sandwiches” or Skewers:
    Thin Sliced Grilled Chicken (as bread or base), Avocado, Sweet Tomato with Cilantro Pesto (on a toothpick)
    Mushroom (as bread) with ham, Cream Cheese (toothpick)
    Cucumber/chive butter (toothpick)

    Additional Savory Treats:
    Jalapeno Pimento Cheese on Endive Lettiuce

    Asian Soup Spoons – Strawberry (or add Blueberry) with Canadian Maple Syrup Sweetened Whipped Cream, Sweet Coconut Cream or Cream Cheese mix?

    Blueberry Scones with Whipped Cream, Whipped Coconut Cream, Butter and 2 Choices of Jam (currant and marmalade??)

    Pavlova with Gran Marnier Macerated berry topping (as a birthday cake)

    Macaroons & Peruvian Alfajores (Macaroons are gf, not the Alfajores)

    Will let you know how it all turns out. Off to the grocery store then to bury myself in cooking for the next 2 days!

    Thanks for your recipes and your help 🙂

  23. Sally Cameron - December 18th, 2015

    Sounds fantastic! You friends are very lucky! Happy cooking Beth!

  24. Yvonne Herrmann - November 23rd, 2016

    Never used a tart pan before. Do I leave it in the pan until the pumpkin is cooked? How do I remove it without breaking it?

  25. Sally Cameron - November 23rd, 2016

    Hi Yvonne. Metal tart pans usually have removable bottoms. They are two pieces that fit together. Great thing. So you bake the crust ahead and cool. Then pour in the pumpkin filling and bake. Then let it cool in the pan. When it is cool, place one hand under the tart pan in the center and lift. The bottom separates from the rim and voila, you have a gorgeous tart! If this does not make sense, let me know. I literally have to go to my kitchen and make mine right now for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

  26. Alexandra - December 24th, 2016

    If you only need 4 tablespoons of butter to pull the dough together, why does the recipe note 6-8? I started with 6 and I’m afraid the mixture was too wet; it’s in the oven now, hoping it won’t be ruined!

  27. Sally Cameron - December 24th, 2016

    Hi Alexandra. I originally used 4 T butter. Readers commented they used more, so I put in a range depending on the feel of the dough. I generally use 6 T. Im sure it will be great! Hope you enjoy.

  28. Green Press - February 26th, 2017

    Great almond coconut tart crust recipe! Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing.

  29. B Jones - March 14th, 2017

    I added water to my almond crust recipe. It is chilling in the refrigerator overnight. Will the addition of water make the crust fall apart?

  30. Sally Cameron - March 14th, 2017

    Hi B. I’ve never tried that method so I have no idea. Why did you add water and chill overnight versus just baking it ahead of time as the recipe directs? You can bake it ahead and wrap well, then fill the next day. Please let me know. I hope it works out for you. It really is a good recipe.

  31. Effie J. Sorg - June 15th, 2017

    Great looking almond coconut tart crust ! And so easy. And it is looking awfully tasty. Good photos, too. This is just an all around good post! thanks for this.

  32. amsuka - June 15th, 2017

    Thank you for this great straight-forward recipe. I love the marriage of delicious and simple! I have my tart just out of the oven, and it looks gorgeous. I so appreciate bloggers/cooks/foodies such as yourself, who generously share their recipes for free. I always strive to make a recipe exactly as written (the first time anyway!) as it does not seem fair to make changes and then wonder why it didn’t work! Anyway, thanks again 🙂

  33. Sally Cameron - June 17th, 2017

    Thanks for the comment Amsuka! So happy it was a success for you!

  34. Tere Batham - June 21st, 2017

    Today I tried your quick Almond/coconut tart crust recipe on a damp winter’s day in New Zealand. Not having access to Almond flour, I followed the advice of one of the blogger’s above and added one egg and an extra tablespoon of melted butter and a bit of cinnamon for flavor to my almond meal and coconut flour. Popped into the oven for 14 minutes, it came out perfectly done. Thanks for the recipe and the helpful adjustments in the comments!

  35. Sally Cameron - June 22nd, 2017

    Love to hear that Tere, especially from someone around the world. I am sure your notes will help others. We love NZ! Spent there incredible weeks, mostly on the south island, last year. We hope to get back one day! Thanks for your comment.

  36. Tiffany - June 28th, 2017

    Is there any need to butter the tart pan before pressing the dough into it? Does the crust have any issues releasing? I’m about to make it tonight – thanks! =)

  37. Sally Cameron - June 30th, 2017

    Hi Tiffany. No need to butter the tart pan. Just dump in the crust mix and press with your fingers like the photos show. At the end sometimes I will take a flat glass and press a bit more to be sure its nice and tight. And get a nice sturdy edge too. I’ve made this so many times and while it seems a bit of a fuss, it really just takes about 10-12 minutes tops.

  38. Donna - March 17th, 2018

    This recipe is off. I followed the instructions exactly and the crust was not a crust at all, but instead a crumble. Possibly, as others have suggested, it is due to the wrong amount of butter or the butter being melted. In any case, a huge disappointment.

  39. Sally Cameron - March 18th, 2018

    Hi Donna. I am not sure what you did, but I have made this a hundred times if once and it always comes out as a crust, as it is designed. Wish I could help you and Im sorry you had trouble with it. The amount of butter was adjusted up at the beginning because others found it easier to make with more. This version reflects higher butter content.

  40. Sue Kidd - September 3rd, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. It worked perfectly as written. I also appreciate the photos.
    I used this recipe to make cheese cake bars in a 9×13 pan and they were delicious.

  41. Sally Cameron - September 3rd, 2018

    Love to hear that Sue! My pleasure. I’ve been wanting to do that as well, use it in bar form instead of just a tart crust. Glad to hear it works. Thanks for commenting.

  42. Naomi - September 7th, 2020

    Do you think this crust would work as is if i also add shredded coconut and almond slivers to it?

  43. Sally Cameron - September 15th, 2020

    Hi Naomi. I don’t think so as it would change the texture quite a bit. It would depend on how large the coconut is. I’ve only made it with the more finely shredded type. You want something smooth enough to be pressed into a tart shell. Whatever you are going to fill it with, could you use the shredded coconut and slivered almonds for garnish on top?

  44. Clare - September 12th, 2020

    Sally, I learned this recipe from my very allergic niece, who learned it from you. Since I’m vegan, I make it with unrefined coconut oil and use it to make primitive apple or berry galettes. For vegans, here’s what works for me:

    1 1/2 cups almond flour
    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, measured and chilled
    Ice water, up to 4 tablespoons

    I pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor, add the coconut oil, and pulse it till it’s in crumbs. Then I add the ice water until the whole thing forms a manageable dough. Like you, I don’t try to roll this out. I press it into a pie pan with my fingers, allowing the sides to rise an inch or more above the top of the pan. Then I fill it with 4-5 cups of a precooked, thickened berry or apple filling, “fold” the crust over the top to form a primitive partial top crust (I don’t care what it looks like!), and bake it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until the crust is golden. The coconut aroma and taste are delightful and really play well with mixed berries spiced with cinnamon and ginger.

  45. Sally Cameron - September 15th, 2020

    Hi Clare, thanks for sharing your version! Glad it has helped you both. Yes, coconut oil is a great swap for butter. Have you tried the Myokos vegan butter? It’s delicious and should work great as well. Always fun to try new things. Tell your niece thanks for me. Happy baking!

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