Here is a gluten free tart crust recipe that works for your favorite filling, whether pumpkin, chocolate, or even a savory goat cheese. It's made with simple ingredients, a blend of almond flour, coconut flour, butter and a little sugar. It's grain-free too. Press the almond coconut tart crust mix into a tart pan with your fingers, bake and fill.
Going gluten-free meant I had some recipe revamping to do with my Thanksgiving menu. A tart crust made with graham crackers or anything wheat-based would not work any more. The best alternative for my pumpkin tart? Combining almond flour and coconut flour for a cookie-like crust, a perfect gluten free tart crust.
If you have not made a crust like this, it is an easy recipe. No pastry dough to roll out and mess with. It takes about 10-12 minutes to assemble plus baking time. Fill it with my spiced pumpkin tart filling for Thanksgiving.
- 1 ½ cups or 5 ½ ounces almond flour
- ½ cup or 2 ¼ ounces organic coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons raw light brown sugar or raw coconut sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Note - for a vegan tart crust (or dairy-free), use a stick form (not in a tub) plant-based butter such as this. These flours are available at just about any grocery store.
You'll need a tart pan with a removable bottom in the 9 ½" size. No need for pie weights or a pie pan.
Half-sheet rimmed baking sheets 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 ½″, 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 liner is on 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. Find Silpat on Amazon and cookng supply stores, and stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Mix the Tart Crust
First step, in a medium mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flours) and sugar together with a fork. I created this recipe with Bob's Red Mill flours, and tested with both organic raw coconut sugar and organic light brown sugar.
After the flours and sugar are mixed, add in the melted butter and mix with a fork. When the mix looks evenly combined, squeeze a handful together. It should hold, like in the photo below. The crust mix should feel moist.
Press Crust into Tart Pan
You will need a 9 ½″ 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.
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 (and don't poke holes).
Blind Bake, Then Fill
When you have created your crust, smile at the beautiful tart shell you’ve just created, then bake it. When it's baked first with no filling, it's called blind baking. The work will be worth it!
Place the tart pan on a sheet pan for support to bake. I use a rimmed half-sheet baking pan and place a silicone baking mat 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. If you are using my pumpkin filling, you will bake the tart a second time.
You can bake this easy gluten-free tart crust a day ahead. After baking and cooling, wrap it in the pan (for support) with plastic wrap. It's fine stored on the counter for a day.
Other Recipes and Ideas
Here are tart filling recipes I have created so far, both sweet and savory. You could fill it with a pastry cream and berries, or lemon curd for a lemon tart. I've even done a cream cheese filling, like a no-bake cheese cake. Have fun creating your own gluten-free tarts with this versatile recipe.
Note for a Savory Tart Crust
Because of the sugar, this is a sweet crust. If you want to make a savory (not sweet) crust, please read my post for the cherry tomato tart with fresh basil leaves and the crust adjustments. I eliminated the sugar, added an egg yolk.
Gluten free tart crust (grain free too)
- 9 ½" removable bottom tart pan (light colored)
- Silpat or other non-slip liner
- Half sheet size rimmed baking sheet
- 1 ½ cups or 5 ½ ounces almond flour 160 grams
- ½ cup or 2 ¼ ounces organic coconut flour 60 grams
- 2 tablespoons raw light brown sugar or raw coconut sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or plant-based butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 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.
Form Crust With Your Fingers
- 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 or a flat bottom glass. 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 Crust and Cool
- Bake tart crust for 14-16 minutes, or until light golden brown. Timing will depend on your ovens. Cool and fill as desired.