It’s highly satisfying to see a pretty dessert come together and this tart is no exception. This health-conscious recipe achieves a crust reminiscent of shortbread (with no butter); a sticky, gooey fruit center (with no refined sugar); and a fluffy, cakey almond topping (with no flour). The warm flavors of maple, almond and vanilla contrast with sour cranberries and orange. This holiday, consider adding this impressive dessert to someone’s table. You’ll also want to eat it for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
This tart is one of many delicious things that I’ve made from Amy Chaplin’s book At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen. As you must have deduced from the title, her recipes are vegan and mostly gluten-free, but don’t lack anything in taste and texture.
Cranberry Almond Tart
Makes One 9-Inch Tart
* If you are baking for someone who is gluten-free, swap the spelt flour gluten-free oat flour, and make sure the rolled oats are gluten-free. In summer, try fresh berries or sliced peaches instead of cranberries. Zest the orange before juicing it for the filling. Use a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, or as I did, a ceramic tart dish.
for the crust
1/4 cup regular rolled oats
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup whole raw almonds (I used sliced raw almonds)
2 tblsp brown rice flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tblsp spelt flour (or all-purpose, or GF oat flour)
3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
3 tblsp grade A maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
for the filling
2 tsp arrowroot
4 tblsp fresh orange juice, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tblsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon
for the topping
2 1/2 cups almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 tblsp sliced almonds
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Thoroughly oil tart pan and set aside. Combine oats, coconut, almonds, rice flour, and salt in a food processor, and blend until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and stir in spelt flour. Drizzle in olive oil; mix with a fork or your fingertips until all flour is moistened. Add maple syrup and vanilla and mix again. Dough should be moist but not sticky. Wash and dry your hands, and press crust evenly into tart pan. Trim any excess dough from edges. Prick bottom of crust with a fork several times, and bake for 15 minutes; crust should be set but not done. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on.
2. Make the filling: Place arrowroot powder in a small bowl and add 1 tblsp orange juice; stir to combine and set aside. In a small pot, combine 2 1/2 cups cranberries, remaining orange juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the cranberries are soft. Remove lid, stir arrowroot mixture again, and slowly drizzle into simmering cranberries, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened and returned to a simmer. Remove from heat and spread evenly into prebaked tart shell.
3. Make the topping; Combine almond meal and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl, breaking any lumps of almond meal with your finder tips or a fork. In another bowl, combine olive oil, maple syrup, orange zest, lemon zest, salt and vanilla and almond extracts; whisk with a fork until emulsified. Pour into almond meal mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until completely combined- mixture will be quite wet. Scoop spoonfuls of mixture over cranberry filling, and use damp fingers to spread topping out a little, leaving it rustic with some filling showing in parts to allow cranberries to bubble up. Lightly press remaining 1/2 cup cranberries into topping and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Allow tart to cool completely before removing from pan, if using a pan with a removable bottom. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.