Easy Gluten Free Berry Tart
Forget fussing with piecrust, pastry cream or gelatin, this gorgeous berry tart looks impressive, tastes even better, and couldn’t be easier to make! In other words, it’s the perfect summertime dessert. Be sure to take the cream cheese out of the fridge at least an hour or two (or up to 8 hours) before beginning. If you forget (like I always do), place it in a bowl on the stovetop while the oven preheats and the crust bakes. Creme fraiche makes the filling light and creamy, but if you can't find it you can use whole milk Greek yogurt instead. It’s best to let the tart cool in the fridge for at least an hour before serving, as it will make it easier to slice.
Servings: 6 people
For the crust:
- ⅔ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, gluten-free or regular
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the filling:
- ½ vanilla bean (or ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract)
- ⅔ cup (about 5 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- ⅓ cup crème fraiche
- 1 ½ quarts strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, stirring once or twice, until light golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool (keep the oven on). Transfer the nuts to the food processor, and process until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
Spray a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray. Press the crust into the bottom and ¾-inch up the sides of the pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool (you can pop it in the fridge to cool it faster).
For the filling:
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using the back of a small knife. Add the vanilla seeds to the cream cheese along with the almond extract, and beat until smooth. Add the sugar and salt, and beat again until the sugar is dissolved. Add the crème fraiche and beat until creamy and smooth.
Scrape the filling into the tart shell and spread in an even layer.
Arrange the strawberries and blueberries over top (you can watch how I do it in the video above!).
Thin the apricot jam with about 1 teaspoon of water and heat on the stovetop or microwave until runny. Carefully brush the glaze over the fruit on the tart (try not to get it on the filling). Refrigerate the tart until ready to serve.
- To make the graham cracker crumbs, simply blitz graham crackers (regular or gluten-free) in a food processor until finely ground.
- The crust can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cover and store it at room temperature. The finished tart is best the day it's made, but it can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.
- The tart can also be made in an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch pie plate.
- A vanilla bean is a bit of an extravagance, but the flavor is unparalleled, especially in a dessert as simple as this one. However, you can go for vanilla paste or extract instead!
- You can use any berries you like to decorate the top. If using strawberries, try to buy ones that are evenly sized. Also, make sure the berries are completely dry before arranging them on the tart.
- While I usually include weight measurements in my recipes, this recipe is so simple that I didn’t even add them (you can literally eyeball everything and it will be okay!).