Since I started this whole blogging thing, I’ve been waking up in the morning with new recipes on my mind. Afraid that I’ll forget, like I often do in my sleep-deprived state, I jot down my ideas on post-its which are now covering my desk, thankfully in a colorful assortment. Anyway, I decided this was my best wake-up recipe idea of the week and at least worth a try. Luckily they turned out just the way I hoped- creamy, with a little tart and a little sweet. Not bad for gluten and (cow)dairy-free!
Originally I was going to make this a very-gluten recipe, with traditional pie crust and filling. But I like challenges (probably too much) and so my own GF creation was manifested. I think I was feeling especially gung-ho today when I began this recipe because I had spent the entire rest of the day building (and re-building) IKEA furniture and hammering things in the wall. If I could get through 3 ikea manuals in 2 hours I could do anything! Plus my fingers just needed a rest from turning 100 screws in with their “tool” they call the allen key. But I am digressing…
The best thing about making this recipe GF is that almond meal gives this little tart an extra boost of protein and that nutty flavor which goes so well with fruit and cheese. I have never used coconut oil in my baking life so this inspired me to try it in the almond crust today. Not only is it good for you but it’s so delicious and a great replacement for butter. Although this recipe does have dairy in the form of goat cheese, most other people like me who avoid dairy (but are not vegans) can tolerate goat milk/cheese. Plus, I’m bored of standard cream cheese/fruit recipes so this was something more interesting. All in all, this “challenging” version didn’t turn out to be very difficult at all so don’t be daunted- enjoy!
Almond Crust Ingredients:
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp agave
- 1 tsp vanilla
Goat Cheese Cream Ingredients:
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp almond milk
Blueberry Topping Ingredients:
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup agave
- 2 tbsp almond meal
There are an endless number of possible substitutions in this recipe. First of all, you could use traditional pie crust and make these mini-pies or hand pies by stuffing the pie dough with the cheese and berry filling. Feel free to replace the coconut oil with butter, the almond milk with cow milk, and agave with honey. This recipe isn’t too sweet because of the goat cheese, so you could add agave or honey to the cheese mixture for a sweeter tart. And of course there’s always a variety of berries to choose from! But here is the way I made it:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat 12 muffin tins with oil.
- Combine almond meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Mix together coconut oil, agave, and vanilla in a smaller bowl and stir well to get rid of clumps.
- Add coconut mixture to dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Divide almond crust mixture evenly among 12 muffin tins and press down to coat the bottom of each one evenly.
- Place muffin pan in refrigerator to let almond crust firm while making toppings.
- Stir together goat cheese, egg, and almond milk in a bowl until smooth.
- Mix blueberries with agave, lemon zest, and almond meal and stir to combine.
- Take muffin pan out of refrigerator and put a large dallop of goat cheese cream on each almond crust. Spread cheese out to cover each crust evenly.
- Drop a spoonful of blueberry mixture over goat cheese cream.
- Bake for 15 min or until goat cheese is set and blueberries are bubbling.
- Let cool completely before removing from muffin tins. Then use butter knife to circle each tart and carefully lift them out.
- Store in airtight container(s) at room temperature, or better yet, in the refrigerator.