Flourless French Apple Tarts

These tarts have a shortbread-like crust, that use dates to help hold the crust together and add a subtle sweetness. Makes 6 individual tarts


  • Crust:
    • 1/3 cup gently packed chopped dates (about 8)
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup brown rice flour
    • ¾ cup ground almonds
    • ¼ cup tapioca starch
    • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
    • ¼ cup cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Filling:
    • 4-5 apples, such as Cortland or Gala
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ cup water
    • 2 Tbsp Calvados or brandy (optional)
    • ¾ cup sour cream (not low fat)
    • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup apple jelly


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. For the crust, soak the dates in warm water until soft, about 10 minutes, then drain and puree with the honey and vanilla.
  3. Using a food processor, mixer or by hand, combine the rice flour, ground almonds, tapioca starch, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cut in the butter until the mixture is a rough crumbly texture. Add the date mixture and combine until blended (the dough will not fully come together). Press this into six 4-inch ungreased fluted removable bottom tart pans and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until browned at the edges. Cool completely before filling.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 °F. Peel the apples and core them with an apple corer. Use a mandolin to slice thin apple rings. Heat the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved and pour this over the apples. Let the apples sit for 30 minutes up to 3 hours in the syrup. Drain away excess juices and stir in the Calvados or brandy (if using).
  5. Stir the sour cream with the brown sugar and vanilla. Spread this on the bottom of the cooled tart shells. Arrange the apples over the sour cream, overlapping the apple slices over each other. Cover the tart loosely with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake another 15 minutes, or until the apple are tender when pierced with a skewer. Cool the tart to room temperature.
  6. Melt the apple jelly in a saucepan until it is fluid and brush this over the cooled tart.

Chill the tart until ready to serve.