Blueberry Lemon Tart with a Coconut Crust ( gluten-free and vegan)

IMG_3917I have been trying to create a coconut, lemon and blueberry dessert for a while now.  This may seem like an odd combination of flavours since blueberries and coconut do not grow in the same climate, but it is in fact delicious.  Last summer, I made a chia seed pudding with coconut milk and topped it with blueberries for no other reason than that was the nut milk and fruit I happened to have on hand and I have been obsessed ever since.

Early this summer I had just made a coconut blueberry muffin that was good, except that I am just not really a muffin person, when Allison at Spontaneous Tomato posted a raspberry chocolate tart with a coconut crust.  Go ahead and look at it,  I know you want to.  She adapted it from an Alice Medrich recipe that I had a vague memory reading about on another food blog that I like, Lottie and Doof.  So, clearly some of my favourite on-line cooks like this Alice Medrich person,and if you are a person who eats gluten you should probably run out and buy one of her cookbooks.  I cannot eat gluten, but I was pretty sure that I could adapt this crust to be gluten-free and use it for a blueberry lemon tart.

I tried a few different combinations of gluten-free  flours and finally switched out the butter for coconut oil.  It pains me to admit that butter does not have the same magical relationship to rice flours and starches made from tubers as it does to wheat.  Coconut oil made the crust crispy (not greasy).  It also made this tart vegan, so now my mom can make it.  Hi mom!

I also increased the quantity of the dough because I have a very large tart tin.  I swear it looked like the right size in the store…and that is what I get for buying baking supplies from an industrial baking supply store.  I would use this amount even for a regular pie dish though.  Gluten-free dough is less likely to bind together and make a perfect crack free crust, so making it a bit thicker is a good idea.  And let’s face it, the extra bit of delicious coconut crust won’t spoil anyone’s fun!


adapted from Alice Medrich, via Spontaneous Tomato and Lottie and Doof

  • 1 cup unsweetened finely shredded dried coconut
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted and still warm
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • scant 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  1. Place a heavy baking sheet in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat to 425 degrees.
  2. Toast the coconut in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until it starts to change color.  When it starts to turn color, turn the heat way down (or off if you are using cast iron) and continue cooking and stirring until it is golden.  Transfer toasted coconut to a medium bowl.
  3. Add the sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt to the coconut and mix well.
  4. Add the brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch and mix until combined.
  5. Turn out dough into a  tart pan and press it evenly into the sides,  and across the bottom, so that there are no cracks.  Place tart pan onto the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.  While the crust pre-bakes, prepare the blueberries


  • Grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tsp cardamom (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup lemon marmalade, seedless raspberry or lilikoi (passionfruit) jam, strained of any seeds or citrus peels
  •  4 cups rinsed blueberries
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, cardamom,  sugar, cornstarch,and jam.  Add the berries and toss them vigorously with a fork.  Bruise some of the berries lightly.
  2. When the crust is done, remove the pan from the oven, turn the contents of the bowl of berries into the pie crust.  Transfer the tart pan to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Mona Banek says:

    Sound so yummy. Glenda and I have been eating very well on our holiday. We are back in Kamloops – took Rob for a long walk in the park this evening. We were walking in the full moon light.

    1. Oh! I love those summertime evening walks in Kamloops. I miss you guys and I miss Canada.


  2. Glenda says:

    I can’t wait to get home and try this!! In Kamloops airport right now waiting for my flight to YVR. Thanks for this!

    1. Travel safely Mum! I think that you will like this tart. Use Lilikoi jam for the glaze!

  3. This tart is gorgeous (and mouthwatering…) and I feel the need to try making it RIGHT AWAY but unfortunately I’m about to leave town & be traveling for a week, so I won’t have a(/my) kitchen, and today I have to pack instead of baking… It’s going to be rough waiting that long…

    Also thanks so much for linking back to my Raspberry Chocolate Tart. 🙂 I love the circle of blogger dialogue/inspiration going on here.

    I love Alice Medrich’s recipes and approach to desserts more and more every day… (I never used to bother with making desserts from scratch, but now I use “Pure Dessert” all the time, and my sisters just gave me Alice Medrich’s new cookbook for my birthday this past weekend!)

  4. I like the circle of dialogue and inspiration as well. Maybe I’ll pick up Pure Dessert sometime. Lately I have been doing more adapting classic baking recipes to be gluten-free… as opposed to trying baking recipes that are already gluten-free. I feel like I finally have the hang of adapting to my specific taste.

    Happy Birthday!


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