Lemon Tart with Pretzel Cookie Crust (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
It’s mid-spring, warm and sunny so it’s time to break out the bright citrus flavors and the refreshing berries! Think of lemonade filling with a sweet and salty crust. I used pretzels and crushed cookies for the crust and it is the perfect complement to the lemon filling!
As always, this lemon tart is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. If you are looking for a delicious gluten free dessert this tart is fresh, tangy, delicious and SO REFRESHING. It is also safe for a low FODMAP diet! The best part? This lemon tart is also gut healthy and gut healing because it contains gelatin! The best gut-healthy dessert I’ve made so far.
This tangy lemon tart is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and can be made vegan!
Just a few simple whole ingredients and so delicious. I used crunchy paleo cookies and gluten free pretzels for the crust. The filling is made with fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest and coconut milk/cream, but the lemon is overpowering so it does not taste like coconut! Sweetened lightly with honey or maple syrup.
It’s also made with gelatin which is very gut healing, so might as well enjoy a treat while I heal my gut!
Is this gluten free lemon tart easy to make?
This tart is very easy to make, it just takes a little while to squeeze and zest the lemons, and then for the filling to set before mixing it into the pie. This step can be skipped, though to make it more speedy! The crust is made simply by crushing cookies and pretzels and adding some non-dairy butter.
How to store the dairy free and gluten free lemon tart:
Store in the fridge covered for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months in an airtight container. If you prefer a frozen pie, you can eat it from the freezer for a cold treat!
What do I need for this gluten free lemon tart?
A tart pan, or you can make this into a pie and use a pie dish
Stovetop to heat the filling
Freezer or fridge space!
How long does this tart take to make?
This tart is easy but the filling does take awhile to set, about 2 hours. The filing is set first, and then mixed to break down the gelatin for a smoother and creamier filling. This step can be skipped and the filling can be poured directly into the crust without chilling first, it will just have a more gelatin-like texture. The crust is easy, it only takes 8 minutes to bake.
Can I make this lemon tart vegan?
I do think you can sub out the gelatin for agar agar to make this vegan. My best guess is to reduce the amount to 1 tsp.
What’s in this tangy lemon tart?
Graham Crackers or Gluten Free Cookies : my paleo & vegan graham crackers here taste JUST like real Honey Maid graham crackers. But you can use any GF or regular graham cracker or cookie. I used Simple Mills Pecan Cookies because I had them on hand
Gluten Free Pretzels: I used Synders but the slight salt in the pretzels gives your crust the best sweet and salty flavor!
Plant Based Butter or Grass Fed Butter: Any butter will do here! I use Miyoko’s.
Coconut Cream: The base of your lemon layer. Coconut cream works best here, but canned coconut milk would work, too
Light Honey, Agave OR Light Maple Syrup: Whichever you prefer. I used light maple syrup, it’s a light yellow color. I wanted to keep my filling light and bright but any works here
Lemon Juice and Zest: Freshly squeezed! The bottled kind will be too acidic for this tart
Tapioca Starch: Tapioca is the best paleo binder in baking (typically corn starch is used). This will hold together your filling
Vanilla Extract: Let’s be honest, we put it in everything
Unsweetened Gelatin: I use gelatin in so many of my baked goods! It's so good for gut healing. Here it makes the tart filling nice and gelatinous
Strawberries for topping: Because strawberry lemonade is always a good idea
1 cup of crushed crunchy cookies of choice, or graham crackers, I used Simple Mills Pecan Cookies or you can make my paleo & vegan graham crackers here!
1 cup of crushed gluten free pretzels
5+ tbsp plant based butter or grass fed butter, softened
2 tbsp of maple syrup or honey
2 14oz. cans coconut cream or full fat coconut milk, I use Whole Foods 365 brand
2 tbsp unsweetened gelatin*, I use Knox
1/3 cup honey, agave or maple syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp+ lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp of tapioca starch + 1 tsp of warm water
Make & bake the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and have a round 9” tart pan ready.
2. In a food processor, add crushed graham crackers/crunchy cookies and crushed pretzels and pulse or blend until it comes like sand. Remove and place in a medium bowl. Add in softened butter and maple syrup/honey and mix until a dough forms. If it seems too crumbly (it won’t stick together when pushed between your fingers), add 1 more tbsp of butter and mix again. Then push the dough into the tart pan and up the sides until covered and even.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just browned. Remove and let cool.
Make the filling and assemble:
1. In a medium saucepan, add the two cans of coconut cream or coconut milk. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and wait 1 minute for it to bloom. Then whisk in until dissolved and turn on the heat. Add in the maple syrup/honey and lemon zest and bring to a slow boil. Boil for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Whisk in lemon juice and vanilla extract.
2. In a small separate bowl, stir the tapioca starch in the warm water until fully dissolved. Whisk into the mixture. Let the mixture cool for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to completely cool and set. It may take up to 2 hours. It will be solid to touch. Use the freezer to speed this up.
3. Once the filling has been set, remove and whisk vigorously or use a hand mixer to break up the gelatin so the filling is smooth and almost like pudding. If it's chunky you may need to put it in a high speed blender or food processor. Now spread into the baked crust and place back into the fridge to set, about an hour. Use the freezer to speed it up.
*this step can be skipped and the warm filling can be poured directly into the crust without chilling first, it will just have a more gelatin-like texture. Chilling and mixing breaks up the gelatin so it’s a smoother consistency but both are delicious!
4. Once the filling has completely set, carefully remove the bottom of the tart pan and place the tart on flat dish or board. Top with strawberries, raspberries or any topping of choice.
5. Slice up and enjoy! If you have a hard time slicing, or if it's too soft to slice, place in the freezer to firm it up a bit then remove and slice.
6. Store in the fridge covered for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months in an airtight container. If you prefer a frozen pie, you can eat it from the freezer for a cold treat!
* I do think you can sub out the gelatin for agar agar to make this vegan. My best guess is to reduce the amount of agar agar to 1 tsp.
The cookies in this recipe must be crunchy for the crust to work. I like Simple Mills crunchy cookies, gluten free graham crackers, or you can make my delicious vegan & paleo graham crackers here!
Make sure to add the gelatin to the cold coconut cream/milk first before heating
Only use fresh squeezed lemon juice. The bottled kind will be too acidic
Can be stored in the freezer for a frozen pie instead!
Leave a rating or comment below if you made this lemon tart! I love to hear from you. And tag me in your creations on Instagram @gutsy_baker!