Thin crust vegan cherry tart

Did I mention last time how P tends to stock the refrigerator?  Well, this time he outdid himself!  On a recent trip to Manish Market (the fruit market in Crawford) he got excited seeing all the juicy fruits and hauled them in kilos.  When I visit Crawford Market, I know my tendency to go overboard so these days I make a list and try not to go beyond it.  A good idea is to carry fewer cloth bags.  I do not accept plastic bags or paper bags  so this way I am forced to shop only as much as my two bags will hold.

P does not mind the effort.  He is not a CI shopper like me but he has a weakness for fruits. The last trip meant a lot of stone fruits desserts at home. I am not complaining.

Two days after the cherries languished in the refrigerator awaiting their turn to be used up, P picked up the entire carton and placed it on the table, asking the kids to dig in.  Jr.P in his excitement said, “You mean we can have as many cherries as we want just like that – plain?”  It took me a moment to realize that I had not allowed them to relish the fruit at all.  Every time I purchase cherries I end up making pies, cakes or tarts instead of letting anybody relish the taste of the fruit.  I don’t act like this when its peaches or apples but cherries have this effect on me. It was good that Jr.P said that for I might have ended up a monster otherwise.  I washed the cherries and told them to have as much as they wanted and that I would make a dessert later.  They did not want 1.5 kgs so I did make a tart after all.

The tart is very simple.  No refrigeration or rolling required for this one.  You do need some nuts – almonds, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts – to get the crust right.  Only rice flour does not hold the same magic.  I tried hazelnuts this time, to see whether the gf girl can handle it.  If you are allergic to nuts try sunflower seeds instead.  There is no ‘right’ proportion or measurements used.  I did make a note later of how much of each thing went into making the tart, but you have to go by feel.  I use organic flours and find brown rice flour the best suited.  Sorghum works too.

Recipe: Thin crust, vegan, gluten free cherry tart
Yield: One 9″ tart + enough for another 6″ tart
Oven temperature: 160 deg. Celsius with fan

Ingredients for the crust:

Brown rice flour – 1.5 cups
Hazelnut flour – 1.5 cups
Any non-dairy milk – 1/3 cup
Flax meal – 2 tbsp.
Canola oil – 2 tbsp.
Corn syrup – 1 tbsp.
Raw cane sugar -2 tbsp.


Whisk flax meal in warm milk and set aside.

Blitz the flours and sugar together till mixed well.  Empty into a wide mixing bowl.

Whisk canola oil, corn syrup, and milk together lightly or blitz for just a turn to get a creamy emulsion.  Pour into the bowl along with the flour.

Mix with your hands well till you get a smooth dough.  If needed add more milk by tablespoons.  The dough should be soft but will not come together as well as dough made with white flour.

Now grease a 9″ tart pan lightly.  Break the dough into crumbs and place it all over the pan.  Pat it and press it so that it covers the whole pan in a thin layer, about 2mm thick, not more.  I use a pav bhaji masher to pat the crumble.  Using the back of a small bowl to press will work equally well.  Press the dough over the sides and trim the overhang.

Poke with a fork randomly and place inside the refrigerator while you make the filling.


The filling is made up of fruits covered with a cake topping.  First prepare the cake batter.


If you notice the ingredients, it is nothing but the crust with some baking powder and vanilla!


Brown rice flour – 1 cup
Hazelnut flour – 1/4 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp.
Vanilla seeds, scraped from 1 pod
Raw cane sugar – 2 tbsps. (2 tbsps. more if you have a sweet tooth – this makes the tart perfect for us)
Non dairy milk – 1/2 cup (I use nut milk) + 1 tbsp. flax meal
Cashew yogurt or any other non-dairy yogurt – Almost 1/3 cup (Add enough to get a pourable batter)
Oil – 1 tbsp.


Blitz dry ingredients together.  Set aside in a bowl.

Whisk flax meal into warm milk.  Blitz all wet ingredients together.

Mix the wet into dry mixture of flours.  Beat well to get a pourable batter.  Adjust consistency by adding more cashew yogurt.

Set aside.

Preparing the fruit layer:

Wash and dry 3 cups of cherries.  Pit them.  I mixed a tbsp. of plum chutney I had prepared earlier this week for a tangy taste.  Add a tbsp. of cornflour and 1 tsp. lime juice instead, along with a tbsp. of granulated sugar.  Heat lightly till the cherries are well coated, upto 3 minutes.  Cool.

Assembling the tart:

Remove the prepared pan from the refrigerator.  Brush a layer of warm jam (optional) thinly.  Now spread the prepared fruit evenly.  Pour the cake batter without disturbing the fruits.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 deg. Celsius for about 40-50 minutes till the top is brown.  Rotate skillet half way through baking.  The topping will develop cracks and is perfectly natural.  Insert a skewer to check for done-ness, if in doubt.  If done, the tart will pull away from the edges.

Cool to room temperature before cutting.  Cut in the pan itself and serve the tart with a dusting of vanilla sugar, cherries and vegan cream, if needed.

Best eaten cold.  Tastes better if kept for a couple of hours.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Vicky

    Love that this is vegan and gluten free! I’ve recently got into gluten free baking due to recent family medical dietary restrictions so I’m always on the look out for recipes!

    • Harini

      I hope you find the recipes good, Vicky. Thanks.

  • PinkPolkaDot

    It looks and sounds delicious!

  • Anita Menon

    Beautiful pictures. I understand, you used a ‘chatti’ to make the pie. Innovative indeed.

    again, gorgeous photos!

    • Harini

      Thanks. Yes, I use the cast iron neer dosa pan for many bakes.:)

  • Sukaina

    Harini- your tart looks gorgeous and teh pictures are outstanding. Thanks so much for taking part in Monthly Mingle.

  • Soma

    This looks so darn good that I could have quite a few of those beautiful crack top slices right now. your photographs looks ever more pretty.. love the purple painted board.

  • sapthanaa

    awesome and lovely.. looks too good and will go lovely with vanilla icecream………yummy!!

  • Ashwini

    🙂 Now I need to keep my eyes open, next time I visit any of the stores for glassware…Along with food presentation, I seem to like the small titbits you use…and usually I am like “I want that kind of…” Truely good:)

  • Richa

    Amazing pictures again Harini! i should try some of your gf recipes!! i am going to order some similar looking soup crocks with a holder soon!

  • Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal

    Yum, looks super delicious 🙂

  • Ashwini

    Dear Harini,

    Lovely photos (as usual….) they look just so delicious .I saw that you use lovely cutlery and containers for presentation. You have used a small container for salt I belive. a white and brown one. we get similar but bigger ones for storing pickles. but never a small one. will you be able to let me know where have you procured this small sweet container from?

    • Harini

      Thanks all. Ashwini, the small ‘barani’ contains vegan cream. I too store my pickles in the larger versions. This little one which is about 2 inches in height was gifted by my sister. She got it from Palakkad. I am told you get miniature versions of round, flatter ones too in Kerala.

  • Sharmilee

    Looks very temptign n nice classic clicks

  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

    GORGEOUS! I especially love the last 3 photos. I must say I find they are better even than the one you posted on Flickr. I wish you’d make the last photo public so I could favorite it :).

    • Harini

      Xiaolu, thank you so much! You are so generous with your compliments, it is hard not to feel elated.:D Last pic made public, m’am!

  • Desisoccermom

    Love, love, love cherries. In fact I too am going through a big bag of cherries. I am like your son though. I love the fruit more than the fruit dessert. But your gorgeous pictures are making me want to eat a pie!

  • Jayasree

    Gorgeous pics….I love that skillet. Added to my wish-list.

    • Harini

      Jayasree, the skillet is damn good.:) Good you added!

  • Aparna

    Oh, and the photographs are gorgeous!

  • Aparna

    Great! I’m very much interested in trying gluten-free baking. Did you powder hazelnuts or do you get the flour in Mumbai?
    And you baked in that skillet? I still haven’t used mine!

    • Harini

      Aparna, thanks.:) I powdered hazelnuts at home. You must try baking in that skillet! It is excellent for pizzas, tarts, clafoutis and handvo too apart from neer dosas. I found that greasing is not required most of the time, because I forgot to once, and yet the clafoutis turned out very easily! Set dosas, the kind you get in Mangalore come out exactly like we get in the village, with some burnt spots, because of low oil.:)

  • kankana

    Today I made a tart for the first time and I must say it was not easy to roll that sticky dough! This is a great tart idea .. and this is what I am gonna try next time 🙂

    • Harini

      Thanks Kankana, It is easy if you place it on a silicon mat or between thick plastic sheets, after letting it thaw for five minutes. But I mostly do this as it is easier than that too, and gluten free flours do not roll well unless xanthan gum is added.

  • Madhu

    Amazing photographs and the tart looks delicious. I love the fact that the tart shell is gluten free as well as from whole grains

  • Notyet100

    Ummmm delicious

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