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Fresh Fruit G-F Dessert for Canada Day and Independence Day

By Edited Jun 24, 2014 4 8
Credit: Stevesworldofphotos on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

As a Canadian, I adore the American spirit. Having friends and family that reside south of the border has afforded me a chance to partake in a few US holidays. 

Every year I try to celebrate two Thanksgivings and two National Days.

I'd squeeze in something for a national British day, but there isn't one. Though there are two-day parties on Canada's east coast during St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Naturally, when I get invited into the homes of my American friends, I bring along some type of dessert. I've never used artificial colours to make "patriotic" desserts red, white, and/or blue. Blah. I figure fresh fruit (in those colours) is healthier.

So I thought I'd offer up my semi-world famous recipe for a vanilla cream tart that you can dress up with any fruit you want.

Feeling Multicultural? Go For It

Making a fruit tart
Credit: Joy (joyosity on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Gluten-Free Tart Crust

After trying out about a dozen tart crust recipes over the years, none has impressed me more than the Gluten-Free Almond Tart or Pie Crust Recipe[1] by Jen Hoy.

I use high quality extra virgin olive oil in mine. Also, you can substitute almond meal for almond flour (or any nut flour) or create a crust with any combination of those.

Making a fruit tart
1.5 cups almond meal or flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Ensure oven racks are adjusted so tart crust will be centered in your oven and preheat to 350 F (175 C).
In a med-large bowl, thoroughly combine dry ingredients, breaking up any lumps that form.
In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and pour all over the dry mixture. Use a rubber spatula to combine until everything is incorporated.
Place dough in a 9 or 10-inch tart or pie pan and flatten it all out to cover both the bottom and sides of the pan (as evenly as you can). I use the spatula first and then my hands and fingertips. 
Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake it for 18 - 25 minutes (or until light brown). Don't let it get too dark. Allow it to cool completely before filling it.
NB: If par-baking crust, pull it out after 8 - 10 mins, let it cool slightly and then fill it (pumpkin pie filling, for example) and then pop it back into the oven (as long as your recipe suggests).

Rose's Low-Fat Creamy Tart Filling

I adapted my recipe from one by Christinibeanie on Allrecipes titled Pastry Cream.[2] I especially like her version since it required the least number of eggs and no heavy cream. However, to make it taste just as rich and creamy, I use unsweetened evaporated milk instead and added a bit more sugar.

Homemade Lime Tart Curd

2 cups unsweetened evaporated milk (whole or 2%)  I use 1.5 cans (12 fl. oz. each) of Carnation evaporated milk
2/3 cup white sugar (divided)
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp. butter (at room temperature preferably)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a thick-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, stir evaporated milk and 1/3 cup sugar together until liquid begins to boil. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the other half of the sugar (1/3 cup) with cornstarch. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 2 egg yolks and add to the sugar-cornstarch mix. Combine well.
Scrape medium bowl mixture into the saucepan (with the milky-sugar liquid) and stir constantly. Resume to cook it over medium heat while stirring. When it just begins to boil, remove from heat but keep stirring to thicken it (about 1 minute). Add butter and vanilla and combine well.
Store creamy tart filling in a heat-resistant ceramic or glass bowl and in the fridge while you prepare your fruit. TIP: If you put plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling it will prevent a "skin" from forming.

Top with Berries and/or Fruit

I read an excellent article on June 15th, 2014 in the Huffington Post by Alison Spiegel titled A Definitive Guide To All The Berries You Want To Eat This Summer.[3] For my patriotic tarts, here are the key points:


  • Strawberries don't ripen after being picked, so forget the white or greenish ones
  • You can store them for up to 2 days in the fridge
  • Wash them just prior to eating or using them in a recipe


  • Raspberries
    The best ones are picked mid-summer
  • Choose raspberries with a deep red colour (and no mushy or moldy ones)
  • Store for up to 3 days in the fridge and wash just before consuming them


  • Peak season in North America is mid-June to mid-August
  • Blueberries
    Look for firm, deep bluish-purple ones with a frosty polish on their skin (no broken or crushed ones)
  • Blueberries can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge (in their original container). Or you can store them in a sealed container (provided you removed any crushed ones) in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.[4]
  • Again, don't wash blueberries until you intend to use or consume them

Using Kiwi?

The Best Way to Peel a Kiwi (Spoon Method):

Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 10-Inch Quiche Pan

Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 10-Inch Quiche Pan RoseWrites 2014-06-15 5.0 0 5

Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 10-Inch Quiche Pan

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Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 10-Inch Quiche Pan
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I highly recommend the Chicago tart (or quiche pan) since the edges are not sharp. And I prefer 10-inches since I'm less likely to have fruit juices spill out over the edges (as often occurs with 9-inch pie pans). Chicago pans are commercial quality and have a solid, heavy duty feel to them. It's ideal to have bottomless pans so you can lift out the entire tart. Then just cut and serve each piece flawlessly.


Jul 2, 2014 1:35pm
I love berries, and they're so plentiful in the summertime. Using something real and delicious and avoiding artificial colors is a superb idea. And Independence Day is my favorite holiday!
Jul 3, 2014 7:06pm
Well, I wouldn't be able to make one for my American friends without blueberries. I suppose the same holds true for my UK friends (Union Jack). Wishing you and yours a fabulous fourth of July. Thanks for dropping by and commenting Jonathan.
Jul 21, 2014 8:41am
Great way to combine my healthy eating and a sweet tooth. These dishes are tasty!
Jul 23, 2014 2:04pm
Yeah, nothing beats in-season berries. Frozen are fine for smoothies, but on a tart fresh is the way to go. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Take good care, Rose
Jul 23, 2014 11:48am
This is a perfect summertime dessert. I love that you made a gluten free crust as well! We try to avoid eating too much gluten so this is a perfect recipe for our family. Great article Rose!
Jul 23, 2014 2:07pm
Gee thanks! The nice thing is you can use any fruit you want, the tart filling pretty much goes with anything. Thanks for chiming in. Sincerely, Rose
Jul 25, 2014 11:39pm
Looks delicious. I will 100% try this one, especially it's gluten free and if I replace the normal milk with lactose free (if I can find the evaporated version even better) I can have a low FODMAPs dessert. Yum!
Jul 26, 2014 12:18pm
It's a good recipe - just be aware that the crust won't look as "perfect" as the ones made with white, refined flour (but it will taste better). Glad you found this recipe useful. Thanks for coming by and commenting. Take good care, Rose
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  1. Jen Hoy "Gluten Free Almond Tart or Pie Crust Recipe." About.com. 15/06/2014 <Web >
  2. CHRISTINIBEANIE "Pastry Cream Recipe." Allrecipes.com. 15/06/2014 <Web >
  3. Alison Spiegel "A Definitive Guide To All The Berries You Want To Eat This Summer." Huffington Post | Huffpost Taste. 15/06/2014. 15/06/2014 <Web >
  4. "How to Store Blueberries." wikiHow. 15/06/2014 <Web >

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