Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust Recipe [GF]: A Series on Hospitality

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust [GF]

Last week I hosted a brunch, invited a few friends to join me, and made this Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust for the occasion. I am better, life is better, when I’ve had time with good friends around my table—it is pure joy.

It wasn’t always that way. At one point in my life I was more focused on entertaining than being hospitable, making sure everything was … perfect. (I cringe just thinking about what I put myself and my family through.)

Remember the scene in the movie Gladiator when Russell Crowe slayed multiple opponents and yells this to the crowd?

“Are you not entertained!”

“Are you not entertained!”

The sword could just as easily be a dirty pan being flung across the kitchen at midnight, wondering if the 15 hours spent to make that dinner party happen was even worth it …

Been there? I have. When we feel this way, I think it is because we confuse hospitality with entertaining. The heart and motivation behind them is different, though they sometimes exist in the same space. The way I see it, hospitality is welcoming and warmly facilitating, entertaining is performing—they are synonyms, but they are not the same. The recipes and practical advice in this series will focus on the life-giving spirit of hospitality and leave behind the pressure to please through performance.

We will cover topics like invitations (who to invite), what to serve (more recipes), making your space work (dealing with limited space), exploring the ‘why bother?’ (no joy), and how to use what you already have. I’ll throw in some ideas on large groups (800 is my top set limit) and intimate evenings (this is certain to gross-out my kids), just to keep it interesting. ;)

Now let’s be real. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the matter, but I have survived both ends of the love-hate spectrum of having people over and settled on the side of loving it. This not only took practical experience, it took an attitude adjustment as well. I hope you find this series tasty, helpful, and encouraging.

I do hope you’ll join the conversation in the comments too—offering words of wisdom or posing questions.

Now back to my brunch of friends and this delightful Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust. Several friends were avoiding wheat or grains, so I was on the hunt for a special treat everyone could enjoy. Oh, boy did we! Luscious cream cheese filling spread over an almond crust, topped with fresh fruit and a tangy citrus glaze. It was the favorite of the brunch—thankfully I made two, so the fam was pretty happy to see some left when they got home. No one was allergic to nuts, so the almond crust was perfect. I have found among gluten-free flours, almond flour is the most tender in baked goods, without the grittiness of rice flours. I was very pleased with how it performed here; the crust is tender, not as dense as pastry or shortbread type crusts.

Of course, you can use a favorite pastry crust or try one of these versions of tart crusts: Easy Tart Crust at Epicurious, Shortbread Tart Crust at Dianas Desserts, or a Gingersnap Cookie Crust by Amy Tobin.

Sweetened only with enough honey to accentuate the fresh fruit, this tart isn’t so sweet you’ll regret eating it before lunch, yet also makes a light, refreshing dessert.  The components can all be made in advance and then assembled when needed—I made mine the night before the brunch so there was less to do that morning. The fruit topping is what makes the tart so beautiful, as well as its glistening glaze. Vibrant berries, mandarin oranges, peaches, plums, pear, mango, pineapple, or nectarines can also be used for the fruit topping; the cream cheese filling is a blank canvas for your creation.

For more examples, I’ve created a Pinterest board labeled Fruit Tarts you can check out for inspiration.

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart which is almost whole, but the camera was late to the meeting.

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart which is almost whole, but the camera was late to the meeting. Do you like how I just poured the glaze on? You can use a more delicate approach, but the glaze was so good I wanted it all on there.

Inspired by Fruit Pizza by Simply Living Healthy.

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust Recipe [GF]
Luscious cream cheese filling spread over an almond crust, topped with fresh fruit and a tangy citrus glaze. Sweetened with honey, so there's no refined sugar -- enjoy with brunch or as a refreshing dessert. [Gluten and Grain-Free]
Serves / Yields: 1 - 8 inch tart
For the Crust:
  • 1 cup almond flour -- + 2 tablespoons for High Altitude
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter -- melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3 tablespoons honey -- or coconut palm sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
For the Glaze:
  • ½ cup orange juice or grapefruit juice -- freshly squeezed, without pulp
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch -- or cornstarch
  • For the Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese -- softened, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice -- fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the Fruit Topping:
  • strawberries -- stems removed, halved, quartered, or sliced
  • blueberries -- leave whole
  • kiwi fruit -- peeled and sliced across to create rounds
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. With a little butter on your fingers, grease bottom of 8" tart pan.
For the Crust:
  1. Mix almond flour and salt in a mixing bowl to incorporate salt (if using coconut palm sugar, add that into the dry ingredients here). In another bowl, blend egg, butter, honey, and almond extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour into tart pan and smooth with spatula to form an even crust.
  2. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before adding filling.
For the Glaze:
  1. Mix orange juice, honey, and tapioca starch in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to combine. When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly, until glaze thickens--2-3 minutes. Transfer glaze to a bowl and allow to cool completely before glazing the tart.
For the Filling:
  1. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add honey, lemon juice, zest, and vanilla to the cream cheese and mix until well blended. Set filling aside until crust and glaze are completely cooled. These steps can all be done in advance and reserved until tart is ready to assemble and serve.
For the Fruit Topping:
  1. Prepare fruit in the manner you prefer. In this application, strawberries were quartered, kiwi was sliced, blueberries remained whole.
Assembling the Tart:
  1. Once the crust is completely cooled, spread cream cheese filling evenly over crust -- an icing spatula works wonderfully here to create a smooth finish. Arrange prepared fruit over the filling in any design you choose. Whether you overlap the fruit, completely cover the filling, or allow it to peek through is up to you.
  2. Once all the fruit is in place, use a pastry brush to gently apply the glaze to the fruit, or use a spoon to drizzle glaze over the tart, just be sure to cover the fruit. Don't be shy, the glaze is not just for looks, it also adds a pleasing citrus accent to the tart.
  3. Chill until ready to serve. Serve within 24-48 hours.
Notes & Suggestions
If using coconut palm sugar for the crust, the mixture will be thicker, but can still be spread with a pastry knife to form a smooth crust.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Serves 8-10
Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust -- Ready to take a bite!

Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust — Ready to take a bite!

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday

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28 Responses to Cream Cheese Fruit Tart with Almond Crust Recipe [GF]: A Series on Hospitality

  1. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) March 7, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Perfect looking tart Judy. Wish I had a slice to enjoy with afternoon coffee. ;-)
    Jed Gray (sportsglutton) recently posted..Beet, Citrus, & Israeli Couscous SaladMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 10, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      So do I, but it is gone now. Guess I’ll have to make another one, just for afternoon coffee. ;)

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 7, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    I’m in!!

    This tart is so pretty. How clever you are. :)
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..It’s Been a Busy Summer and Some Lovely Fruit BunsMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 10, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks Maureen, we take the first bite with our eye, right?!

  3. Pure Complex March 7, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    I am in LOVE. I am I am just in love. I \have to try my hand at making this. Pretty and delish all at the same time.
    Pure Complex recently posted..Design / Comfortable FurnishingsMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      This is an easy one to fall in love with — who doesn’t like easy, delish, and beautiful?! :)

  4. ChgoJohn March 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    What a beautiful tart, Judy! You really made your friends feel special when you set this on the table before them. Now *that’s* being hospitable!

    • Judy Purcell March 10, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks John, it does make someone feel special when you make that extra effort, though this it far easier than it looks. :)

  5. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Your photo is wonderful. I’m sure your friends enjoyed sharing this delicious dessert with you…I know I would.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..Slow Braised Lamb ShanksMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 10, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      Thank you, Karen, the photos have gotten easier with the help from the lighting kit. Now I just have to learn my camera better — ha!

  6. mjskit March 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    What a delicious looking tart! So colorful and yummy!!! Love the crust! Yes, I do know what you mean about hospitality vs. entertaining. We gave a dinner party last night and I had to keep reminding my husband, the perfectionist – “it’s o.k. if it’s not perfect. Let’s just have fun!” :) Hope you’re having a great weekend!
    mjskit recently posted..Homemade Mexican Chorizo SausageMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 10, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      Hi MJ, I do hope you had a wonderful time with your dinner party, it is far more enjoyable when we let go of perfectionism–I know how hard that is too–and our guests are more at ease as well. The tart is delicious and beautiful on any table; good thing it’s easier to make than it looks (love food like that!). :)

  7. Julia | March 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    This fruit tart is a creation of beauty! Love the shining fruit! And yes, having too many people over too often can really get overwhelming.
    Julia | recently posted..Apple cinnamon yogurt pancakesMy Profile

  8. Raymund March 10, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Really nice tart creation, love it. Nice colors too!
    Raymund recently posted..Nam Tok MooMy Profile

  9. john@kitchenriffs March 10, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Great looking tart! I love fruit tarts, both because of their eye appeal and their flavor is so awesome. And I absolutely am with you on the different between entertaining and hospitality. We used to do the former, and now practice only the latter. Great idea for a series.
    john@kitchenriffs recently posted..ColcannonMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 11, 2013 at 6:36 am #

      Thanks so much John, the idea that the eyes take the first bite is so true–the beautiful fruit makes is especially appealing. Glad to know you can relate with the upcoming series, it is dear to my heart.

  10. Mary@One Perfect Bite March 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    What a delicious looking tart. This must have been a hit with your friends. I know that I surely would enjoy it. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary
    Mary@One Perfect Bite recently posted..Irish Apple CakeMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell March 11, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      Hi Mary, thanks for stopping by and saying hello — have a great week!

  11. Pauline Wiles March 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    This looks beautiful, I love the idea of almond flour and am very tempted by your ‘not too sweet’ description.

    • Judy Purcell March 12, 2013 at 6:37 am #

      Hi Pauline, thanks for stopping by and your kind comment, I appreciate that. It was great to discover your blog yesterday and your post about the conference you attended — really good stuff. Have a great week. :)

  12. Geni March 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    This would be perfect at my Easter Brunch. Judy, you really hit the nail on the head for me. As I have gotten a little older, I realize that it’s much better to be relaxed and create a menu that is pleasant but not overly ambitious. Hospitality is really a much friendlier way to think of “having people over” than entertaining. What a great post!
    Geni recently posted..Grandma’s Noodle KugelMy Profile

  13. Monica April 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Yum! Looks perfect for the summer, and I love all this fruit medley.

  14. Karen June 14, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I was so excited when I came across this recipe. I made it for my family last night and we all loved it. The crust was a little tricky to spread as it was very sticky, but well worth it. I will be making this again this weekend for Father’s Day. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

    • Judy Purcell June 15, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Aw, thanks Karen for taking time to comment and let me know you liked it — that feedback is so helpful as well as encouraging. :) Hope your family has a great Father’s Day weekend.

  15. Mandy - The Complete Book September 9, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Oh Judy what a magnificent looking fruit tart. I will definitely be making this something later this season after things have warmed up just a little more.
    Have a wonderful and happy day.
    :-) Mandy xo
    Mandy – The Complete Book recently posted..What’s been happeningMy Profile

    • Judy Purcell September 13, 2014 at 9:47 am #

      Thanks, Mandy, it is and easy one that everyone loves. I always think of my blogging friends on the other side of the world as our seasons change … it is getting colder here, so I know you are ready to feel the warm sun on your face there. :)

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