During summer, when market stalls are filled with the most amazing fruits, from peaches and apricots to cherries and berries of all sorts, it's hard to resist making a beautiful summer fruit tart. Colorful, sweet, and with a hint of citrus, these fruit tartlets are a wonderful recipe for parties, picnics and summer festivities.

The crust uses olive oil instead of butter, and using ripe fruits mean you can keep the cane sugar content in the crust and tart low, so these are a bit healthier than otherwise might be. But make no mistake, they are filled with flavor! As an extra bonus, the recipe is gluten-free. It's quite possible to make this a vegan recipe, if you use an egg substitute in the crust.

This recipe is adapted from "La Tartine Gourmande," which features several different (and delicious!) gluten-free crusts for tarts.

ingredients for summer fruit tartlet

Prep time: 1 hour (including refrigerating dough)

Total time: 1.5 hours

Yields: 4 mini tarts

Summer Fruit Tartlets with Lemon Olive Oil Crust

For the crust:

  • 2/3 cup quinoa flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons blond cane sugar
  • finely grated zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten
  • 3-4 tablespoons very cold water
For the tartlets:
  • Lemon olive-oil crust
  • 2-3 cups fruit of choice -- apricots, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches...
  • 4 tablespoons almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons blond cane sugar
  • finely grated zest from 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup nuts of choice -- walnut, pistachio, almond, pecan, cashew...
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the tarts pictured here:
Apricot tartlet: 2 sliced apricots topped with 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Blueberry tartlet: 1/2 cup blueberries topped with 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Raspberry tartlet: 1/2 cup raspberries topped with 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Strawberry tartlet: 3 large sliced strawberries topped with 3 tablespoons chopped almonds

Cooking Directions for the Crust

  1. In a large bowl (or a food processor) combine the flours, almond meal, xanthan gum, sugar and lemon zest. Stir (or pulse) to combine. Add the olive oil and beaten egg and stir (or pulse) until combined. Slowly add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the crust forms a ball.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted with brown rice flour. Divide it into four smaller balls, and roll each ball out until it is a little bigger than your tartlet molds. Be sure to roll gently, since the dough will pull apart and crack. If it does, just pinch it back together and keep rolling. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
flour and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor

Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted with brown rice flour.

Cooking Directions for the Tartlets

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and cut to fit your mold. Gently place your dough in the molds. It will probably tear a bit but don't worry. Just pinch any cracks or tears back together and press it into shape. Place the molds back in the refrigerator while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
  3. Pit and cut your fruits into thin slices (but if using berries like blueberries or raspberries, keep them whole).
  4. In a small bowl, combine almond meal, sugar and lime zest.
  5. Remove the molds from the refrigerator and divide the sugar mixture among them, coating the bottom. Arrange your fruits in the mold next, then drizzle a little of the honey and olive oil over the tops of the fruits.
  6. Place the tartlets in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust just barely starts to turn golden. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top of each tart and return to the oven. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the nuts and crusts have turned golden. Remove the tartlets from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.