Sticky Pecan & Hazelnut tart

This gluten free, fructose free, casein and lactose free beauty is my adaptation of that classic, uber sweet sticky pecan tart that we’ve all surely enjoyed in the past? Being gluten free isn’t an affliction and there’s no way we’re missing out on the smell of pastry in an oven or the caramelisation of nuts bubbling away in a tart like this. No siree!

My inspiration was the cover of a local newspaper lift out, Good Food, a few months ago, of a rather incredible looking walnut and macadamia caramel tart. Dad gave me the challenge of making it less naughty and with their 40th wedding anniversary on the weekend, there was no better reason to give it a crack.

I based the tart shell on my christmas mince pie pastry. It was divine – Use this for your tarts from now on and instead for the rice malt / maple syrup in it, add a touch of very cold water to bring it together for savoury tarts and quiches. If you don’t have a dairy intolerance, of course butter is king in pastry. Ghee worked beautifully though, so if you need to be casein / lactose free, go for it.

The filling is far less sweet than the classic pecan pie and we all actually felt nourished, not sick, after our slices. AND, we didn’t feel tempted by more – the ‘off switch’ from eating real, nourishing food, was loud and clear. I think that’s the main think I notice about balanced, nourishing treats. They actually fill you up and tell you when you stop.

My friend Jason had huge a bite of one of my coconut cupcakes a while ago and then after finishing his mouthful, said “I’d forgotten I wasn’t eating a vacuous airy white flour / white sugar cupcake. With your baking I have to take smaller bites and take time to eat it. You can’t just inhale a cupcake like you normally can.”

I think that speaks volumes about why I choose to create sweet treats the way I do. It’s about nourishment and wherever possible, adapting the recipes to allow lots of people to enjoy them, regardless of allergy – Sorry to the egg and nut allergy people. This one’s not for you!

When you make the tart, use @lowtoxlife and #alexxstuart on instagram so I can find your pics. I hope you love it as much as we did as a family yesterday.

40 years of marriage. wow. Cheers to my mum and dad on an amazing accomplishment and for teaching me the value of commitment, when it most counts.

Sticky Pecan & Hazelnut Tart Recipe



  • 1 pc Tart tin – quiche tin of some sort. I used this gorgeous rectangular tart tin – 13cm x 35cm.


  • Pop all your flours in your food processor or thermomix and pulse to combine and aerate.
  • Add your super chilled ‘fats’ of choice
  • Whisky your egg, vanilla and syrup together
  • Add about 2/3 of this mixture slowly over 3-4 seconds into the processor. Has it gone to clumps? You’re done. Has it not? Add a tiny bit more.
  • Save the leftovers of this mixture for a batch of French toast!
  • Spatula out onto unbleached parchment paper and shape into a ball and pop in fridge for 30 minutes to make it more workable.
  • Preheat oven to 180C / 350F fan forced OR 200C / 400F non fan forced oven
  • While the pastry is resting, pop all the nuts onto a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes in the oven. If you’re using activated nuts, no need to do this step, but if they’re plain, raw nuts, this is crucial. Take out and let cool as you work on other things.
  • Now, line your quiche / tart tin with coconut oil or butter and then dust with buckwheat flour and shake off excess. This will help you when it comes to dislodging the tart later on!
  • Plop your pastry blob into the tin and dust your hands with buckwheat to avoid sticking and start working the pastry to all the corners evenly to about 1/2 cm thick all round. Any excess – make a couple of short bread cookies out of it while you’re blind baking the base!
  • Now, place parchment on top and weight it down with raw beans, rice grains or pastry weights and blind bake in the oven for 10 minutes with the weights in, and a further 5 minutes without – this will mean your base isn’t soggy for the finished product later – I despise soggy bottoms as much as the next guy!
  • Now, take the pastry shell out when you’ve just noticed a little bit of light golden action around the edges – This will mean you won’t have burnt ones later.
  • PRO TIP: This pastry doubles as a delicious short bread biscuit – just roll little balls once chilled and press down onto parchment paper with a fork to flatten and bake for 15-20 minutes on 200C / 400F or until golden. Delicious with a cup of tea!


  • Warm the syrup / honey, butter / ghee / coconut oil, cream and spices until all well combined.
  • Whisky egg yolks and pour very slowly your above liquid mix into the yolks, while continuing to whisk to avoid the yolk cooking.
  • Place the hazelnuts into the pastry shell, naked!
  • Then pour your liquid over the top, leaving back 100ml liquid to go over the pecans afterwards
  • Now, layer your pecans over the top in whatever pretty pattern you fancy
  • Now drizzle the rest of the mixture over the pecans (keep a little back if it’s going to overflow. We don’t want that, and everyone’s quiche / tart tins are going to vary a little here)
  • OPTIONAL: Sprinkle a little coconut sugar over the top of your tart. Not necessary, but will create a nice crust over the top.
  • Now bake everything together in the oven for 30 minutes until well caramelised and pastry is a deep golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool.
  • Then, to dislodge safely without ruining the corner bits of the tart, check out hubby’s tip to dislodge the corners from the tin effectively – slide the knife to the corner and apply a little pressure up, and do that to all 4 corners before pressing from the centre – you’re welcome, he says 🙂
  • Serve with double cream, coconut cream, my lemony coconut custard or my instant ice cream for a dessert that will take you all the way to heaven.

Comments 2

  1. Oh my gawd, Alexx, I have been searching for a recipe like this! Just one question – isn’t ghee made from dairy? My hubby is dairy intolerant and we’ve had no love with lactose-free products either.

    1. Post

      Ghee is clarified butter. There is no cassein or lactose left in ghee. So while it wouldn’t suit a vegan who doesn’t have any animal products at all, for an allergy / intolerance person, it’s great because those things that a dairy allergy person can’t have, aren’t in the ghee. Very excellent nourishment too! 🙂

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