This almond flour based low carb and paleo friendly apple rose tart, is a stunning dessert without all the added sugar. A show stopping apple recipe for fall (and beyond) to share with family and friends.
Whether it’s the crisp start of fall or you just simply love a good apple pie, a solid apple tart is a fun way to celebrate apples year round. While I love my low carb pumpkin pie, and even these delicious sweet potato pie bars, there was much needed room for a low carb apple pie recipe here at Bon Appeteach!
For years, I’ve been inspired by beautiful French apple tarts, shaped in the form of a rose that I’ve seen in various food magazines, on Pinterest, or even on Instagram. I was also inspired by the apple garnish roses I make in this rose garnish tutorial (and use in this apple cider whiskey smash too).
I wanted to find a healthier approach to this stunning dessert (something that was gluten free and lower in sugar). I knew that it needed to also be approachable and easy to recreate for my fellow inspired home bakers! Thankfully, this recipe is a LOT easier than it looks and I’m happy to share it with you here.
Below I’ve outlined commonly asked questions, nutritional notes, and a guide to using the ingredients (and possible substitutions). I’ll walk you through making this easy sugar cookie inspired crust and how to properly form your apple rose. Let’s dive in!
- Tart Pan
- Food Processor
- Rubber Spatula
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking Sheet (optional)
When most home bakers hear the word “pie” or “tart” you may think the recipe is going to be time intensive and maybe too intimidating. Luckily, my approach to this couldn’t be more simple! From the keto pie crust all the way to the rose shaped apple filling (shocking, I know), I’ll walk you through this recipe step by step.
Are apples keto friendly?
Apples don’t typically “fit” on a standard and strict keto diet (one where you need 20 grams of net carbs of less to stay in ketosis). While I don’t love the idea of any food being keto or not (because keto is a metabolic state and not a food), it is seen to be one that naturally is higher in carbs.
I think the success to finding real balance (at least for myself long term) is to find ways to enjoy healthier versions of classic recipes, including an apple pie. While I would not say this is a keto recipe, it can definitely fit on an overall lower carb and low sugar diet.
Apples range in size so therefore they range in the amount of net carbs. A smaller standard apple is approximately 15 net carbs for reference. There are two regular sized apples spread out across this entire tart.
What apples are best for baking?
Many people find that granny smith apples are best for baking (because you’re typically adding sugar). For this recipe however, I like to light and natural sweet taste of a honey crisp apple. You can use any combination of apple types you prefer.
I also think different colored apples are fun for mixing into the rose. The different colors add contrast to the final outcome and really pop!
Low Carb Sugar Cookie Tart Crust:
This tart base reminds be a bit of a sugar cookie. I actually used the same crust I make in my keto sugar cookie fruit pizza and it was a hit! Alternatively you can also use my keto pie crust or my keto graham cracker crust recipe too.
Here’s what you need:
- Almond Flour
- Allulose (low carb sweetener)
- Xanthan gum
- Vanilla Extract
Almond flour is not typically a good substitute for coconut flour. In order to sub, you often have to reduce the dry ingredients by 1/3 the amount. I feel like while it could potentially come out ok, you would not have enough dough to fill your tart pan.
Low Carb Apple Pie Filling:
This filling is fairly simple when it comes to ingredients.
Here is what I used:
- 2 Honey Crisp Apples (on the larger side)
- Allulose (low carb sweetener)
- Sukrin Gold (low carb brown sugar sub)
- Lemon Juice
- Apple Pie Spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom)
- Sea Salt
The trick to getting the apple pieces to soften a bit to be pliable to fill your tart is to mix them in the low carb sweeteners, the butter, and lemon juice. When it sits for 15-20 minutes, the apples naturally soften enough to bend.
You will need to also cut them into crescent moons around 1/8th of an inch thick as well. Apples that are too thick or too thin won’t bake evenly or be soft enough. Keep this in mind when you make your apple pieces for the inside filling.
Alright, this is the part that I wanted to really outline in more detail so you feel confident tackling this recipe head on! Here are some important baking notes and instructions to guide you through this recipe.
For the tart crust:
- I use a food processor to mix the cold butter into the dough. This is a lot harder to do by hand or in a standard mixer but it is possible.
- Spray your tart pan with non-stick spray and press the dough in by hand. Press up the sides as well to create a bit of a “seal”.
- Par-baking is key to having a cooked crust and prevents it from getting too sot from the apple mixture.
- Let it cool to room temperature before adding your apple filling.
For the apple rose filling:
- Cut the apples into four large slices around the core. This is the easiest way to be able to cut 1/8th of an inch half moon pieces. Slice all your apples and toss into a bowl.
- Add your butter, lemon juice, and spices into the apples. Then fold in the two low carb sweeteners. Let the apples rest for 15-20 minutes and stir a few times gently with a rubber spatula. When they begin to soften you can start adding them to the cooled crust.
- To form the rose, place the apple slices on a slight angle around the rim of the tart pan. Repeat each layer over and over and slightly stager the apple pieces as needed (the video will be helpful for a good visual).
- Once the layers all created, bake the apple tart for 20 minutes at 350 F. The apples will start to turn a slight golden brown and the filling may bubble a bit! Let it cool before slicing.
- For the Crust:
- 1 3/4 cups Almond Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 6 Tbsp. Cold Butter, diced into chunks
- 1 tsp. Xanthan gum
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1/4 cup Allulose Sweetener
- For the Apple Filling:
- 2 Large Apples (I like Honey Crisp)
- 1/4 cup Allulose Sweetener
- 1/4 cup Sukrin Gold
- 1 tbsp. Apple Pie Spice (or use a combo of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom)
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp. Butter, melted
- 1. I highly suggest readying through the post above and watching the video tutorial for this recipe as a guide! Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease your tart pan and set it aside.
- 2. In a food processor, combine the crust ingredients and pulse it together until it forms a solid ball of dough.
- 3. Use your hands to press the dough into the tart pan and seal the dough against the sides a bit as well. Use a fork and press a few holes into the crust to help keep it from puffing up too much.
- 4. Partially bake it for 10 minutes to set the crust and let it cool to room temperature.
- 5. While the crust bakes, slice your apples into half moon shapes that are 1/8th inches thick. Even slices here are super important for layering and even baking. Add all your sliced apples into a bowl.
- 6. Next, add your melted butter, lemon juice, and spices to the apples. Add in the sugar and mix gently and fold your apples into the dry ingredients so everything is coated and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Fold again and let it rest another 5-10 minutes or until the apples are somewhat tender and will have a slight bend to them.
- 7. Once they have softened a bit, start making your rose shape filling. You do this by layering apple slices around the edge of the pan and working your way in. After each new row of apples added, place the apple slice between the edges of two slices behind it. This stagers the seams a bit and creates a more visible and defined rose shape.
- 8. Once you reach the center, curl one apple slice into a round shape and place in the middle. Finish baking off the tart in the 350 F. oven for 20 minutes. The crust should set, the apples will be slightly golden brown and the filling may bubble a bit.
- 9. Serve warm, be sure to let it set for 20-30 minutes before slicing. Top with your favorite low carb ice cream or some keto caramel sauce.
The crust may not be as crispy as a pie crust, it's meant to mimic more of a sugar cookie. If you prefer more of a crispy crust, try my keto pie crust recipe instead.