Peanut Butter Apple Caramel Tartlets! Gluten-free bite-sized tarts made with peanut butter and oat pastry, filled with cooked apples and topped with a quick maple-caramel drizzle.
You're going to love these mini gluten-free tarts. The shells are made with peanut butter and ground quick oats, filled with cinnamon-sugar baked apples, and drizzled with a maple-caramel glaze. In short, these tartlets are amazing.
I happen to LOVE apple pie, but it's not something that works well with my meal plan. I wanted a gluten-free, whole-grain and naturally sweetened alternative that I genuinely enjoy, and these peanut butter apple-caramel tartlets check off all those boxes. While still a dessert, these mini-tarts are made with whole, refined sugar-free ingredients you can feel good about.
I used powdered peanut butter and pulverized oats for the tart crusts and added olive oil-butter blend baking sticks for moisture and fat. While made with healthier, gluten-free ingredients, these mini-tarts are just delicious as a traditional apple tart! Enjoy!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- These tartlets are a healthier, gluten-free and single-serving alternative to apple pie.
- Tartlets are the perfect elegant dessert for gatherings.
- The added peanut butter truly sets these tartlets apart from the rest -the peanut butter pastry is perfect.
- You can also make peanut butter-apple caramel tartlets with store-bought gluten-free pastry dough (or regular) to save yourself a few steps.
Ingredients You'll Need
FOR THE GLUTEN-FREE TARTLET SHELLS:
- Quick Oats: become soft and tender much quicker than rolled or steel cuts, so you won't need to bake the shells long.
- PBFit Peanut Butter Powder: enhances the peanut butter flavor and gives these tartlets a nutritional boost.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: help the pastry rise.
- Salt: enhances the pleasantly sweet and sugary flavors.
- Vanilla Extract: adds flavor and color.
- Water: to moisten the dough.
- Olive Oil Butter Blend Sticks (softened): You can also use EVOO, coconut oil or regular butter.
- Maple Sugar (or brown sugar or coconut sugar): Maple sugar is a natural sweetener that gives these mini tarts a great caramelized flavor.
- Egg: helps develop a sticky and cohesive gluten-free pasty dough.
- Creamy Peanut Butter: strengthens the dough and deepens the peanut butter flavor.
FOR THE BAKED APPLE FILLING:
- Autumn Glory Apples (finely chopped): or honey crisp, Braeburn, pink lady. Be sure to use apples that won't turn to mush under heat.
- Cinnamon: flavors the filling with a bit of warming spice.
FOR THE DRIZZLE: you'll need melted butter, maple sugar, and heavy cream. A few seconds in the microwave and these ingredients become transform into a sweet glaze perfect for drizzling over your homemade tartlets.
How To Make Apple Caramel Tartlets
Step 1: Preheat and prep the tart pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 25-cup tart pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Step 2: Grind oats.
Place oats in a food processor and grind them down into flour.
Step 3: Combine dry ingredients.
Add the ground oats, PBFit peanut butter powder, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
Step 4: Blend wet ingredients.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the butter (or oil) and maple sugar until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and continue to mix until combined.
Step 5: Blend dry and wet ingredients.
Add the dry oat mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients and blend on LOW speed until a sticky dough forms. Do not overmix.
Step 6: Drop dough.
Using tablespoon-size scoops, drop the dough in the prepared tart pan, dividing evenly between each cup. Flatten each ball of dough with a tart tamper.
Step 7: Bake.
Transfer the tart pan to your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the shells are firm and crumbly.
Step 8: Make cinnamon-apple filing.
While the shells bake, place the chopped apples in a microwave-safe dish sprinkled with cinnamon and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes or until the apples are soft and fragrant. Stir the apples and set them aside.
Step 9: Fill shells with filling:
After pulling the tart shells from the oven, press down on each with the tart tamper to make a well for the cinnamon-apple filling. Then, spoon the apple filling into each of the wells.
Step 10: Make drizzle and serve:
In a small microwave-safe dish, add a tablespoon of butter, 2 tablespoons of maple sugar and a splash of cream—microwave on LOW for 10 seconds. Immediately drizzle over peanut butter-apple caramel tartlets and serve!
- Squeeze lemon juice over the apples after you chop them to keep them from browning as quickly.
- Reserve some of the maple sugar to sprinkle over the drizzle.
- Microwave caramel chips with the apples and cinnamon to make the filling caramel-y and delicious.
Now that you have a tried and true gluten-free peanut butter tartlet shell recipe, the filling opportunities are practically endless. Instead of apples, try filling your mini-tarts with:
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Before storing, let the tartlets cool on a wire rack to room temperature and then wrap each one securely in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezing: Let tart shells cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. If not serving right away, wrap each tart crust in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature and then add your filling.
Tart shells are made with a pastry dough that becomes firm and crumbly when baked. The crusts have sturdy bottoms and shallow sides and can be filled with a variety of sweet and savory fillings. Unlike pies, tarts do not have a top layer of crust.
You can make the dough in advance and have it pressed and ready to be baked and filled with apples and drizzle.
Yes, if you'd rather use pre-made pastry dough, you can. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time to adapt to the different densities.
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Peanut Butter Apple Tartlets
- For the tarts
- 1 cup quick oats
- ½ cup PBFit peanut butter powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil butter blend sticks softened (or you can use EVOO, coconut oil or regular butter)
- ½ cup maple sugar brown sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- For the filling
- 2-3 autumn glory apples finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- For the drizzle
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoon maple sugar or brown sugar
- splash of heavy cream
- Place oats in a food processor and grind to a flour texture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Whisk ground oats, PBFit peanut butter powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend butter (or oil) and maple sugar until smooth.
- Add egg, vanilla and water and blend until mixed.
- Stir in oat mixture and blend on low speed until a sticky dough is formed.
- Spray a 24 cup tart pan with cooking spray and drop mixture in tablespoon-size scoops, dividing evenly in cups.
- Press down on each tart dough ball to slightly flatten with a tart tamper.
- Bake for 10 mins.
- While tarts are baking, place chopped apples in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Cover apples and microwave for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Stir apples and set aside until tarts are done.
- As soon as the tarts come out of the oven, press down on each with the tart tamper to make a well for the filling.
- Spoon apple filling in each of the tart shells.
- Prepare the drizzle by placing 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoon maple sugar and splash of cream in a small microwave-safe dish.
- Microwave on low setting, stirring every 10 seconds until mixture is smooth.
- Drizzle over tarts and serve.