Sunday, February 2, 2014

Best-Ever Lemon Tart (Autoimmune Paleo)

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Okay, I don't mean to sound boastful.. but I am really proud of this. I jotted down an ingredient list for this about a month ago, and had been daydreaming about making it ever since. So when it worked out on my first attempt, I was just beyond delighted. If you experiment with your own original recipes, you know what I mean! I was especially happy because this was my first Autoimmune Paleo dessert recipe. If you aren't familiar with the Autoimmune version of the Paleo protocol- it's very restrictive. No eggs, nuts, dairy, grains, legumes, nightshades, or sweeteners. If you're struggling with an Autoimmune disorder, I highly recommend this book. Sarah Ballantyne, from, provides some well-researched information about the cause and treatment of Autoimmune disorders.  I've only been following the protocol strictly for about 1 month. At first, I thought that there would be no way to make anything with the amount of ingredients I could have. Then I realized that following this protocol was going to be fun, because it would challenge my creativity. It would force me to make things with very minimal ingredients. It has also opened my eyes to how we can make almost anything with the same ingredients our ancestors ate. And even if you aren't following the Autoimmune Protocol, these are the healthiest version of desserts possible. Of course, they should only be eaten on occasion! Personally, I don't think we should indulge in these types of desserts more than 1-2 times a week.

So about the tart.. I would take this over any sugar-laden-lemon bar any day of the week. Seriously- it's that good. Aside from the excessive amount of dates, it's a pretty healthy dessert. Coconut, raw lemon juice, and gelatin! Gelatin, by the way, is a real super-food. I'm actually working on a blog post about the benefits of gelatin right now, so keep an eye out.

NOTES: If you aren't following the Autoimmune protocol, you can replace the dates with honey or maple syrup. If you use a light honey, your tart should come out with a nice yellow color. If you are following the SCD, you may substitute the arrowroot flour for 1.5 T of coconut flour!


      for the crust:

      for the filling: 


1. Preheat oven to 325. Start by softening your dates- for both the crust and filling. If you're short on time, just steam them for 5-7 minutes. If not, you may soak them in water overnight. 

2. In a food processor, or high speed blender (I used the Nutribullet), blend the shredded coconut for the crust. Continue blending until you have an oily paste. To achieve this, you may have to stop and scrape the sides of your blender a few times. Now, add your melted coconut oil and softened dates to the blended coconut. The oil content of shredded coconut can vary, so if you find that your mixture is too oily, you can add shredded coconut or coconut flour in increments of 1 tablespoon until the consistency is right. Press this mixture into a pie dish, or 8 by 8 baking dish. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until crust starts to brown. 


3. Blend softened dates, lemon juice, and arrowroot flour in blender or food processor. 

4. In a small sauce pan, heat water and gelatin on medium heat. Bring to a light simmer, so that the gelatin dissolves and becomes adequately distributes. Stir frequently. You will notice the water start to thicken.

5. Add the gelatin and water to your lemon mixture and blend. Pour into pie crust.

6. Refrigerate. It should take 2-3 hours the gelatin to set. 



  1. I'm sure you could use raisins, figs, apricots, etc. with the same results. I do not, however, know if you would get the same results with honey or maple syrup. You would probably need to use much less honey or maple syrup, if you used them as a substitute. Let me know how it turns out if you try it! I may take a bit of experimenting.


  2. This recipe produced a wonderful family dessert for a special occasion. With the deliciousness and flexibility of your crust recipe, I foresee many summer fruit tarts appearing on our AIP table! We've enjoyed the pumpkin and strawberries and cream tart recipes you've posted as well. Thank you and keep up the great work. The AIP is really helping me to regain the ability to function and make it through the day; I can't imagine being successful eating this way if there weren't blogs like yours to refer to.

    1. Heather,

      This just made me happy beyond measure! I am so glad your family liked it. I have made so many fillings with this crust, and you just can't go wrong.


  3. This looks so great!! Can't wait to make this!!

  4. I have agar agar flakes… do you think I could sub that for gelatine?
    Thanks :)

  5. This recipe made 6 muffin size cakes. Delicious!!!!


All recipes are original creations by Tyler Peacock (The Primitive Homemaker), unless otherwise noted. If you wish to use a recipe on your own recipe or blog, please provide your readers with the link to my original recipe.