Photo: Claire Thomas
Five ingredients reign supreme at Sweet Laurel in Los Angeles: almond flour, coconut oil, organic eggs, Himalayan pink salt, and 100 percent maple syrup. They’re the foundation for everything that comes out of the shop’s busy ovens, courtesy of co-founders Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas. “These work so well together, while the flavor of each still shines through,” says Thomas. With that framework in place, the creative fun begins. The bakers enhance recipes with high-quality ingredients, hitting the farmers market to hunt down the juiciest, ripest produce. “Seasons have a big impact on our menu, inspiring treats like our fresh strawberry tart,” says Thomas. (Related: Healthy, No-Sugar-Added Dessert Recipes That Are Naturally Sweet.)
One thing the two won’t be shopping for is grains. When a health condition prompted Gallucci to change her diet, she started tinkering in her kitchen. (Try these seven grain-free alternatives.) “I’ve always loved baking and didn’t want to give it up,” she says. “I looked for a way to keep things simple but still delicious.” Out of her experimentation came a truly decadent no-grain chocolate cake. After Thomas took one taste, the idea for their bakery was born. And that strawberry tart? You can make it along with many more goodies, using their new cookbook, Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts.
Summer Strawberry Tart Recipe
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, stored at least overnight in the coldest part of the refrigerator
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 large egg
- 4 cups strawberries, a mix of whole, halved and sliced
- Open cold cans of coconut milk; the solid cream will have risen to the top. Spoon into a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high until it thickens and peaks form. Slowly fold in 2 tablespoons maple syrup and vanilla extract. Transfer to metal or glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously grease 9-inch tart pan with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt until combined. Add coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and egg and stir until mixture forms a ball. Lightly press dough into tart pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until crust is light golden brown.
- Remove pan from the oven and let cool completely. Fill crust with 2 cups coconut whipped cream and top with strawberries. Slice and serve.