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  • Writer's pictureRita Winthrop

Pear + Parsnip Tart (vegan/gf)

Sometimes there is a quick moment where an idea comes to your head - this was one of those. After roasting some parsnips, among other veggies for dinner one night last week, I had this hunch that parsnips could be used in a dessert. With the holidays in and around us, I thought why not come up with something a little different for all those parties coming up. The crust is slightly salty and crunchy, and the filling is sweet and light. I made them using my new silicone tart molds, but these could totally be made on a large scale or even mini versions in a mini muffin tray. They are also completely vegan and gluten free. The hardest part? Lining up the thinly sliced pieces of pear and parsnip to create a rose shape :D

I start with the filling - as you'll want it to be cool when you need to handle it. First peel a large parsnip and thinly slice using a mandolin. Do the same with the pear. Try to make the slices about the same width as the depth of your pan that you intend to use. Over medium heat in a saute pan, melt one tablespoon of coconut oil. Throw in the pears and parsnips and toss to coat. Then season with one teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of vanilla, a dash of nutmeg, 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Lower heat and let them cook down until slightly soft. The maple syrup and natural juices will help to create a glaze. Turn off heat and let cool.

To start on the crust, first put 10 pitted dates into a cup of hot water. Set aside. In a food processor put coconut flour, oats, walnuts, hemp hearts, salt and then add dates. Pulse. Lastly add in 2 tablespoons of vegan butter (I like this one) and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Pulse until dough becomes slightly sticky. Divide evenly into each tart pan and press evenly. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Then bake for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove crusts from oven. Take the pear and parsnip mixture and starting from the outside edge, layer through to the middle to create a rose shape. Pour any remaining glaze in the pain over the tops of each. Place back into the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

The fruit helps to caramelize against the crust, and the combination of salty and sweet is perfect. Give this one a try this holiday season.

Pear + Parsnip Tart (vegan/gf)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes



  • 2 Bartlett pears

  • 1 large parsnip - peeled

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Dash of nutmeg

  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup


  • 3/4 cup oats

  • 3/4 cup walnuts

  • 1/8 cup hemp hearts - could use flax here or another nut

  • 1/8 cup coconut flour

  • 10 soaked pitted dates

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Peel the parsnip and then using a mandolin, thinly slice pears and parsnips. Try to have them the same width (to match the depth of your pan).

  3. In a pan over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Throw in pears and parsnips and toss to coat. Add in cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and syrup. Cook about 3-5 minutes until slightly soft. Set aside.

  4. To make the crust - put dates in a cup of hot water and set aside for a few minutes.

  5. Then add in a food processor all of the dry ingredients. Pulse and then add in the dates, butter and syrup. Pulse until sticky crust forms.

  6. Form into molds and bake for 10 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven and layer filling around the mold in the shape of a rose. Drizzle any left over glaze over each.

  8. Place back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.



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