Paleo ‘Hail Merry’ Lemon Tart Knock-Off

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Paleo Lemon Cheesecake - Hail Merry Knock-Off

Think lemon cheesecake.  These are raw, gluten free, AND vegan…right up my alley!

Very recently, many of my respected food blogger comrades began mentioning Hail Merry Tarts.  At the recent Food Allergy Conference, these little morsels won “Best in Show.”

I was dying to get my hands on one of these to try them out…but none of my local stores had them yet:  they are relatively new to the market.  So then I looked at ordering some online…but because they need to be refrigerated…the shipping was something obscene like $40!  I submitted requests to both of my local natural food stores to start carrying them: I mean the way people were talking about them, I was DETERMINED to get one without going broke!

A month later (I am sure nothing to do with me), I happen to walk by the “New Products” at my local Whole Foods: and there they lay!!  (This is where to cue exalting, angelic singing)

Finally, I was going to get to try one!  I purchased one Chocolate Mint, and one Meyer Lemon Miracle Tart  And while the chocolate mint was good, the lemon really knocked my socks off!  Both of them reminded of cheesecake.  Dense, decadent, and oh so good!

I could find no knock-off recipes online, so I had to come up with  my own here.  The results are SO worth it!  Creamy, dreamy, and melt-in-your mouth, you will not be disappointed!  You can bet I will be working on a chocolate version next!

And if you prefer lime or orange over lemon, just sub the lemon ingredients for the one you’d like!  And if you like their raw chocolate macaroons, check out my knock off recipe for those!

UPDATE July 14, 2012: I have drastically changed the proportions in this recipe and left the gum out.  I have learned a lot about these ingredients since  I originally created this recipe and feel this recipe is new & improved!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Paleo 'Hail Merry' Lemon Tart Knock-Off
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • CRUST:
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest one lemon
  • Optional: stevia to taste ( I used 5 drops)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked a minimum of one hour, longer great!
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup full fat canned coconut milk or homemade thick and creamy nut milk
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup honey ( I replace half with liquid stevia equivalent)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (the lemon is optional, however it really heightens the lemon flavor)
  • Grated zest of 1-2 lemons (essential to the lemon flavor, don't leave out!)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. For the crust, process almonds in the food processor until you have a meal/flour consistency.
  2. Add in remaining crust ingredients and pulse until well blended. You should be able to press the mixture together into a crust, add more honey or lemon juice if necessary.
  3. Press into greased individual tartlet pans, muffin tins, or make them into a bar using an 8 x 8 pan.
  4. For the filling, process all ingredients until silky smooth (multiple minutes).
  5. Taste and add more sweetener if you prefer, or more lemon!
  6. Spread into the awaiting crust, and refrigerate until set and ready to eat!! Heaven!
  7. If you have leftover filling like us, we sandwiched the creamy filling in between two Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham Crackers, Smoreables. I called them "Ice Cream Sandwiches" for my kid's sake. Can you imagine a chocolate version oozing amongst these...yum!!


Paleo 'Hail Merry' Lemon Tart Knock-Off


This recipe was shared on  Mostly Homemade Monday, Hearth & Soul, Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not, GF WednesdayFoodie Friday, Real Food Friday, GF Friday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Homstead Blog Hop, Savoring Saturdays

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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68 comments on “Paleo ‘Hail Merry’ Lemon Tart Knock-Off
  1. Whitney says:

    This looks delicious. I love the Hail Merry Tarts! Would you please tell me where I can find guar gum?
    Thanks, Whitney

  2. Hi WHITNEY, THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! Guar gum and xanthum gum are sometimes in bulk in natural food stores, and they are also sold in little bags by the rest of the baking flours, ask a store associate if you need help finding it! They can be used interchangeably, however guar gum is cheaper! The items are also online. I pay about$6 for an 8 ounce bag of guar gum that last me months, and xanthum gum is more like $13 a bag.

  3. Michelle says:

    I'm so excited to try this – I lOVE the Hail Merry tarts!! Thank you :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for taking the time to craft this recipe and share it! I can't wait to try it. I'm curious: did you try making it using only the ingredients listed on the Hail Merry packaging? For example, instead of coconut milk, did you try using coconut butter? And have you tried it without guar gum? I wouldn't mind trying to make this with just the ingredients on the packaging. Thanks again!

  5. I did try keeping things as close to the hail merry ingredients as possible….but had to tweak when it wasn't thick enough. I will keep trying every time I make this though! I think I might have enough practice with all these ingredients now to have a good go at it! If I do, I will update this recipe!

  6. beccalouise says:

    Please Please try the chocolate one (not the mint)!!! I have attempted it a few times and the results were very good tasting, but not quite the same as theirs. I tried to reverse engineer it so to speak using their ingredients listed on the package since I know the first ingredient listed is the biggest quantity in the recipe, and so on. My tries tasted good and not too far off, but was kind of sticky and would not come out of the container I poured it into to imitate the tart shape. Any ideas? I am DYING for a good recipe and I find none on the web so far.

  7. Will do! I was so drawn to the lemon version, I went for it first!! I have a lot more experience with all these ingredients now, so hopefully it won;t take me too long to figure it out!
    On the sticking….what did you use as a crust? Stickiness suggests too much moisture…..

  8. Linda says:

    It’s amazing how smooth and creamy that looks! Thanks for sharing a lemon recipe for this month’s theme.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Had my first Hail Mary tart today and googled for a knock-off. Cannot wait to try this. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hope you enjoy it Stephanie!! I have been playing around with the recipe…I have since learned loads about the ingredients and can use just the package ingredients. I will post changes soon…it leaves the guar gum out and adds coconut/or coconut butter. Slightly different ratios (and I now sweeten exclusively with stevia or a bit of honey or coconut nectar.)

  10. Amanda says:

    This cheesecake looks absolutely fantastic! I love the thought of adding lemon to the crust!

  11. Carole says:

    Looking good. Found you via Beyond the Peel’s Keep it Real Thursday. I linked in a simple salmon pizza. Have a nice week.

  12. Tessa, darling, when do you sleep? Seriously, you are AMAZING. I love how you’ve created this knockoff recipe and improved it more. You are the queen of Hail Merry knockoff recipes … love you for it!


    • This is in old recipe Shirley…I have been quite missing from my blog this summer actually!! With all three kiddos home, life is crazy busy and there is not much time leftover for me and my passion! Fall will be here soon enough and I will have more time again! My goal is once a week for now….

  13. April Harris says:

    I love anything lemony, and your Hail Mary Lemon Tart Knock-off sounds just delicious. I like all the lovely wholesome ingredients you have used as well.

  14. Adele L says:

    These look wonderful. I have a nut (peanuts and tree nuts) allergy.
    Is there any way to make them without all the nuts. Lemon tarts were my favorite before going gf in 2008

  15. Diane Balch says:

    Allergy free or not this sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe on foodie friday.

  16. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Tessa,
    You sound like you are as determined to get something right as I am and we are sure glad you are. Your new recipe for the Hail Merry Lemon Tart Knock Off looks delicious, looks like you got it right. Hope you are having a great summer week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  17. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  18. Mari says:

    My daughter will love this! Thanks!

  19. Tessa, these sound divine! I’ve never been a big fan of lemon, but my son and husband are. So, looks like I’ll be giving this recipe a try in the near future. Thank you for sharing in our linky this week ☺

  20. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later today when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  21. Meghan says:

    As a strict vegan, I don’t eat honey. Can I sub agave?

  22. Paula says:

    I want to make this recipe but it seems that it’s missing directions. I have tried to print this and it prints even worse then how it shows on the screen. If you look at it it gives the ingredients list and how to make the crust, then it shows some pictures and starts mid sentence on how to make the filling but doesn’t actually tell you how. can you please fix this so I can make this. thank you!!!

  23. shastamountain says:

    I made this today!!! OH EM GEE!! Just like Hail Merry! Thank you so much for your smarts. It truly is an identical match.

  24. Laura says:

    I made these tarts in little muffin cups and wow, what a treat! Soooo lemony and delicious! What a great recipe! Next time, I’m going to use dates in the crust as the sweetener.

  25. Natalie Leo says:

    Hi Tessa,
    I have a question about the Hail Mary lemon tarts. In the crust and the filling you say to use vanilla. Do you mean vanilla extract? I just bought the Stevia Vanilla. Also for the zest of one lemon, is the whole lemon zested? Thanks,

  26. Dawn says:

    Do you know what the 1 cup of almonds ground equals. I have almond meal and almond flour and would like to use that if possible. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

  27. Suzanne Morss says:

    This was soooooooo easy to make, and absolutely delicious! It’s so close to the taste that I would probably not know the difference. Thanks so much.

  28. Irish says:

    Thanks so much for all your tips. I’m mom new to kids with food allergies so really thankful for your shared knowledge. Any idea how many days in fridge this would keep well? (I’m hosting a dinner party and wondering if I can make it a couple days early)

    • Hi Irish! These should keep well for a few days at least in freezer….i am pretty sure I have had it last around a week before it was all slicked up (:

      If you need any help or support figuring things out as a new food allergy mom, please let me know!

      • Irish says:

        Hi Tessa,
        Thank you again for your support and quick response to my question – sorry I have been slow at following up! Made Tart for company and it turned out AMAZING. I ended up making it the day before b/c I was running late BUT the leftovers lasted well for about 3 days after – still tasty on day 4 but crust was a bit soggy for company. My family ate it all up before I was able to experiment with a piece in the freezer – next time 😉

        Also – I doubled the recipe and used a deep-dish (lecruset) pie dish and the filling amount for this was PERFECT – it truly did look like a lovely cheesecake! I used adtl. lemon zest (one more lemon) and added 4 drops regular liquid stevia as opposed to your vanilla cream because I only had regular – it was extra tart and tangy which was great. I also used trader joe’s coconut cream as opposed to whole fat of another variety only because I had it on hand. Don’t love the adtl. ingredients in TJ coconut cream so next time will not do that but needed to use it up. ALSO – one of my little ones is allergic to cashews so I used macadamia nuts instead – I poured hot boiling hot water over, let cool and soaked them over night in fridge. . . The filling was a bit grainy but I think this might be more due to me using my cuisenart food processor to puree instead of vitamix type blender which I don’t own. . . either way it turned out SO delicious – all company enjoyed and we are so thankful for the awesome recipe!!

  29. Marla says:

    Sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing – this would be a great desert for Easter dinner. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesdays. Have a wonderful and healthy Easter season.
    Marla recently posted…“4 Springtime Vegetables For A Green Party!”My Profile

  30. Miz Helen says:

    I would love your Lemon Tart, it looks awesome! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday today, it is great to have you at the party. Hope you have a very special week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted…Whats For Dinner Next Week 4-13-14 to 4-21-14My Profile

  31. Karen says:

    I’m not so big on the chocolate mint tart they offer but the straight up chocolate one……..Oh… Yeah. Please replicate that!

  32. Thanks for sharing on Mostly Homemade Mondays! Please join us again tomorrow :)

    Kelli (

  33. This sounds delicious, Tessa! It’s lovely to see a recipe for a lemon tart that is so very allergy friend, and Paleo too! Pinned to my Paleo board on Pinterest :-) Thank you for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.
    April @ The 21st Century Housewife recently posted…Blood Orange No Churn Ice CreamMy Profile

  34. Laurie says:

    Your Tip Me Tuesday link is incredible this week Tessa! In fact, my readers would love to bookmark it in their craft rooms. Did you know that if you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then Tip Junkie readers can favorite it which instantly bookmarks it so they can find it later? {Whoohoo!} ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

  35. Love lemon, and anything cheesecake like, pinned this recipe for future use. Thanks for sharing with us again on Real Food Fridays.
    Joyce @ It’s Your Life recently posted…Tuesdays With a Twist #53 Link UpMy Profile

  36. Janine says:

    Yum! Looks like our easter dessert is decided. Thanks for sharing on Real food Fridays. You are one of my features this week.
    Janine@ My lamp is full
    Janine recently posted…Love Your guts: Part 2My Profile

  37. Julia says:

    I will be featuring this recipe tomorrow on Tasty Tuesday! Make sure you stop by and check out our new party and grab a featured button!

    Julia @ Mini Van Dreams

  38. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Its live now!


  39. I have been doing the paleo diet for a few years now, and I haven’t come across anything that looks this good! I am making these this weekend. recently posted…Essential Oils For Weight LossMy Profile

  40. Mindy says:

    Hi. I have to say I am VERY impressed with this recipe. The flavor profile is excellent- you did great! I LOVE Hail Merry products, but the price tag on them is a little insane. Any chance you have a recipe for the chocolate mint? I have seen a few other hail merry attempts online- but yours so far has blown me away and would love to try your chocolate mint version :)

  41. Lauren says:

    I made these for Christmas this past year…and it was amazing. So much so that when I had company again 2 weeks later, I made it again.
    Fast forward almost 6 months, and I finally see the actual “Hail Merry” tarts in my local store. So I picked up the Lemon and Chocolate.
    Can I tell you that I love love love your recipe- better than the original??
    I imagine part of it is that the raw ingredients are assembled and eaten quickly. But your crust is less salty with a better flavor and consistency, and your filling is so much more Lemony! So Thank you again for your hard work. I will continue to make your recipe again and again! I have to be sure to have company so I don’t eat them all myself :)
    My mouth is actually watering for your super lemony recipe even though the HM one is sitting in my fridge.

    • That is some pretty lofty praise Lauren..thank you! I have fun writing recipes for this blog and wish I had even MORE time to devote to it! Comments are the fuel that help keep me going though, so thanks for taking the time to let me know they (my recipes) are being used!!

      • Lauren says:

        No problem!
        I always take a look to see if there are people who actually made a recipe in the comment section (as opposed to just saying it looks good)- I like to get an idea about it- if people though it was good/bad, too sweet/salty etc. It can be disappointing to make a new recipe with expensive ingredients, and find out that the outcome is not so delicious. I have been gluten and dairy free for years and was happy to come across raw/paleo desserts that use “real” ingredients as opposed to trying to substitute a regular recipe.
        Considering the happy faces of the people I served the lemon tarts (bars?) to, as well as my own excitement, I figured you should know :)

        Thanks again!

  42. All things lemon are appealing to me right now! I need to try this tart!
    Julia @ Swirls and Spice recently posted…Berry Lemon Oven PancakeMy Profile

  43. Marla says:

    Hi Tessa,
    Just a note to let you know that I have chosen your post as one of my features for this weeks Real Food Fridays blog hop that goes live Thursday @ 7pm EST. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays!
    Marla recently posted…“6 Spring Eco-Friendly Home Makeover!”My Profile

  44. Rachel says:

    Oh wow these look fabulous! :) Love that tart pan!

  45. marica says:

    DELICIOUS! Added EXTRA lemon juice and rind and OMG this is a perfect, easy go-to recipe. My guests were blown away! THANKS!!!

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Paleo ‘Hail Merry’ Lemon Tart Knock-Off"
  1. […] the Hail Merry Choco Macaroons ingredient list (and they are JUST as yummy!).  And if you like Hail Merry Lemon Tarts, see my knock off […]

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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