One day I was at the health food store and I saw coconut flour. Pfft. What the hell is that? Just another marketing gimmick to take in the latest dietary fad. If it isn't a hatred of gluten it's a hatred of food grown in the ground by farmers, the lifeblood of our country. Thanks a lot Paleo dieters. In fact Bob's Red Mill was asking a colossal $27.95 a kilo for his organic fare! I'd rather grind the coins up and use them as flour than pay him that exorbitant price.
Then, one lonely day, I was wandering through Scoop Whole Foods in Mosman and happened upon the same product at a much more reasonable $12/kilo, so I picked one up. I needed the exercise anyway. I returned home and decided to give it a quick whirl in a vegetable souffle I was whipping up. About 5 minutes after serving my sister in her room at her desk I heard these odd buffalo-like noises eminating from behind her door. She was either orgasming or dying, and I didn't want to clean either occurence up so I pretended not to hear. Exactly 3 minutes later she came bounding out with bits of egg white plastered all over her face babbling about how incredible my veggie souffle was. OHMAGODITWASAMAZINGSOSWEETANDLIGHTYUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!!!!
Since this night it has become my little secret, something I like to sneak in to savoury recipes to send the diner in to a whole new plane of deliciousness. It doesn't work brilliantly in baked goods unless used with a relatively sturdy starch or some xanthan gum or other thickener, however if you get the ratio right (which I have) it will propel your sweet treats in to a heavenly place that exists only in Adriano Zumbo's famous patisseries and the entire country of France, where baked goods are an art form. Unbelievably, coconut flour is both gluten free and paleo friendly, so both those diets are catered for.
This recipe, I came home last week after recieving a text from my mate. She'd had a rough day at work and was having a rough time of it in general. I had half an hour to prep before I had to be out the door, and I managed to do all of this in 20 minutes, threw them in the oven, got home, almost died of pleasure smelling my apple slice, then almost died of pain dividing it up and giving half of it away. Still, well worth it. Here is the recipe, based loosely on a Super Food Ideas original from their January Issue
Gluten Free Apple SliceTime: Prep - 20 mins, Cook 40 mins
400g can of Pie Apple Slices
185g Butter (proper butter, Lurpak or Allowrie), slightly softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1 cup Buckwheat Flour (other flours that would work: Brown Rice flour, Almond Meal, Soy Flour, glutinous white rice flour)
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla essence
extra caster sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius, grease and line an 18cm x 28cm slice pan. Drain the apple.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes on a medium high setting. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour and spices, and beat on a low setting until combined.
3. Turn half the dough on to slice pan and press down hard with a spoon dipped in water (to prevent sticking). Ensure you have nice straight edges and the top is level. Spoon the apple over the top of the dough layer, trying to keep it as level as possible, and then spoon the other half of the dough mixture over the top of the apple, again pressing down with a wet spoon to create a level surface. Sprinkle the top with the extra caster sugar
4. Bake for 40 minutes of until golden and firm, and allow to cool in pan before slicing.