Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Foraged apple bakewell tart- refined sugar free, gluten free and delicious!

Right now it seems I have an eye for apples. I see them everywhere while out and about, though it seems that everybody else does too- there's always loads at the top of the trees just out of reach, while the lower branches are bare! I did find a good few good 'uns in my village however- near the park- that were ready and reachable for foraging.

I was going to make a crumble with them but fancied something almondy, so decided on an apple bakewell tart. Has this been attempted before? I couldn't say for sure, but most likely somebody has tried it! Has it been made gluten, refined sugar and dairy free however? Most probably not!

The result of the experiment was really delicious and it's something I'll definitely make again. It was also a great recipe to make with the girls as the pastry needed no rolling out, just pressing into the pan which is great 'messy' fun, and there were plenty of apples to grate too.

My amounts for this recipe are complete guesstimates, so you may not want to try this if you like to work with exact measurements. You'll need something of a trained eye to make sure the consistencies are right, but I'll describe them best I can to help you out. I've said it before, but I think cooking this way is pretty liberating, just kinda throwing it in and using your eye to get it right. It may not have a perfect pastry or finish that would get past the judges of 'The Great British Bake Off'- but who cares! It's tasty and pretty healthy and relaxed to make, I'm ok with that...

Just please excuse the photo's, as I couldn't find the camera anywhere, I was in a rush and I resorted to my camera phone. I'll re-photograph at some point!

Pastry ingredients:
2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp coconut oil
A good glug of olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Enough water to bring it to a soft dough

Add the flours, oils and salt to a food processor. Combine till it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Keep the machine on and slowly add water, a little at a time, until it suddenly clumps together to create a ball of dough. Be careful to only add a little water at a time as it suddenly comes together- too much water and it'll be sticky.

Tip the dough into a 9 inch spring form cake pan and with your hands, press the pastry to cover the bottom and about 5cm up the sides of the pan to form a crust. You could use a loose bottom flan dish here too- whatever you prefer, as long as it is deep enough to hold the filling. When it is at about 5cm high and pretty even depth on the bottom, use your knuckles to press the edge down slightly- this gives a pretty crimp and a finished pie depth of around 4cm.

Middle layer Ingredients:
3 tbsp fruit juice sweetened jam (I used apple and elderberry- raspberry or blackberry would work well too)
5 apples, skin left on, cored and cut into quarters. You can use whatever variety you like- this actually works well with cooking apples for a less sweet finish.

Grate the apples and set aside in a bowl- this is a great job for older children!
Spoon the jam evenly over the bottom of the pie crust- you want enough to cover the whole bottom but it shouldn't be too thick.
Next make a layer of grated apples, pressing them gently down to compact them slightly in the pan.

Topping ingredients
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup (ish) almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp sugar free almond extract
2 flax eggs
1-2 tbsp maple syrup or rice syrup
125g ground almonds (I know its this amount as I used a small packs worth!)
1 tbsp brown rice flour
3 tbsp arrowroot flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Add the flours, almonds, lemon zest and bicarb to a bowl and combine.
In a jug, add the lemon juice, almond milk, almond extract, maple and flax eggs and whisk together. Tip the contents of the jug into the dry and mix to make a smooth batter- a similar consistency to if you were making a sponge cake. You can add extra milk to loosen the batter if you need to, to get it to this consistency.

Pour over the apples and bake in the oven for around 30mins until a cocktail stick comes out from the centre clean, and the pastry edge is golden.

Cool in pan for 5 mins before removing to cool.


  1. Looks fab, I have to say it's pretty impressive stuff!!!

  2. You are too kind! Especially with my dodgy photography on this one... ;) But it did taste great for sure! :)