I typically make apple turnovers once a year: for Christmas morning as a “birthday cake” for Jesus. This year, I also made them the day after Christmas for my mom’s birthday breakfast along with a frittata. My mom has issues with gluten and has been off the gluten wagon since April. So, this year, I made her a gluten-free apple turn over with almond flour.
This crust recipe is about as different as can be from my tried-and-true flour crust recipe that was passed down from my grandmother. Her recipe used Crisco, which I stopped using because it was high in trans fats, or trans-fatty acids. The trans fats in Crisco were found to significantly increase your risk of heart disease in several studies, so the company changed to using partially hydrogenated soybean oil. The soybeans are genetically modified and the hydrogenation process changes unsaturated fat to saturated fat.
It’s all a bit confusing. The main thing to remember is that if it’s highly processed, it’s almost always very bad for your health. Use organic, grass-fed butter. I mention this up because I’m surprised at how many people still using Crisco (or shortening) in their recipes!
If it wasn’t for my mom, I doubt I would have attempted a gluten-free crust. Without the gluten, the dough is hard to work with and crumbly. In fact, I could not fold one side of the dough over the apples to the other side (180 degrees) without it breaking.
Instead, I made a mound of the cooked apples in the middle and gently placed each of the four sides on top of the mound, leaving a bit of a gap on top. And because of the crumble-factor, I used a large flat spatula to maneuver it on to the baking sheet. It turned out amazingly tasty, and was well worth the extra time. Don’t try this for the first time if you’re in a rush. But if you have some extra time and are in a patient mood, give it a try. Bon appétit!
2 cups blanched almond flour (I buy 5 lbs of organic flour from Food To Live)
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp melted organic butter
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (organic)
1 large egg
4 medium organic apples (peel and slice)
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp stevia (as a substitute 1 cup organic sugar)
½ to 1 cup brown sugar
Water to cover the apples in a medium sauce pan (around 1-2 cups)
Start first with the apples, because these will take the longest to cook. Peel and slice the apples and place them in the sauces pan. Add the stevia, brown sugar, cinnamon and water. With the stevia-sugar combination, it is very difficult to notice the stevia. Place on high heat and stir until the water begins to bubble. Turn it down to medium-low heat to begin the crust. Stir occasionally. Cook for about 15 minutes until there is a sauce texture to the liquid in the pan. Drain the liquid out in a collider so just the apples are left.
For the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the almond flour and salt. Then add the butter, oil and egg. Mix together until you have a dough. Place extra almond flour on the counter in order to flatten out the dough. I took ½ the dough to make one turnover. After placing some almond flour on top of the dough, I rolled it out with a rolling pin just enough to place the apples in the middle and make the folds. I baked them for about 30 minutes until they were golden brown.