Desserts and breakfast treats have, by far been the hardest items for me to replicate in a gluten-free version. They also are the things that MarocBaba misses the most. I think we all miss it. I haven’t felt like it’s fair to enjoy these treats when I know he can’t. Instead I’ve been flexing all of the culinary skills I can muster to try and make gluten-free copies. There used to be a bakery in our town that had the most amazing French pastries including an apricot galette that I went crazy for. I had some free time one weekend, lots of apples and pears in my fridge that needed to be used, and a fresh stock of gluten free flours on hand. There was only one thing to be done – BAKE!
2 cups coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
11/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xantham gum
1 stick or 4oz of cold butter cut into cubes
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
1/4 c Jarlsberg cheese grated finely
1/4 c ice water
2 apples peeled, cored and sliced thinly
2 pears (use a firm variety) peeled, cored and sliced thinly
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
A few shakes of cinnamon (add it to your taste – we’re not big fans)
To Make the Crust
Add the coconut flour, almond flour, xantham gum, sugar and salt to a food processor. Begin to pulse and add the butter and vegetable shortening. Continue to pulse until there are no large pieces left and the dough looks like bread crumbs. Mix in the grated Jarlsberg cheese and slowly add the water just until the dough comes together.
Warp the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours but up to 24 hours.
To Make the Filling
Preheat oven to 400F
Mix the apples and pears with the cornstarch to ensure that all of the apples are coated. Then add the lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and mix well.
Remove dough from the fridge and divide into four equal parts. You also could make one very large galette. Allow the dough to warm up a little. Lightly dust a cutting board with coconut flour or almond flour and press out the dough. I found that using a rolling pin caused the dough to stick too much. You will want to create a round disc shape.
In the middle of the disc layout the apple/pear mixture. You can lay it out in a circular design or just pile in the fruit – either way it tastes great!
Fold up the edges of the galette. It WILL NOT cover the full top of the pastry – it’s not supposed to. If the dough buckles or even crumbles a little bit it’s ok. This is a rustic pastry.
Slide each galette onto a baking sheet that it will not stick to. I like to use a silpat liner when baking things like this to ensure it does not stick. A sheet lined with parchment paper will also work.
Once all galettes are ready to bake, place in the oven for 20 minutes and check. The crust should be a toasted brown color and the fruit soft when you poke with a fork or knife. If they are not done at this point, continue checking every 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook – gluten-free dough is unforgiving when overcooked – you will have galette dog biscuits!
Allow the pastry to cool some before serving. I think these taste best when warm. You can top them with some more Jarlsberg cheese for an added bite!
It might seem odd to use cheese in a crust but I think it’s a great addition to a gluten-free baked item. One of the things that I have struggled with when baking gluten-free is that the consistency is either too dense like a cake or too crumbly and not binding together. Xantham gum helps to bind together the flours but the cheese in this recipe helps to stick the dough together! It also adds another flavor. Jarlsberg cheese has a mild and nutty swiss flavor. It’s not overpowering like a cheddar might be but it has enough of a tang to give a really nice flavor when paired with a flour like almond. I’ve also thought of recreating this and laying a layer of cheese on the bottom inside of the pastry. You can find more great recipes using this cheese on the Jarlsberg blog (where I played around for recipe ideas before making this!)
I am entering this recipe to win a scholarship from Jarlsberg to attend Eat, Write, Retreat 2012 in Washington DC. I was not compensated in anyway for this post and all opinions are my own. I’ve been eating Jarlsberg cheese for years and this opportunity in no way reflects my opinions of the product.