Every now and again I am asked to develolp recipes catering for the most common food allergies, those being to wheat, gluten or dairy. One of my favourite flour substitutes of sorts in baking is nut meal.
While almond meal may seem a little more expensive at first, it makes perfect sense in cakes and tarts because it is naturally quite high in oils and keeps baked goodies wonderfully moist. To counter-balance the cost of the almond meal, I used delicious ripe figs which are currently in season and cost next to nothing. They are naturally sweet so the amount of sugar in the cakes could be reduced as well.
The batter itself is fairly simple to make, and there is little prep required for the figs. The tarts (or muffins) are best eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla (soy) ice cream on the side, but they keep well for a couple of days if you are making them in advance.
Almond and fresh fig tarts (gluten, dairy free)
These little tarts are quick and easy to whip up. If you are not into figs, try berries of all kinds, pears or plums even. Makes for a great pastry to share with large groups.
For the tarts:
- 115g almond meal
- 2 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
- 40g white sugar
- 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1/8 cup apple sauce
- 6 ripe figs
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced, 350F, gas mark 4).
To make the tarts: Cut 4 of the figs in half longways (stem to tip). Dice the remaining 2 figs into 1cm cubes.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until light and flufy. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add almond meal and apple sauce into the yolk and sugar mixture, and stir through diced figs. Fold in whites gently until the mixture is combined.
To bake: divide batter evenly between 8 cupcake liners. Push half a fig into each tart. Bake in a pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes or until the tarts are just starting to turn golden.
To serve: enjoy on their own, or with a scoop of (soy) vanilla ice cream.