Updated: Nov 5, 2020
With the popularity of keto diets and the increased number of celiac disease diagnosis the quest for a satisfying gluten-free substitute for wheat flour has turned into a 4.3 billion dollar business. It isn’t cheap giving up wheat.
As we enter the season of baking, I have been on a quest to find a satisfying wheat substitute. I especially want to find one that my non-celiac family members will also enjoy. I have tried almond flour, coconut flour and all-purpose gluten-free flour to varying success, but all of them have left me wishing for the ability to digest gluten. My spouse doesn’t like almonds or coconut so he wouldn’t even try my concoctions.
This week I ran across apple and pumpkin flours online. So, I decided to give them a try. I purchased a bag of Jonathan apples and decided an apple cobbler would be the perfect recipe for testing the apple flour.
Unlike the all purpose gluten-free flour I have tried that contains five ingredients, the apple flour contains just one, apples. The packaging advertises that it can be eaten raw and can be used as a sugar or flour substitute. It tastes just like dried apples.
I used my mother-in-laws pie crust recipe, which is 2 cups of sifted flour, 1 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup of vegetable shortening. The first thing I noticed about the apple flour is that it contains so much moisture that is is very clumpy. I was able to use my sifter for some of it but decided my food processor would do a better job and was much faster. The second thing I noticed is how much darker the apple flour is, it looks more like brown sugar than flour.
Next, I rolled out the dough with a rolling pin. I have a trick of rolling it between wax paper which makes transferring it to a pie pan easier and helps contain the mess. However, because of the moisture in the flour this method didn’t work very well. The dough stuck to the wax paper. So, I scraped it off and pressed it into the bottom of the pan instead.
I added peeled and sliced apples coated in cinnamon and sugar and chunks of butter then put it in the preheated 350 degree oven. Normally a pie or cobbler takes about 45 minutes to cook. This one took 1 1/2 hours. The moisture content of the flour made a huge difference. I think next time I would leave out the 1/4 cup of water in the pie crust recipe and see if that makes a difference.
How did it taste? Honestly, I didn’t really notice the crust. It just tasted like baked apples. The hubs tried it and didn’t care for it. I guess I won’t be making pie crust with it again. It could be used to thicken recipes or to add an apple flavor to smoothies or maybe gluten free muffins.
I will try the pumpkin flour soon and let you know how it turns out.