So I have been playing with pies this last week as you know, the torta della nonna and the frangipane flan were a roaring success and have sparked many, many ideas for new sweet pie recipes, but also got me to thinking about adapting the pastry to a savoury pastry. This sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Just leave out the sugar, but let us stop for a second and consider, what is the role of sugar, beyond making things sweet? What, in recipes do we use it for? Yes! That is exactly right, we use it as a glue. Think on caramel, think on toffee, think on jams, we use it to glue things together. If we remove that from this pastry, with no gluten to glue it together, what do we have? Well, we have a pastry that is not going to hold together, so we must substitute something that will act as a glue in the absence of sugar.
And here we have it, a savoury, dairy free, gluten free pastry that has held together wonderfully, here, look at it filled and cooked.
A clean cut, a nice texture and flavour, and best of all, a completely healthy pastry. So what is it?
110g almond meal
65g coconut flour
60g olive oil
20g tapioca starch
Grind the linseeds in a high powered blender or grinder, I used my NutriBullet, to a powder, mix together the dry ingredients, make a well in the centre, put the eggs and oil into the well, mix together with your hand to for a ball. Like this.
Now press that into the bottom of a loose bottomed flan tin and up the sides. I have used a 25cm one. Pop in the freezer to firm and then use with whatever filling you choose. If you are looking for inspiration we have a few coming along.
Before you bolt off to whip up a quiche filling I want to have a quick word about linseeds and linseed meal. Linseeds are a wonderful, health giving ingredient. Useful for so many things, and very often they need to be ground for us to use them in our recipes. It is very possible to buy linseed meal at the supermarket, but I never do. In their whole seed form they are stable, the instant they are ground they begin to go rancid as they are very high in volatile oils. I make a seed cracker for Convalita Gourmet. Only once did I make it with linseed meal instead of linseeds I had ground myself as I could not get whole linseeds. The crackers, which keep very happily in their air tight bag for months, went off to a long term customer in Queensland and they were returned because they tasted ‘sour’, and she was right. The ground linseed meal did not have the keeping quality that my freshly ground linseeds have, and it stuck out like dog’s balls. Never since have we used linseed meal that is pre-ground, we would sooner declare the crackers as unavailable than make that mistake twice. Take my advice Cookie House people. Invest in a small, high powered blender like a NutriBullet, they are cheap and useful for so many things.