Almond flour is a long time favourite in our kitchen. It is very easy to use and flavourful as well. Just a few minutes and you can pull a nice after lunch dessert together: slices of fruits in an ovenproof dish, some almond crumble on top and it goes into the hot oven. After 20 minutes your dessert is ready to serve. The other ingredient we used in this pie is new to us – we had never used palm sugar before. We bought it in our favourite Indian grocery store – it was love for first sight. For the first glimpse we loved the golden pyramids in the bag, but after we opened it, it blew us away: a wonderland of scents has opened up after taking a sniff at it – vanilla, caramel, whiskey, deep, warm and comforting.
We started to experiment with it, and used it in different kinds of contexts: making pies, cookies and crumbles, cacao and hot chocolate, caramel... We were very curious to know how its rich flavour will unfold in different combinations and consistency, how it melts by heating, caramelising or after putting it into liquid. It acts just like regular sugar, at the same time the difference is huge: it is so much more flavourful and so much healthier than white sugar. A kilo of palm sugar just dissolved in our dishes within 4-5 weeks. We haven’t even noticed it... And we are not sweet-toothed.
The palm sugar landed in our shopping bag because we were very curious of its taste and also how it will affect the body. We usually try a new ingredient by experimenting in different contexts, and we watch how it works. Only after that do we look it up what scientists say about it, because I usually find a variety of different opinions on a subject. After I have made my experience with something, it is easier for me to sort out the contradicting views.
Of course, palm sugar is not an exception either: mostly it is considered as a healthy substitute for refined sugar, because it is produced naturally and has a low-glycemic index, which makes it suitable for people with diabetes. Palm sugar is a kind of dehydrated honey since it is made from the nectar of palm trees through a drying process. It has lots of minerals and vitamins which the body can easily absorb. Scientific descriptions are very useful for gaining information, at the same time we try to collect experience with food – simply by observing how it feels to eat or drink something. Palm sugar has made it into our kitchen, because it is wonderfully tasty and we never experienced nausea after eating it, which often occurs if we eat a little more refined sugar.
Autumn-fruit pie with almond flour and palm sugar
for a 26 cm diameter pie form
- 400 g almond flour (you can mix it with ground apricot seeds 1:1)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- seed of 1 vanilla pod
- 3 tbsp. poppy seeds
- grated zest of 1 untreated lemon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 whole eggs
- 150 g coconut oil, warmed up a little to make it runny
- 4-5 pc. apples or peaches or 10 plums, washed, deseeded and cut into thin slices
- 100 g palm sugar
- Warm up the oven to 200 degrees.
- Put all the dry ingredients in a big bowl: the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla seeds, poppy seeds, lemon zest, salt. Mix it well.
- Pour the coconut oil into it, than mix everything together with the eggs.
- Pour the batter into a round cake form.
- Arrange the fruits on top nicely.
- Crumble the palm sugar over it.
- Put your pie into the warm oven, and bake it golden. This takes ca. 25-45 minutes, depending on your oven.
Tip: Before you turn off your oven, check if your pie is done or not. Take a wooden toothpick or a piece of match, and stick it into your pie in the middle. If the toothpick is dry you can be sure your pie is done, if wet, put it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Lower the flame a little so that it won’t burn.