A few months ago, I wrote a post about having impulsively purchased apple flour. I actually LOVE, LOVE, LOVE using this flour in baked goods, as a substitute for gums. I quit using xanthan and guar gums quite a while ago, without much problem. I find alternatives to the gums that work quite well. I bought the apple flour, which is nothing but dried, ground apples, thinking that the natural pectin in the apple flour would work well to support the structure of baked goods, and to help keep them moist. The apple flour works to do just that. It’s a little pricey, but people I know keep suggesting that I dehydrate apples and grind my own apple flour. The problem with that suggestion is that I have about a billion of those proverbial irons in the fire, and the thought of taking those two extra steps to make my own apple flour is too overwhelming at this time. The good news is that I found out through experimentation that less is more, and since so little of it works wonders, the expense may not be that prohibitive.
The way I found out that only a little apple flour is necessary in a baked good is that the first time I used it, to make pumpkin muffins (as an aside I must confess that I fell for the pumpkin shortage scare last fall and as a result, my pantry is full of cans of organic pumpkin puree – I’m still baking plenty of pumpkin everything, even though pumpkin-flavored everything season is officially over), the muffins would not finish baking. When the muffins finally reached about as done a state as I knew they would reach, I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool, and then bit into one with anticipation. The texture of the muffin was very gummy. I knew right away that too much apple flour was the problem. The apple flour, by the way, is transparent enough in flavor that nothing in which I have used it has tasted like apples. Even these muffins in which I over-used the apple flour didn’t taste like apples.
Since that first use of the apple flour, I’ve successfully used it in muffins and breads, and I am now just about out of the first bag that I purchased. I think I will have to purchase another bag! As often as I bake, though, this one pound bag has lasted from November through February, which brings me to the last muffin recipe in which I used the apple flour. For Christmas, my (totally awesome) mom gave me a GENEROUS gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma. My goodness! Looking through a Williams-Sonoma catalog or on the store’s website is actually much easier when one hasn’t the funds to purchase the products
over which she lusts that she desires. So many wonderful things from which to choose! Among the items I finally purchased is a jar of pure maple flakes, made from pure dehydrated maple.
I’d been waiting for a chance to use it, and decided that the flakes would make a wonderful addition to some cinnamon muffins I decided to bake for breakfast one day. They worked wonderfully as a topping on my muffins; they added flavor and a nice crunchy texture.
I always weigh my flours when I bake, so I can’t give a volume measurement of the amount of apple flour I use in my recipes. Generally, I use 10% to 15% – but no more than 15% – of apple flour in my recipes. Anymore than 15%, and the muffins or cakes become too gooey.
Gluten-Free Cinnamon Maple Muffins
125 g Cassava flour
75 g Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour
25 g tapioca flour
25 g Anti-Grain apple flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp Aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
1/3 cup melted butter (or coconut oil)
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Williams-Sonoma Pure Maple Flakes
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Oil the bottoms of 12 muffin cups, or line the muffin cups with cupcake liners.
-Mix all the dry ingredients, except for the maple flakes, in a medium bowl.
-In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, beaten eggs, and melted
-Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
-With a fork or a spoon, stir the mixture together just until all the dry
ingredients are moistened.
-Using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill the muffin cups. You will probably have a
little batter left over. Just use a spoon to evenly distribute the remaining
batter among the muffin cups. The cups will be full, but the batter will rise
and not spill over.
-Sprinkle the maple flakes evenly over the tops of the muffin batter.
-Bake in a 350 degree oven for about fifteen minutes, or until a toothpick
inserted comes out clean or with just a crumb or two.