I am still lingering in my love of all things lemon and blueberry related, and this gorgeous recipe is the pick of a fabulous bunch! We have had such an amazing harvest from our lemon tree, I am constantly looking for ways to add a little zing to my cooking. Lemon is also great for your gut, so having a splash of juice or zest is always a winner for your health.
I was inspired to make this slice after seeing this deliciousness over at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things. There is so much to love about Liz Posmyk’s site, not the least of which is her love of food and fantastic recipes! If you are at all interested in anything food and food related, you should be following Good Things – go on off you go, I can wait.
I was instantly itching to make this slice as soon as I saw it, especially when I spied all that crunchy macadamia nut goodness on the top. My love for this nut is deep and abiding. I would prefer to use macadamias over any nut and will do so at any opportunity. Raw or toasted they are so delicious I have to work hard to keep them long enough to use in a recipe!
Another main ingredient in this recipe is butter, good old fashioned, full fat butter. Anything fat related is quite divisive these days, and I dare not pretend to know what is ‘right’ here. What I know is this, I love pure natural, creamy, butter and would prefer my family have this than chemically laden margarine. Also, the more I learn about living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the more I understand that whole and natural is best. I am fortunate, in that there will be many IBS sufferers who react even to butter, due the dairy and casein, I do not. Butter, though derived from milk is low in lactose and much easier to digest than margarine, which for me causes bloating and discomfort very quickly after I consume it. So, for me, butter works and I am sticking with it!
If you do struggle with butter and prefer not to use margarine, you could also try ghee as an alternative. Ghee, a type of clarified butter, is prepared by simmering butter and removing the residue. Again, I am no expert, but I can tell you it is delicious to use in baking and general cooking and is easy on my tummy.
When cooked the apple in this slice still has good form and just a little crispiness left in it. If you prefer your cooked apples well cooked, then you could simmer the apples with a little water on the stove top before adding them. I personally like the texture the slightly under cooked apples bring to the overall product. Leaving the skin on also helps retain precious nutrients and adds lovely colour.
Here’s how I reworked Liz’s recipe;
#glutenfree #refinedsugarfree #fullflavour
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts, lightly roasted & roughly chopped
- 3 medium apples - (I used Royal Gala as it is what I had on hand, but cooking apples such as Granny Smiths would work best)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 200 grams unsalted butter or ghee, room temperature
- ⅔ cup unrefined sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
- 1⅓ cups gluten free (GF) plain flour mix
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum - (omit if flour mix contains this already)
- Lightly grease and line a 20 cm square cake tin or similar with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (non fan forced)
- Roughly chop the macadamia nuts using a food processor or sharp knife.
- Place the raw macadamia nuts on a baking tray.
- Roast in oven for approximately 5 to 8 minutes or until slightly golden.
- Allow to cool.
- Core and finely slice apples using a food processor with the thin julienne blade or sharp knife - (no need to peel unless you prefer it).
- Mix the apple and blueberries together and coat with lemon juice to add flavour and prevent browning. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or similar, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - (at LEAST 5 minutes, especially if you are using unrefined sugar as it is quite coarse).
- Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition to ensure they are well combined.
- Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon zest and GF flour mix.
- Using around half of the batter, smooth across the base of the cake tin using a spatula dipped in hot water, keeping it as even as you can.
- Layer the apple and blueberry mix over the batter, once again, as evenly as you can.
- Spread the remaining batter over the top of the apple mix, covering as well as possible.
- Top with macadamias.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until golden brown and skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the cake tin for at least 10 minutes before turning out on to a rack to cool.
It is absolutely sensational when warmed through and served with custard or ice cream.
This will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
You can find the original recipe for Bramley Apple and Macadamia Slice over at Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.
So there you have it, my gluten and refined sugar free, low lactose version of an Apple, Blueberry and Macadamia Slice. It may not be as pretty as the original, but I can assure you it tastes sensational. This recipe is definitely a new favourite in our house!
Tell me, where do you stand on the whole butter versus margarine debate?
Cook! Eat! Enjoy!