almond apple pie with cinnamon & caramel___

Apples and cinnamon are old school staples of the Scandinavian culinary world. Gluten and grain free, this apple pie has the best of many worlds with a chewy, marzipan style crust, a pecan pie style filling, and a crunchy, salted caramel topping much like the one of a traditional Tosca cake. And of course, it’s packed with thinly sliced, tart apples. It has to be tried…

gluten & grain free almond apple pie with salted caramel & cinnamon
ingredients crust

1½ cup almond flour
¾ cup palm sugar
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter

directions crust

Cut butter into small cubes and use your fingers to work it into the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.

Push the dough into the bottom and sides of a large pie pan or a small springform pan. The pie in the picture was made in a small, 8″ pan, but it works really well in a larger pan as well, it will just end up a little thinner.

Cover pie edges with tinfoil to avoid burning and prebake at 350F/175C for 12 minutes.

ingredients filling

4-5 thinly sliced tart apples (peeled or unpeeled)
¼ cup melted butter
2 eggs
½ cup palm sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder

directions filling

Place thinly sliced apples at the bottom of the prebaked crust.

Stir all remaining ingredients together and pour the batter over the apples. Carefully move the apple slices around a bit to let some of the batter sink into the layer of apples.

Bake at 350F/175C for 35 minutes before adding the topping (below).

ingredients topping

½ cup butter
½ cup palm sugar
2 tablespoons cream (or milk)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced almonds

directions topping

Bring butter, palm sugar, cream and salt to a medium boil while stirring. Let boil for 5 minutes.

Take off the heat, stir in sliced almonds and set aside until the cake is ready.

Carefully spoon and spread the almond caramel over the top of the warm cake and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Served lukewarm or chilled with whipped cream.

almond apple pie with cinnamon & caramel_--

Photography by Philip Blankenship.

Homemade Burrata, Pesto and GF Bread_

Burrata is like an especially fresh mozzarella pouch, so soft and creamy in the center it pours out when opened. With this recipe you can choose to make burrata pouches, pure mozzarella balls or just the burrata filling. Take it all the way with homemade pesto and fresh, gluten free bread with sorghum, brown rice, buckwheat and sunflower seeds.

I love making my own cheese and do it quite often. There are so many options and another favorite is Homemade Halloumi Salad with kumquats, herb roasted pecans and champagne vinaigrette. Even people who don’t usually like salad can’t get enough of it. Grateful to live in a place where I can legally get raw milk, I rarely use anything else for cheese making. For best result, use the least processed milk you can find and make sure it has not been ultra pasteurized, or even heated above 172F/78C, or it will not work.

gluten free bread with sorghum, brown rice, buckwheat and sunflower seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almond flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup brown rice flour
½ cup buckwheat
½ cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca starch
½ cup milk powder
¼ cup psyllium husks
¼ cup flax meal
1 tablespoon guar gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
2½ cups milk (or water)
2 tabelespoons honey
1 packet active dry yeast (0.25 oz)
2 large eggs
sea salt flakes to sprinkle on top


Mix dry ingredients from pumpkin seeds to salt and set aside.

Melt butter with honey and stir until melted. Add milk (or water) and heat until lukewarm, about 100-110F/40-43C.

Take liquid off the heat and sprinkle with the dry yeast, stir and set aside until bubbles form on the surface, about 10 minutes.

Pour liquid over dry ingredients, add eggs, and stir until blended.

Scoop dough into a buttered or parchment lined bread pan and sprinkle some sunflower seeds and sea salt flakes on top. Bake at 300F/150C for 75-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 210F/100C.

Remove bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

burrata, pesto & bread

homemade burrata (or choose to make mozzarella or simply burrata filling)

1 gallon whole milk, raw if possible
1½ teaspoon citric acid (find here)
10 drops liquid rennet or ½ rennet tablet (find here)
4-5 tablespoons heavy cream, raw if possible
Himalayan pink salt


Using s stainless steel pot, heat milk to 95F/35C.

Dissolve citric acid in a a few tablespoons of cold, non chlorinated water and add it to the milk while stirring.

Take the milk off the heat before adding the rennet. If using rennet tablets, dissolve in a couple of tablespoons of non chlorinated water first. Stir gently just a few times before letting the mixture rest for about 10-15 minutes to allow the curd to separate from the whey. This will create one soft, coagulated, semisolid piece of curd floating in the whey.

Cut the curd vertically into one inch cubes.

Slowly bring the whey back to 105F/40C while swirling or gently stirring, but avoiding to further break up, the pieces of curd.

When the liquid reaches 105F/40C, take it off the heat and gently move the pieces of curd around to evenly distribute the heat for about 10 minutes.

Strain the curd in a colander to drain out most of the liquid.

Leaving the bigger masses in the warm whey, remove about ¼-1/3 of the curd and place in a small bowl. Using a fork or your fingers, tear the curd into small pieces to create a ricotta or a small curd cottage cheese texture. Stir in heavy cream to desired consistency and set aside. This will make the burrata filling.

*To make burrata filling only, break up all the curds and stir in about ¾-1 cup cream.

*To make pure mozzarella balls, skip above step all together.

Drain the remaining curd well before adding it to hot, salted water to soften and melt like cheese. Keep the water as hot as you can handle and using your fingers, knead the cheese masses until they get soft, shiny and elastic. Create 3-4 cheese balls, adding more salted hot water as needed.

Stretch each ball into a flat disc, fill with the burrata filling and pull edges together to create a pouch. Bring the filled pouch back into the hot water and hold it still to melt and seal the top.

*To make pure Mozzarella balls, make cheese balls instead of disks. Store in lightly salted, non chlorinated water.

Keep refrigerated.


2 cups packed basil leaves
½ cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated romano or parmesan-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Process basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor to a fine paste.

Continue to process while slowly dribbling in all the olive oil.

Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and pulse until the mixture is blended and smooth.

Keep refrigerated.

Decorated with fresh basil leaves, african basil flowers, bacon crumbles and garlic scapes.

garlic scapes

Garlic Skapes

 Photography by Philip Blankenship.

Honey Glazed Pistachio Elder Flower Mini Bundt Cakes

A few days ago I picked warm elderberries off a bush on a sunny hillside in Aspen. The magpies clearly objected to sharing their luscious treats and I would have been scared not to leave plenty for them to feast on for a long time to come. This recipe use the distinct flavor, delicious pre-berry elderflowers. Both the berries and the blossoms can be frozen and used as needed. If you still have flowers, use this recipe for homemade elderflower cordial. Pre-made cordial/syrup can be found in grocery stores around the country or ordered here and here.

I used raw organic pistachio flour from Santa Barbara Pistachio Company. You can also make your own by simply grounding unsalted pistachio nuts or use almond or hazelnut flour instead.

bundt cakes

2 cups pistachio flour
½ cup rice flower
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon guar gum
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup palm sugar
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup + 6 teaspoons elderflower cordial – recipe for homemade here
elderflower flavored whipped honey (recipe below)
¼ cup roughly chopped unsalted pistachios


Mix dry ingredients (from pistachio flour to salt) and set aside.

Separate eggs and set aside.

Whip butter and palm sugar until light and fluffy.

Continue to whip while adding one yolk at the time.

Add ¼ cup elderflower cordial and sour cream to the butter and sugar mixture and stir only until incorporated.

Add dry ingredients and stir only until incorporated.

Whip egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Gently fold a third of the egg whites into the cake mixture. Repeat with the rest of the egg whites.

Pour mixture into a prepared mini bundt cake pan (making 6) or one large bundt pan.

Bake at 325F – 35 minutes for mini cakes and 45 minutes for a large cake – or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Pour about 1 teaspoon elderflower cordial over each mini cake and set aside to cool.

Glaze cakes with elderflower flavored whipped honey and top with chopped pistachios.

elderflower flavored whipped honey glaze

½ cup honey
2 tablespoons elderflower cordial


Beat honey and cordial with an electric mixer until white and fluffy.

Makes 6 small or one large bundt cake.

Honey Glazed Pistachio Elder Flower Mini Bundt Cakes-

Photography by Philip Blankenship.


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