From nutritionist and cook Jacqueline Alwill:
Almond meal makes a wonderful substitute for wheat flour in sweet and savoury pastries. The fat in the almonds holds together to give a lovely ‘short’ pastry, while also nourishing your body with some good-quality essential fats, which stabilise blood sugar and energy levels.
Shortbread (makes 24)
- 200 g (7 oz/2 cups) almond meal
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 4 tablespoons rice malt syrup
- a generous pinch of sea salt
- 2 pinches of vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons strained passionfruit pulp
- 2 eggs
- 2 extra egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- Serve with a few thin strips of lemon zest (optional)
To make the shortbread
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray (baking sheet) with baking paper. Combine all of the ingredients for the shortbread in a small bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed. Using a small spoon, scoop spoonfuls of dough, roll them gently in your hands, then flatten them gently into rounds on the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 7–10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Keep checking to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from the oven, then allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray.
To make the passionfruit curd
Place a small stainless-steel bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Turn the heat down to low. Pour in the lemon juice, passionfruit pulp, eggs, extra egg yolks and maple syrup, whisking with electric beaters until combined. Gradually whisk in the coconut oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is completely melted.
Increase the heat to medium, continuing to whisk. The mixture should gradually become thicker until a curd consistency forms. At this point, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool completely. Place in the fridge to allow the curd to set and become firmer. Dollop spoonfuls of passionfruit curd on top of each shortbread, adding a delicate strip of lemon zest for decoration if you like, then serve.
Recipe and image from “Seasons to Share” by Jacqueline Alwill ($39.99, Murdoch Books).