I’ve been saving this recipe for today….national almond day (obviously). I hope you agree that it’s been worth waiting for?! There are a few processes to make this bakewell tart inspired tray bake but I promise you that it’s worth it. They are sticky with jam, chewy with nuts, full of sweet frangipane and very more-ish.
I couldn’t take them to school because of the nuts so my bookclub girlfriends lucked out and got to sample them instead. We had them with a spoonful of ice-cream and some fresh berries and I’m happy to say they were a big hit!
Whilst chatting with all the lovely ladies that evening it made me realise that not everyone is as comfortable in the kitchen as I am and not everyone understands all the ins and outs of gdfree cooking. It can be complicated I give you that, particularly when you’re just starting out. There are lots of strange ingredients that you need to find and there is lots of puzzling over recipes and trying to understand what ingredient can be replaced with what. Someone even asked me if eggs were gluten free, so there is definitely some mystery surrounding it!
I hope it may help if I include here just a few suggestions of basic store cupboard ingredients that you need in order to get started when baking and cooking gdfree. These are mostly all available at your local supermarket, some things will be in the dedicated freefrom aisle, some will be in the baking aisle and some you may have to hunt for!
- A dairy free milk like almond, coconut, soy, hazelnut or oat. All good for baking with and ones like unsweetened almond milk are also great in your cuppa.
- A dairy free vegetable spread, I use Pure sunflower and there’s also a soy and an olive oil version of it.
- Coconut milk and coconut cream for baking with, making frostings and creating creamy sauces for cooking with.
- Dairy free cream alternatives like alpro soy or oat cream.
- Dairy free custard like alpro soy or you can find df custard powder made by just whole foods but I’ve only found it online.
- Coconut oil and vegetable oil are great for baking with.
- Peanut butter and other nut butters like cashew and almond are useful.
- Large bags of cashew nuts and almonds.
- Ground almonds and desiccated coconut.
- Polenta, quinoa, rice noodles, chia seeds & flaxseeds.
- Basic gf flour (plain & self raising), gf pasta and gf bread of your choice.
- Other flours like rice flour, gram flour, coconut, almond, buckwheat or sorghum if you can find them.
- Xantham gum and gf baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Gf sausages are easy to find nowadays as are chicken/turkey sausages too.
- Gf gravy granules, stock cubes, soy sauce (called tamari) and nutritional yeast.
If there is any particular item you are struggling to find or something you don’t recognise, do message me and I’ll try to help you out. It’s taken me quite a few years to work everything out and to work out where to find everything so I’ll happily try to point you in the right direction. Enjoy your shopping trip and when you get back you can make yourself these cherry & almond slices as a treat!
Cherry & Almond Slices
You will need this for the base:
125g vegetable butter
140g white maize flour
125g soft brown sugar
40g ground almond
tsp vanilla bean paste
You will need this for the frangipane layer:
175g soft brown sugar
140g ground almonds
175g vegetable butter
2 tsp almond extract
You will need this for the jam layer:
100g dried cherries
6tbsp cherry jam
2tbsp agave syrup
enough hot water to make it spreadable
You will need this for the topping:
100g dried cherries
You make it like this:
- Blitz all the base ingredients together in a food processor
- Line a large rectangular tray bake type of tin and press the mixture in all over till it’s flat
- Bake at 180c for 20 mins
- Blitz all the frangipane ingredients together in a food processor
- Blitz all the jam ingredients together in a food processor
- Blitz all the topping ingredients together in a food processor
- Allow the base layer to cool before topping with the jam mixture
- Then pour over the frangipane layer and make sure to spread it right out to the edges
- Lastly sprinkle with the cherry almond crumble and flatten with your hand
- Bake at 180c for 30mins covering with tin foil halfway through so the top doesn’t burn