Mrs Mooney’s apple sponge (that’s gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free)

Mrs Mooney’s apple sponge (that’s gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free)

This is one of my husband’s favourite desserts, as I discovered when I made it for him last weekend. This recipe is lovely and sweet but without the usual energy-sapping sugar and wheat flour. In fact its totally grain-free but you wouldn’t know it. The sponge is really good – light and moist which usually hard to achieve using grain-based gluten-free flours.

110g butter (or use clarified butter if you are sensitive to casein protein in milk or lactose in butter)
75g xylitol or erythritol
110g ground almonds
2 large beaten eggs
2 lbs cooking apples
30 drops stevia (liquid stevia available from health stores) mixed with 1 tbs water
A little extra butter/clarified butter for greasing

Oven temperature 185C (fan 170C)

  1. Peel, core and slice the apples. Cook them in a heavy bottomed saucepan, covered with a lid, with the stevia drops and water. Stir from time to time to prevent sticking. They should still maintain their sliced shapes.
  2. Cool thoroughly and put into a greased dish – a pyrex dish at least 18 x 18cm square works for me.
  3. Preheat oven to 170C.
  4. Beat the butter/clarified butter and xylitol until pale and fluffy. Slowly add beaten eggs then fold in the ground almonds and spread over the apple.
  5. Bake for around 40 mins. The top should be golden and a skewer inserted in the sponge should come out clean. We found it was very well done after 45 minutes even though the original recipe said to bake for an hour. If it is too coloured on top but not cooked inside, then cover the top with a flat baking sheet or a bit of tinfoil (with some holes in to let steam out) to prevent it getting too brown.

Why this is better for you:
The conventional apple sponge is filled with refined sugar and white flour which depletes your essential nutrients.  Nutrients needed for supporting your immune system so that its neither underactive (infections) nor over-active (autoimmune conditions e.g. hypothyroidism, arthritis).  Nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, B vitamins and magnesium are important for a healthy digestive system, skin and immunity.  We all have different susceptibilities.  In me a magnesium deficiency brought about by a refined diet might show as anxiety or insomnia.  But in you it might manifest as frequent infections.  Magnesium is important for hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body.