For months now I have been itching to make a paleo version of the classic apple strudel. I adore the sweet tangy flavour of hot apples after they have emerged from the oven and will happily devour any kind of strudel, crumble or pie I can get my hands on. These desserts are just so delicious, however there is of course a stumbling block – all the gluten and grains!
I have researched and pondered for months on end as to how successful this dessert would be if it were made using alternative flours. The thing about making a classic apple strudel is that it relies quite heavily on the gluten in the flour to create a highly elastic and stretchy dough. The dough is then rolled out as thinly as possible before being wrapped around the filling and popped in the oven. Unfortunately, most gluten-free flours simply can not replicate the elasticity and would leave the dough heavy, thick and bulky. While some have tried it, I simply didn’t want the disapointment of a heavy dough over my strudel. Time to return to the drawing board.
The beautiful thing about the classic apple strudel is that it incorporates so many gorgeous ingredients that can be used to make delicious desserts without resorting to the use of pastry. The traditional Austrian dessert includes fresh seasonal apples, sugar, cinnamon, freshly squeezed lemon juice, raisins or sultanas, chopped nuts such as walnuts or almonds, and something a little unexpected… breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs I hear you say? Yes breadcrumbs.
It may seem a strange ingredient, but the breadcrumbs play a vital role in this gorgeous dessert. Sandwiched between the apples and the dough, the breadcrumbs work to simultaneously fill out the middle and help contain the juice from the apples while they cook, thus ensuring the surrounding pastry remains crisp rather than soggy. However, given I am currently following a fairly strict paleo diet and avoiding the use of gluten, grains, dairy and processed foods in my cooking, the use of breadcrumbs might seem a little contradictory. But here comes the awesome part….
I was recently chatting with the lovely staff at Deeks Health Foods about my bid to follow a paleo diet in order to improve my health. We discussed a number of their amazing products and how I might incorporate them into my diet. I will confess here that I have actually used Deeks Health Food products on-and-off for a number of years and am constantly impressed by the ingenuity and tastiness of their products, which includes entirely gluten and grain-free bread loaves, bread rolls, focaccias, pasta, pizza bases (one of my favourites) and… you guessed it – Breadcrumbs!!!
Deeks Health Food Breadcrumbs are made using various gluten and grain free products including quinoa, tapioca, yeast, herbs and oils. The mix is easily used as a 1:1 replacement for conventional breadcrumbs meaning you can use them to make schnitzels, chicken nuggets, crumbed lamb chops, meatballs, salmon patties and more. And as I can now testify, they can also be used in desserts, including in my very own Apple Strudel Parfait.
My Apple Strudel Parfait uses Deeks Health Food Breadcrumbs to make a gorgeous 3 layer parfait that is a delicious alternative to the classic apple strudel. I have used the breadcrumbs to create a super tasty crumble mixture that is both sweet and ever-so-deliciously crunchy, a perfect contrast to the tangy soft stewed apples. I have included all the traditional elements of a strudel including the apples sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, sultanas and walnuts. Just to keep things on the healthy side, I’ve also used a delicious coconut yogurt (I specifically used the brand COYO which gave the dish an almost cheesecake like texture), however if you’re a bit of a sweet tooth or have no reason to limit lactose, you could easily replace this for cream or even ice cream!
These Apple Strudel Parfaits were a hit and I will happily make them again. The Deeks Health Food Breadcrumbs worked a treat and have found a happy home within my gluten and grain-free pantry. I’d encourage you to give them a go and leave me a comment letting me know how you found them!!!
The beautiful thing about the classic apple strudel is that it incorporates so many gorgeous ingredients that can be used to make delicious desserts without resorting to the use of pastry.
Deeks Health Food breadcrumbs do tend to be slightly more dry than traditional breadcrumbs, so be aware when frying that they will require a lower heat to avoid burning.
Deeks Health Food products are currently only available in Australia. They can be purchased online or at various stockists within nearly all States and Territories.
This is a non-paid endorsement and all views expressed on Deeks Health Food products are my own and have been based on many years of happy cooking using their products!
Apple Strudel ParfaitsPrint This
- 3 apples, peeled and diced into very small chunks
- 1 tbs lemon juice (approximately half a lemon)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sultanas
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup Deeks Breadcrumbs
- 1 tbs raw sugar
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbs butter, softened
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt + 2 tsp (this recipe used COYO)
- honey to drizzle (optional)
For the Cinnamon Apples: Combine diced apples, lemon juice, water, sultanas, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Place on the stove top on a very low heat and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes of until apples are tender but still retain their shape.
For the Walnut/Breadcrumb Layer: Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. Prepare a small baking tray and line with baking paper. Place walnuts in a food processor and process for 10 seconds of until walnuts are approximately a quarter of their original size (alternatively chop with a knife until pieces are smaller). Combine the walnuts, Deeks Breadcrumbs, sugars and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and work through with fingertips until mixture resembles large breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumb mix on a single even layer on the baking tray and place in the oven for 12- 15 minutes or until golden.
To assemble: Take two generous sized glasses. Layer the parfaits, starting with 2 tablespoons of coconut yogurt, followed by a layer of apples, then a thick layer of the breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the yogurt and apples. Add a final tsp of coconut yogurt to the top of each parfait and sprinkle more of the breadcrumb mixture on top. Drizzle honey lightly over the top (optional). Serve cold for breakfast or dessert.
This recipe makes two generous serves. For smaller serves, either: a) reduce the number of apples to two and the sultanas to 2 tbs or b) divide the entire mixture between 3 smaller glasses.