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Apricot Kuchen

This image courtesy of Kathryn Barnard

This recipe is in honor of my grandmother Colletta, who made the most amazing apricot kuchens every time she visited-a cherished family tradition. I believe she would really enjoy a piece of this gluten-free vegan version with a piping hot cup of coffee. This recipe makes two kuchens but is easily halved to make one. A store-bought apricot jam is a delicious substitute for the filling if you have limited time. But at some point, do make the homemade apricot filling, as it is heavenly! If you are making your own filling, be sure to give the apricots a two-hour head start for soaking. You’ll have extra-it keeps well, refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. It is spectacular on toast!

Makes2 medium kuchens

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealbreakfast, brunch, snack, tea

Type of Dishbread

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups dried apricots
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1½ tablespoons organic whole cane sugar (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups sorghum flour
  • 1½ cups tapioca four
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon instant active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups room temperature filtered water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Vanilla frosting or sifted powdered evaporated cane juice (optional)

Instructions

  1. To make the filling, in a large bowl, soak the dried apricots in the boiling water, covered, for 2 hours. Drain the apricots, reserving ¼ cup of the soaking liquid. (Do go ahead and reserve all of it for a sweet drink if you wish!) Transfer the apricots and reserved soaking liquid to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Blend in the cane sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla.

  2. To make the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, brown rice flour, almond meal, flax meal, salt, and xanthan gum.

  3. In another large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), dissolve the yeast in the room temperature water. Add the maple syrup and olive oil. Just as the yeast begins to foam and feed on the maple syrup, about 3 minutes, add the combined dry ingredients and mix just until a soft dough forms. You can do this by hand with a strong arm and a sturdy spoon, or with your stand mixer and the paddle attachment pulsed on low speed.

  4. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide into 2 equal portions. Generously dust a sheet of parchment paper that is at least 12 inches long with brown rice flour. With floured clean hands, gently shape 1 portion of the dough on the parchment paper into a rectangle that is 12 inches long and 10 inches wide. Spread half (about % cup) of the filling over the dough, evenly coating the surface.

  5. Now for rolling up! Turn the paper so that the long side of the rectangle is nearest you. Begin rolling, using the parchment to lift the dough and roll it over onto itself. The parchment is a great aid in allowing you to roll up the dough with ease, gracefully turning the rectangle into a snug cylinder. Transfer the cylinder to the prepared baking pan with the help of the parchment paper: Simply pick up the parchment paper while supporting the dough and set them both right on the sheet pan. (You can keep the parchment paper underneath your dough while baking.) Repeat with the second portion of dough.

  6. Next comes the really artful and exciting part! With a pair of clean scissors, make 3 or 4 incisions on top of each cylinder. Approach the dough at a 45 degree angle and make cuts like the letter V. Be sure to start your incisions at least 2 inches in from each end, and space them evenly. Bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes, until golden brown .and crusty. When cooled, frost with vanilla frosting or dust with sifted powdered evaporated cane juice.

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