Flourless Shortbread with Apple Pie Preserves
- For the Shortbread
- 1/3 cup gently packed chopped dates (about 8)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup loosely packed grated cheddar cheese
- For the Apple Pie Preserves
- 3 cups peeled and diced tart apples
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 package liquid pectin
For the Shortbread
Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease an 8-inch square pan.
Soak the dates in warm water until soft, about 10 minutes, then drain and puree with the honey and vanilla.
Using a food processor, mixer or by hand, combine the rice flour, ground almonds, tapioca starch, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cut in the butter until the mixture is a rough crumbly texture. Add the date mixture and cheddar cheese and combine until blended (the dough will not fully come together). Press this into the pan and bake for 35 minutes, until browned at the edges.
While still warm slice the shortbread into 16 squares and allow to cool completely before lifting out of the pan.
The shortbread is tastiest and easier to remove from the pan after it has sat in the pan overnight.
For the Apple Pie Preserves
Stir the apples with the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepot and simmer over medium heat about 15 minutes, until the apples are tender.
Add the sugar and simmer 10 minutes more, until the apples are translucent. Remove the preserves from the heat and stir in the pectin. Pack the preserves into sanitized jars with two-step lids following safe canning procedures, or cool the preserves and store refrigerated for up to 3 months.