When David’s nagymama(which is Hungarian for Grandma… now that we have kids, we all call her Dédi, which is short for great-grandma) said that she would teach me to make Hungarian food, this was one of the first things I requested. It might just be my all-time favorite dessert. I have never had anything quite like it and I have been racking my brain trying to come up with a description. It lies somewhere between a pie, a cookie and coffee cake. When David’s grandma was showing me how to make it, none of her measurements were exact, which was completely mind blowing to me. I wanted to know teaspoons and cups and she was measuring in a bit of this and a dash of that. The few measurements I did have were in dekagrams, which made converting the recipe especially interesting. I finally had this recipe right where I liked it, when I decided I needed to convert it to gluten-free so everyone could enjoy it. This may not seem like a Christmas recipe, but it wouldn’t be Christmas at my in-laws’ house without them. These are actually better the second and third day after you’ve made them, but they never last that long.
Gluten-Free Almás (Hungarian Apple Pastry)
- 4 cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour (I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter (20 Tablespoons)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 5 Tablespoons sour cream
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup ground walnuts
- 15 apples (I used a variety of Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Fuji)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line a 10”x15” Jelly Roll pan with parchment (my pan is 10.5”x 15.5” and I sometimes skip lining it)
- Peel and grate apples into a large bowl. Squeeze out all of the juice and reserve for another recipe.
- To the apples, add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon zest. If the apples are especially tart you can add more sugar, but you don’t want the filling to be too sweet.
- Using your hands, mix the flour, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and butter together. Mix in sour cream and egg.
- Divide Dough in half and roll out half of the dough and place in the pan, stretching to cover the entire bottom.
- Sprinkle the dough with ground walnuts.
- Cover the walnuts with the apple filling.
- Roll out the remaining dough and cover the apple filling, loosely pressing the dough around the inside edges of the pan. Don’t worry about how this looks, you will be covering it with powdered sugar.
- Poke several holes on top of dough with a fork so that air can escape.
- Bake at 350 degrees until pinkish on top (30-45 minutes).
- Let cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Cut into small squares and serve.