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These Apple and Ricotta Stuffed Gluten-Free Friands are deliciously soft and light, filled with lemony ricotta and caramelised cinnamon apples.
Table of contents
What is the difference between a friand and a financier?
If you have met a financier (the cake kind not the money kind) then you have met a friand, albeit in a different shape and from another country.
Financiers hail from France and are so-called due to their rectangular shape which was thought to resemble gold ingots. They are made with sugar, ground almonds, a kiss of flour and foamy egg whites, giving a lovely light and moist sponge.
The friand is made in exactly the same way, except in an Australian kitchen and baked in oval shaped tins rather than rectangles. So that’s basically why I chose to made friands instead of financiers – that’s the tin I have.
How do you make a gluten-free friand?
Because the recipe uses so little flour it is no effort to turn these babies gluten-free without losing anything from the original recipe. The flour is just there to bulk out the ground almonds rather than any grand alchemy taking place.
That is often the easiest way of creating gluten-free bakes - by adapting recipes which don’t rely on flour.
What gluten-free flour should you use?
When you’re using so little flour in a recipe like this then there is no shame in reaching for a regular bag of gluten-free flour, ready made from the supermarket. For this purpose I am more than happy to use Doves Farm plain gluten-free flour. I like it because it is reliable, easily available and contains no xanthan gum. Although you can use a brand which has xanthan gum if you prefer.
READ MORE >>> Why I never bake with xanthan gum
Why is this recipe so brilliant?
- These apple friands are extra special from the teaspoonful of lemony sweetened ricotta which is dropped into the finished friand batter.
- The garnishing of cinnamon spiked buttery apple pieces which are placed on top just before they go into the oven which caramelise into apple heaven.
The creamy ricotta pairs perfectly with the buttery apple topping, making this a very simple bake but one that feels luxurious, delicate and of course gorgeously gluten-free.
I love this heavy duty friand tin as it turns out theses little gluten-free apple almond cakes beautifully and is the one I use all the time in my kitchen.
More gluten-free friand recipes
If you make these Apple & Ricotta Stuffed Gluten Free Friands then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
Apple & Ricotta Stuffed Gluten Free Friands
- 3 apples - diced
- 2 tablespoons butter - unsalted
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar - powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 160 g ricotta
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 250 g icing sugar - powdered sugar
- 160 g ground almonds
- 100 g gluten-free flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 200 g butter - unsalted, melted
- 180 g egg whites - about 6 medium sized
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan assisted oven / gas mark 4 and butter a 12 hole friand tin.
- Melt the 2 tablespoons butter then add the icing sugar, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice and then tip in the apple pieces.
- Fry for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat just before the apples turn soft and leave to cool.
- Mix the ricotta with the vanilla, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon icing sugar in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
- Mix the ground almonds with the flour, the rest of the icing sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt together in a separate bowl.
- Whisk egg whites in another bowl until light and foamy.
- Fold the egg whites into the almonds along with the melted butter.
- Divide the batter between the friand moulds, then top with a spoonful of ricotta mixture. Finally add a few apples to the top of each one.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Dust with icing sugar.