Just good friands


Happy Mother’s Day mamma readers. Are you doing anything special tomorrow? I’m looking forward to brekkie in bed and gifts from my son’s Mother’s Day stall at school (hoping for soap on a rope, just secretly).
This week I’m dishing up two pink recipes for Mother’s Day. First up is apple and rhubarb, stewed in pomegranate juice. The pomegranate juice adds a fab burst of pinkness and vitamins. Have also included instructions for seeding and juicing pomegranates. It’s pretty simple – slice them open, drop the chunks in water, furkle about for the seeds, and lightly blend them to extract the juice.
A friend gifted us a big bag of Loving Earth caramelised buckinis recently (thanks Danny!) which we sprinkled on top of the stewed fruit. They’re light and crispy, and absolutely delicious. Shhhh, they’re actually activated too, but I don’t want to risk saying that word out loud after the aftermath of the infamous Pete Evans interview, which had me spluttering into my coffee.
Reserve a cup of the stewed apple and rhubarb and you can make beautiful (even if I do say so myself) Gluten free apple, rhubarb and chia seed friands, perfect for Mother’s Day morning tea.

PomegranateStewed apple and rhubarb[Recipe 1] Apple and rhubarb stewed in pomegranate juice

Ingredients (makes approx. 6 cups):
4 tablespoons brown sugar 
½ cup (125ml) pomegranate juice (from 2 pomegranates)
8 large green apples (1½ kilos/3 lb), peeled, sliced thickly into 1cm (half-inch) slices
1 bunch (4 fat stalks) rhubarb, chopped into 2½ cm (1″) pieces

1 lemon, finely zested (about 1 tablespoon)
Greek yogurt, to serve (or try Good Cook’s home-made yogurt)
Caramelised buckinis, for sprinkling

Place the sugar and pomegranate juice in a large saucepan. Add apple slices, rhubarb and lemon zest and simmer, covered, over a low heat until apples are just tender and still holding their shape; and rhubarb is starting to break down; about 8–10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Allow to cool.
Reserve 1 cup of the stewed apple and rhubarb for the Gluten-free apple, rhubarb and chia seed friands.
Serve the stewed apple and rhubarb with Greek yogurt, scattered with caramelised buckinis.

  • Poached apple and rhubarb will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to one week; or can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Poached apple and rhubarb, pureed smooth, is great for kid’s lunchboxes. Keep it in little containers in the freezer and defrost overnight in the fridge.
  • Caramelised buckinis are available from health food stores or online from Loving Earth. Replace with muesli if unavailable.
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, so don’t give them to your rabbits or guinea pigs!

Apple rhubarb friands

[Recipe 2] Gluten-free apple, rhubarb and chia seed friands

Ingredients (makes 10):
1⅓ cups (160g) icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
½ cup (75g) buckwheat flour
1½ cups (180g) oven-roasted almond meal (ground almonds)
2 tablespoons chia seeds

5 egg whites, unbeaten
185 grams (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup (60g) chopped walnuts

♦ 1 cup reserved stewed apple and rhubarb, large apple pieces roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 200°C (390ºF).
Lightly oil a ten-cup capacity friand tin (or 10 petite loaf pans).
Sift icing sugar and flour into a large bowl. Add almond meal and chia seeds and stir until combined.
Add the unbeaten egg whites and melted butter and stir until well-combined. Fold through the walnuts and reserved stewed apple and rhubarb.
Spoon mixture into prepared friand tin and bake for 15–18 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of one.
Allow to cool in the tin for five minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Sprinkle with extra icing sugar if desired.

  • Oven-roasted almond meal is a recent discovery of mine and it’s fabulous, so nutty and flavoursome. It is available at large supermarkets. Replace with traditional almond meal if unavailable.
  • You can replace the stewed apple and rhubarb with poached apple and feijoia for a change. 
  • Unlike muffins, friands will keep fresh and moist in a covered container for up to 3 days.
  • Egg whites are unbeaten for friands – don’t whisk them or the texture will change!

32 thoughts on “Just good friands

  1. I love every single recipe I’ve seen on your blog so far Saskia! You’re a talented photographer, storyteller and cook!!! I love pomegranates. I’ve been buying them very regularly over the past two years, both for the vitamin C kick and gorgeous taste/aesthetic. Anyway, just wanted to stop over and say thanks for the inspiration. Love your blog!! xx

  2. LOL Tyler got given a soap on a rope. It was good until it fell off the rope… I did a big roast lunch for Mum and we had lots of pressies for her. I adore open pomegranates. They are so beautiful!

    • OK, so I’m a bit jealous that Tyler got soap on a rope; but you’re right, mine slipped right off its rope last year too! I think the idea of it is more appealing than the reality.

  3. happy belated mother’s day! i love rhubarb and i wonder where i can get some carmelised buckinis out here? i learn so much from your posts! never even tried baking with almond meal or seen oven roasted almond meal!! those muffins are genius like you

    • Thanks Kim!! Hope you had a beautiful mum’s day too. My husband pooh poohs food items like caramelised buckinis as first world frippery, but damn they taste good! Almond meal is great to bake with as it adds vitamins, and it makes for a super-moist muffin.

  4. Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day celebration. So, did you get the soap on a rope?
    Both recipes are lovely, I especially love the Gluten-free apple, rhubarb and chia seed friands! What a great treat. I say they’re perfect for breakfast too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing and wish you a wonderful weekend.

  5. My 86 year old husband loved the friands as much as I do, as they are lovely and moist! And they come out looking like they have come straight from an exclusive bakery. I sliced them thinly for him. Thanks Sas.

  6. I had never heard of friands until recently and now I can’t wait to give them a try. Do you think that I could use a muffin pan to make them, as I’ve never seen a friand pan in the stores (although there are mini-loaf pans around). Hope you had a wonderful mother’s day and managed to fit in a few minutes of pampering or something else fun!

    • You could definitely use a muffin pan Barb – I just needed to prove to the husband that I actually ‘need’ the multitude of oddly-shaped baking tins in our kitchen. Had a lovely Mother’s day, thanks! I spent virtually no time in the kitchen which was a treat – we had lunch with friends, two dinner dates, went to see a play with my mum and also squeezed in some solo op-shopping and a coffee. Thoroughly spoiled!

  7. Though rhubarb and I aren’t compatible, I had to stop and wish you a special Mothers Day!
    (I may not like rhubarb but those muffins sure look good!)

  8. I’ve never in all my life heard of a friand; what’s the provenance? Now, I’d like to think that you’ve served up such a yummy looking GF-recipe just for my benefit, but I thank you anyway! My garden is absolutely bursting with rhubarb, so I’m just very excited all around about this post. Wonderful sounding flavours Saskia!

    • That’s interesting df – maybe friands are more well-known in Aus? I’d presumed they’d be known in Canada too. They’re little muffin-like French cakes, always made with a base of egg whites and almond meal. They were HUGE here in cafes in the 90s. I love them as they stay moist for longer than muffins. How fantastic you have a garden heaving with rhubarb! Wish you could send some over.

  9. Happy Mothers Day right back at ya. Love he look of the pom and pom, will give that a burl this week and let you know how we go.

    • Thanks Jannie, and to you too. You confused the living heck out of me with the mention of pom and pom. I thought I may have inadvertently posted a craft photo! NOW I get it though – very clever young lady.

    • Thanks Sawsan. The apples in pomegranate juice were beautiful. Planning another batch already. Sitting in bed reading the paper from cover to cover, and onto my second coffee. Bliss. I got a scented candle and a Himalayan salt crystal from our 8-year old; and a huge gaudy red, sequined necklace from our 5-year old which I shall have to wear today (help!).

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