A few years ago, when I started cooking grain-free recipes, I heard about coconut flour as an alternative to wheat flour. I wasn’t sure how to use it though, and since it wasn’t a straight substitution, I needed some help learning how.
Enter Bruce Fife’s cookbook, Cooking with Coconut Flour. There’s nothing flashy about this cookbook… only a few of the recipes have photos, and those are black and white and not very big. But there are tons of recipes for various types of foods.
I’ve cooked a few from this book, and mostly learned that coconut flour in baking requires a lot of eggs, less flour than you’d think, and some moisture and/or fat. A couple of the recipes I tried weren’t exactly what I was looking for once I tasted the final product, so I kept tweaking and stopped reaching for this book.
HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that it is worthless. Like I said, I learned some basics about coconut flour from this book, and if you’re less of a tweaker and more of a by-the-book home chef, you might get more use out of the book.
Fife also includes lower-sugar versions of the recipes, which are usually some amount less sugar, plus some liquid stevia.
Some of the wording is inconsistent or repetitive (like melted butter, melted)
One thing I haven’t had much success with is pie crusts, but since I rarely make pies, it wasn’t really an issue for me. So for this review, I decided to see what Mr. Fife had to say about pies. This book has several pie recipes, and one in particular sounded awesome to me. Because it has cream cheese in it. And I love love love cream cheese.
The crust recipe turned out really well, except for the edge which burned. I followed the directions which said to coat the crust with pie filling to prevent burning, but it didn’t take long for the edge to be totally black. I just broke that part off and didn’t eat it, but next time I make a pie, I’ll go with my gut and use foil to protect the edge.
The pie filling is really delicious, and I’m excited to share with the kids after dinner tonight. Joey can’t have any crust because it has some honey in it, but Anneliese can have some. I ate my late-night “test” piece(s) with hand-whipped cream, with vanilla. But I don’t have any more cream so we’ll have them plain tonight. I’m sure that’ll be good too, and if we had some vanilla ice cream that would be awesome. But we don’t. Maybe for Thanksgiving we will.
Please excuse my taken-at-ten-pm picture… I also can’t figure out photo editing on my mac yet. I still feel like I have one arm chopped off.
- ½ cup coconut flour, sifted
- ⅔ cup cream cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 15 or 16 ounces of pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 eggs
- Combine cream cheese, salt, and honey until smooth.
- Sift coconut flour over the cheese mixture a bit at a time, mixing in between additions.
- Kneed dough until everything sticks together.
- Roll out between two layers of waxed paper (or one silicone pie-rolling mat, and one piece of waxed paper, which is what I did).
- Flip dough into a pie pan. Parts will probably crack, but that's okay. Just fill them in with scraps or mush them together again.
- Mix everything together.
- Pour into pie crust.
- Coat the edge of the crust with filling to prevent burning, if you think mine was a fluke. Or, make a foil shield for the edges if you believe me.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.