Ghadam tal-mejtin or Dead men’s bones – GF and low FODMAP

Ok so I’m posting this a tad late as the feast is now coming to an end… In Malta as kids we never celebrated Halloween… I didn’t even know what it was or that it existed until I was older. It is only in the past couple of years that children have started to celebrate Halloween. In Malta however the 1st and 2nd November are both spiritual holidays with the 1st of November being All saints day and the 2nd being All souls day. So on the 2nd of November we remember all our loved ones who have passed away. And as part of this tradition we usually make what we call Ghadam tal-mejtin or dead men’s bones. These are biscuits made with sweet pastry and filled with an almond paste and given the shape of bones. Today I have been busy making these traditional biscuits. For those of you who do not tolerate almonds (as these are high FODMAP when having more than 12g) you may use ground peanuts instead and flavour it with almond essence. In Malta this can be found ready to buy in supermarkets and is labelled as almond substitute and its usually used as a cheaper alternative. For those of you in other countries you will probably have to buy peanuts and grind these in a food processor. Just do not keep it in too long or you will end up with peanut butter!

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Ghadam tal-mejtin

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 225g All purpose GF flour – I used Dove’s Farm plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 110g butter or margerine
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • water

For the filling:

  • 100g ground almonds or ground peanuts
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 zest of a lemon and 1/2 zest of an orange
  • 1/2 an egg white

For the icing:

  • icing sugar
  • water
  • lemon juice (optional)

Methods:

  1.  Mix flour, xantham gum and icing sugar together.
  2. Add the butter and rub-in into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the beaten egg.
  4. Add water to bind the dough together. Knead, wrap in cling film and put in fridge to rest for approximately an hour.
  5. For the filling combine the ground almonds or peanuts, sugar, and zest. Mix together.
  6. Add the egg white and some almond essence if using ground peanuts.
  7. Mixture together until you form a stiff dough.
  8. Roll out the pastry and cut into rectangles.
  9. Rol out the almond/peanut paste and also cut into slightly smaller rectangles.
  10. Place a layer of pastry, a layer of almond paste and another layer of pastry.
  11. Seal the edges and shape like a bone.
  12. Repeat this until all your biscuits are done.
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 165C for 25 minutes.
  14. When they are ready leave the biscuits to cool on a cooling rack.
  15. Prepare your icing by mixing icing sugar with a little water and some lemon juice.
  16. Once the biscuits are cooled, top with icing!

Remember that even though peanuts are low FODMAP they are high in fats and insoluble fibre which are common triggers therefore mind your portion size! 

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