Spiced Apple Coffeecake

1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar, mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 large granny smith apple (it should be 1 1/4 cups worth)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) Earth Balance shortening, + more to grease the pan
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened gluten-free soy yogurt (or soy milk if you have no yogurt on hand)
grated zest of 1 lemon

Put the pecans and 1 tablespoon brown sugar into a food processor and pulse, to make a coarse flour (about the consistency of polenta). Set aside. Grease a 9 inch loaf pan with some shortening, and sprinkle in the granulated sugar-cinnamon mixture, shaking to coat bottom and sides of pan. Shake out excess. Sift the cornstarch, tapioca and chickpea flours before measuring. Pour into a bowl and add the xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice, and mix. Then sift the dry ingredients one more time; set aside. Peel and core the apple, and chop finely (1/4 inch pieces).

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the shortening until smooth. Add the light brown sugar, beating continuously. Add the eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition. Beat in the soy yogurt. With the mixture on low speed, gradually add the sifted dry ingredients. Remove; stir in the apple and grated lemon zest, and then fold in the ground pecan-sugar mixture. (At this point, the mixture will be very thick and heavy). Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and let stand about 10 minutes. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven approximately 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool about 10-15 minutes, then remove from the loaf pan and set on a serving dish. This is delicious when eaten warm! (Makes 1 loaf)

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