Blackberry Pear Trifles (SCD & GFCF)

In the midst of this week’s daily posts, I bring one new recipe before 2010’s close. Individual trifles, which is also my contribution to this month’s Sugar High Friday, hosted by Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice (deadline is tomorrow at midnight EST). This is my first foray into the event and next month will be even grander. I’ve been making versions of these trifles for a long time, using fruit that’s available – the family favourite being strawberries and or raspberries – but this is the first time I’m calling them trifles. Before it was just that dessert with custard and the meringue nut torte.

The custard is made with coconut milk, honey, and egg yolks and that’s rounded off with coconut oil (or another neutral-tasting oil) at the end and vanilla extract; I’ve posted it before. It’s incredibly flexible: at its simplest, we serve it with fruit – so this trifle being a variation thereof. I’ve also used this custard in baking and other desserts, using it as a substitute for yogurt (see: strawberry mousse) with excellent results.

When you make the meringue nut torte, it’s also a great way to use up the leftover egg whites from making the custard. You could also use angel food cake.

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Banana Tarte Tatin, or Banana Upside Down Puffed Pancake (GFCF)

Glorified banana pancakes, upside down. Months back when I took the sensibilities of tarte tatin and pancakes and turned it into an apple upside down puffed pancake,  shortly after posting it I made a version with bananas. I didn’t post about it, though, because I thought, well, I already covered the tarte tatin pancake. I’d hit that tricky spot in food blogging where one starts asking herself: should I blog about this or don’t I because I’ve already blogged something similar? Just leave it as a suggestion in the head note. Well, I didn’t leave a suggestion in the head note so here we are.

Oh, true. I could go back and make that adjustment – but wouldn’t it be more fun to devote an entire post to this glorious sensibility of a tarte tatin turned upside down pancake? I made two tarte tatin pancakes – one apple, the other this banana one, for a Christmas party and everyone loved it. I’ve made them several times before but I especially liked how the banana one came out this time. It was just perfect and the coconut milk in the batter blended beautifully with the fruit; it was sort of like banana cream pie but without the fuss. (My brother kept making jokes, referring to it as a banana cream pie.) It tasted like the best banana pancakes you could eat – glorified.

How you go about to make this is fairly simple: you slice ripe but firm, spotty-skinned bananas into the bottom of a parchment paper-lined, greased or buttered pie plate or pan and sprinkle the banana slices lightly with cinnamon and drizzle or squirt some lemon juice over it before pouring the pancake batter on top and popping it in the oven for half an hour.

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Pear and Almond Cardamom Crumble (SCD & GFCF)

For the past two weeks, I’ve noticed that I’m posting either on a Saturday or a Sunday – not my intention at all, I’ve just been busy. Last week my Dad took my family on a sudden vacation and just about everything was turned upside down. (Stay tuned for a post, or a series, documenting my family’s vacation and where we went, including pictures!) Now that I’ve gotten back, I’m only just getting back into the swing of things. I had arranged posts to go up while I was gone, and that didn’t really happen, did it? They’re only just getting out now.

I made this crumble – or crisp, as you like it, before we left. It was inspired from a cobbler I’d made with pears, rather than the usual apples, and I’d used cardamom with the pears in addition to cinnamon. Pear with cardamom is one of the best matches: each compliments each other so well, and the cardamom just provides that little bit of spice enough to warm you in the days of nippy mornings and chilly, winter weather. My favourite part of this dessert is the pear juice. It might just be better than apple cider, I swear. I would tilt the pan for the juice to pool and then drink it, sipping from a spoon.

It’s also the first crumble that I’ve made with almond flour that I’m happy with the results. The first time I made an SCD crumble, the topping was, in a word, disappointing. It was distracting. This crumble makes up for that.

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