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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Applesauce with a Creme Brulee Sensibility (SCD & GFCF)

When I’m looking at recipes and thinking about what to make, my favourites are always the ones that I have all the ingredients for on hand, or can easily substitute with something else. I’ve been eying the applesauce with a meringue cap for ages on Orangette for ages, since I started digging back into the blog archives after I read Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, but I didn’t make it until this rainy afternoon. I had it for dessert, after my lunch.

Now that I’ve made this and tasted it, I don’t know why I didn’t just make it earlier. It’s so easy and quick to put together: the longest you’ll be waiting is while it’s in the oven, though the wait is worth it. I’m especially happy about the meringue and that it worked out in terms of sweetness, as my past endeavours with meringue weren’t sweet – mainly out of my thoughts that too much sugar or honey was being used in a recipe for a small amount of egg whites. This led to a kind of love-hate relationship with making meringue: I loved the idea of meringue, but didn’t like making it because of too many incidents of eggy, not sweet enough, and, according to my sister, once salty. This all changed for the better when I successfully made meringue cookies back in May of this year, inspired by some meringue cookies that were “just right” that I ate at a friend’s place. That is why I haven’t really featured any meringue recipes before, but this one will be the second one now, after the Peach Melba Spoom.

Meringue and I are reconciled.

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