Raspberry and apple crisp with walnut streusel

A nice blend of seasons fruits and walnuts for a slightly crispier, richer streusel.

For the fruit

6 cups of fresh raspberries
1 apple, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 cup of hard wheat flour
2T of table sugar
2T of brown sugar*
A pinch of sea salt

For the streusel

3/4 cup of rolled oats
3/4 cup of hard wheat flour
1/2 cup of sugar*
2T of agave nectar
1/2 cup of vegan margarine
2T of unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
A pinch of sea salt

Directions

Preheat the over to 350F.
Toss the raspberries in the flour and sugar until well-coated
Blend the ingredients for the streusel except for the walnuts until coarse.
Mix the walnuts with the streusel topping.
Add the raspberry mixture to a 9″ pie plate.
Top the raspberries with the a layer of sliced apples.
Distribute the streusel evenly over the fruit.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the streusel is starting to brown lightly and the fruit is cooked.
Let cool for 1 hour and serve warm or refrigerate.

*Cane sugar, including brown sugars, are still sometimes produced with animal bone charcoal. A growing number of table sugars are not refined using animal bone charcoal; organic sugar and beet sugar typically are not.

Raspberry ginger tart in a cup of bittersweet chocolate with orange sesame topping

A simple, no-bake dessert that really brings out the beautiful ruby red of fresh raspberries and combines their sour flavour with ginger, chocolate, orange and other flavours.

Ingredients

For the raspberries
4 cups of raspberries (separated in half)
1/2 cup of sugar*
2T of agave nectar
2T of vegan margarine
A small pinch of sea salt
1 1/2T of agar-agar flakes
2t of arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T of water
2t of fresh ginger, grated

For the chocolate cups
50g of chocolate**

For the topping
2-3T of sesame seed butter***
1T of orange juice
2t of lemon juice
2T of sugar (or to taste)*
A small pinch of sea salt
2t of orange zest for garnish

Add 2 cups of raspberries and the other ingredients to a sauce pan on medium heat.
Stir to combine, and once the margarine has melted, reduce heat to medium low.
Cook until reduced to about 1/2 to 2/3 cups and the agar has dissolved (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add the arrowroot mixture pouring slowly stirring constantly until it thickens (should be almost instantly).
Let stand to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining berries and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into two ramekins.
Chill for 30 minutes uncovered until the mix thickens (it will be springy to the touch).
Cover in saran wrap and chill at least another 2 hours (overnight is fine).
Freeze for at least 1-2 hours before melting the chocolate until good and solid (go by the feel rather than the time, since freezers vary).

When ready to add the chocolate, remove the raspberries from the freezer.
Carefully turn the raspberries out from from the ramekins onto a plate.
Use a microwave, a double boiler, or a make-shift double boiler (lightly simmering water in a pan with a second smaller pan poised at water level to ensure a consistent but soft heat) to melt the chocolate. If you haven’t worked with chocolate before, don’t add water, cold liquid, don’t put it directly into contact with high heat source, etc (your chocolate will likely seize and it’s very difficult to fix).
Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted, and then pour gently in spoonfuls over the raspberries and smooth with the spoon so that a bottom layer of chocolate forms, but the chocolate runs over the sides to form something that resembles a chocolate crust.
The chocolate will cool fairly quickly, but refrigerate uncovered for 10-15 minutes when done to ensure the chocolate is dry.
Wrap in saran wrap, freeze for 30 minutes or until firm but not frozen, unwrap and serve.

About 10 minutes before serving, whisk the sesame seed butter with the lemon juice, orange juice and water.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined.
Let stand about 5-8 minutes to thicken.
Add a little more sesame seed butter if you find your topping is not very thick (consistence of the butter itself can vary quite a lot).
Spoon the orange and sesame topping onto the raspberry tarts.
Garnish with the orange zest.

*Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

**There’s no penalty for using more chocolate — up to 75g for a nice, thick cup. I use a nice fairly traded bar with organic beans and organic sugar.

***Although sweetened sesame pairs very nicely with sour flavours, it can be an acquired taste. Substitute cashew butter for something more neutral.

Peanut butter panna cotta with bittersweet chocolate shell

A very simple, flavourful combination of peanut butter and chocolate, pictured here with a little soy milk and sesame topping and salted raspberries.

1 1/2 cups of unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup of sugar*
1T heaping of agar-agar
1/2 cup of unsweetened peanut butter
A pinch of sea salt
50g bittersweet chocolate**

Puree the soy milk, sugar, agar-gar, peanut butter and sea salt until smooth.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.
Pour into two ramekins and chill uncovered for 20 minutes.
Cover with saran wrap and chill further for 2 hours.
Freeze for 1 hour before you melt the chocolate.
When you’re ready to melt the chocolate, turn the panna cotta out carefully onto a plate lined with with saran wrap.
Melt the chocolate (use a microwave, a double-boiler, or two pans in a makeshift double boiler). Don’t add water, soy milk or other things that may cause the chocolate to seize.
Carefully spoon the melted chocolate evenly over the panna cotta, letting it trickle down the sides to form the shell.
Freeze for 10-15 minutes to solidify the chocolate.
Wrap in saran wrap and chill until ready to eat.
Top with what you like or eat as-is.

*Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

**I use a nice fairly traded bar with organic beans and organic sugar. You can always use more chocolate if you like, up to 75g.

‘Pumpkin pie’ and pistachio panna cotta

A simple fall dessert with rich colour and texture contrasts, pictured here with a warm blueberry compote.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk
2T of agave nectar
1T of agar-agar flakes
1, 15oz can of organic pumpkin pie mix*
1/4 cup of pistachios, chopped
1t of sugar divided in halves*

Instructions

Bring the coconut milk, soy milk and agave to a simmer on medium low in a sauce pan.
Add the agar-agar flakes and stir to combine.
Simmer on medium low for 15 minutes stirring frequently until the agar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup.
Add the pumpkin pie mix and stir until thoroughly combined.
Simmer another 20 minutes stirring frequently until thick and reduced.
Add half the chopped pistachios each to the bottom of 2 ramekins
Sprinkle the pistachios with 1/2t of sugar each
Pour the pumpkin mixture over the pistachios
Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes uncovered.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours to setup.
When firm and ready to serve, carefully turn out the panna cotta onto the plate.

*An organic pumpkin pie mix should have organic (unbleached) sugar. A growing number of white table sugars are produced without using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and unrefined sugars are typically fine.

Peanut butter panna cotta with lime, cashew topping and shaved chocolate.

A simple, rich, no-bake dessert with a brightly flavored lime topping and a little chocolate.

Ingredients

For the panna cotta
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup of sugar (1)
1T heaping of agar-agar
1/2 cup of unsweetened peanut butter
A pinch of sea salt
2T of shaved chocolate for garnish (2)

For the topping
50g of extra firm tofu
2T cup of cashew butter
2T cup of unsweetened soy milk
2% cup of sugar (1)
1T of lime juice
A pinch of sea salt

Directions

Puree the soy milk, sugar, agar-gar, peanut butter and sea salt until smooth.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.
Pour into two ramekins and chill uncovered for 20 minutes.
Cover with saran wrap and chill further for 2 hours.
Puree the ingredients for the topping.
Let chill 2 to 3 hours to setup.
When you’re ready to serve, turn the panna cotta out carefully onto a plate.
Spoon the lime cashew sauce over the top.
Garnish with shaved chocolate

(1) Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

(2) I use a nice fairly traded chocolate bar with organic beans and organic sugar.

Spiced pumpkin and mocha panna cotta

Rich pumpkin and spices with coffee flavours for a nuanced fall dessert, pictured here with lime cashew topping.

Ingredients

12 cup of coconut milk
12 cup of fresh espresso
12 cup of sugar
1 12T of agar-agar flakes
1, 15oz can of pumpkin
12t of dried ground cinnamon
14t of dried ground ginger
A pinch of dried ground cloves

Instructions

Bring the coconut milk, espresso, sugar and spices to a simmer on medium low in a sauce pan.
Add the agar-agar flakes and stir to combine.
Simmer on medium low for 15 minutes stirring frequently until the agar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced to about 12 cup.
Add the pumpkin and stir until thoroughly dissolved.
Simmer another 20 minutes stirring frequently until thick and reduced.
Pour into 2 ramekins.
Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes uncovered.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours to setup.
When firm and ready to serve, carefully turn out the panna cotta onto the plate.

A growing number of white table sugars are produced without using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and unrefined sugars are typically fine.

Single-serve, apple bread pudding with raspberry sorbet

A rich fall dessert with a crisp, brightly coloured sorbet for contrast, all in a single serving.

Ingredients

For the pudding
1 slice of whole wheat bread, staled and crumbed (about 1/2 cup packed)
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
1t baking powder
2T plant-only vegetable shortening
A pinch of sea salt
4T sugar, divided as below
1 small baking apple (preferably granny smith), cored and thinly sliced
1/2t dried, ground cinnamon
1/2t corn starch
A pinch of cloves
1t lemon juice

For the sorbet
1/3 cup of frozen raspberries
2T unsweetened soy milk
1/2T agave nectar

Directions

Let the bread get stale (don’t toast).
When ready, preheat the oven to 375F.
Chop the bread in a food processor (or by hand).
Toss with the soy milk, baking powder, shortening and sea salt and 1T of sugar.
Mix the sugar and spices.
Toss the sliced apple with lemon juice and the sugar and spice mixture until evenly coated.
Line a ramekin with tinfoil — with several inches extra to accommodate all of the apple.
Add 1/3 of the bread crumb mixture to the bottom.
Add half the sliced apple.
Add 1/3 of the bread crumbs and the rest of the apple.
Top with the last of the bread crumb mixture.
Seal up loosely (it will extend beyond the ramekin and then shrink as it cooks).
Bake for 30 minutes sealed.
Open the and spread the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let stand 5 minutes, close up the foil and compact.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes to serve warm.
Open the foil and carefully turn out the pudding, bottom up.
Using an immersion blender, blend the sorbet ingredients in a small cup until smooth.
Use two spoons to quennelle the sorbet, or dollop it on top or on the side.

Maple-poached red pears with maple, orange syrup, candied nuts and chocolate

Poached in maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and spice, this is a beautiful dessert for fall. Add some dried fruit to the poaching liquid once it has reduced but not thickened for some extra flavour and colour on the plate. Use 1T of marmalade to replace the triple sec if desired.

Ingredients

Two pears, halved and cored (I used red anjou)
2 cups water
1/2 cup and 2T maple syrup
2t dried ground cinnamon
1t dried ground ginger
1/2t dried ground cloves
1T balsamic vinegar
2T triple sec*
1/2 cup soy milk
1T corn starch mixed with 1T water
4t nutritional yeast
2T slivered almonds
2T walnuts
2T cashews
1/4t sea salt (or to taste)
1T shaved chocolate for garnish

Directions

Bring the water to a very soft boil in a small sauce pan (one just large enough for the pears to fit).
Add the maple syrup and spices and let the infuse for 2-3 minutes.
Add the pears.
Gently poach for 20 minutes or until the pears are soft.
Remove from heat and let the pears cool for 15 minutes in the poaching liquid.
When cooled, remove the pears form the poaching liquid and set them aside.
Add the triple sec to the poaching liquid.
On medium heat, reduce the poaching liquid by three quarters (to about 1/2 cup).
Add the soy milk and bring to a simmer on medium heat (puree if necessary to homogenize).
Whisk together the corn starch and water.
Add the mixture slowly to the poaching liquid slowly stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes to cool.
Toss the nuts with the 2T of maple syrup and sea salt, and then stuff the pears with about 1T each.
Pour the syrup to the plate.
Plate the pears.
Sprinkle each pear half with 1t nutritional yeast.
Garnish with shaved chocolate.

*Many, but not all, spirits and liqueurs are produced without animal products during the filtration or other parts of the process.

Single-serve strawberry cobbler

Cobbler is a simple alternative to pie, combining seasonal fruit with sweetened biscuit dough. This version is simple, rustic dessert sized for one. The recipe easily doubles with a second ramekin.

Ingredients

For the strawberries
2/3 cup of sliced strawberries
3T sugar (or to taste)*
2t corn starch
1/2 lemon juice

For the dough
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2t baking powder
2T sugar*
A pinch of coarse sea salt
3T unsweetened soy milk
1t apple cider vinegar
1T canola oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Toss the strawberries with the lemon juice, corn starch and sugar.
Add the fruit mixture to the bottom of a ramekin.
For the dough, mix the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients, and then the wet with the dry until you have a wet dough.
Pour the dough over the fruit mixture and smooth.
Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the dough is starting to brown lightly. Ovens vary; use the colour of the dough as your guide.
Cool for 15 minutes to enjoy warm or chill covered with aluminum foil for 2 hours to enjoy cold.

*A growing number of white cane sugar is processed without animal bone charcoal. Organic cane, beet, agave, and other alternatives are available.

Single-serve pistachio pudding with fresh raspberries

A simple pudding with pistachio’s rich flavour, colour and texture combined with fresh raspberries. The recipe easily doubles.

Ingredients

1.5 cups unsweetened soy milk
1/4t vanilla extract
1/4 cup and 1t sugar separated*
4T pistachios, separated 3T/1T
A pinch of coarse sea salt
1T scant tapioca flour dissolved in 1T cold water
2T fresh raspberries

Directions

Bring the soy milk, vanilla extract, sugar and sea salt to a simmer in a sauce pan on medium.
Reduce heat to medium low and reduce the soy milk by about half (being careful to not let it boil over).
Add about 1/4 cup of the soy milk mixture to 3T of pistachios and let stand about 5 minutes.
Using an immersion blender (or similar) puree the soy milk and pistachios.
Add the mixture back to the pan and puree with the remaining liquid until smooth.
Return the pan to a light simmer.
Whisk the tapioca flour and cold water until dissolved.
Stirring continuously, slowly add the tapioca mixture until the pudding thickens (should be almost immediately).
Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes to cool.
Pour into a martini glass or similar.
Chill for 20 minutes uncovered.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for another 2 hours at least to setup.
When ready to serve, toss the raspberries with the 1t sugar.
Sprinkle 1T pistachios and then 2T of raspberries over the pudding and serve.

*A growing number of white cane sugar is processed without animal bone charcoal. Organic cane, beet, agave, and other alternatives are available.