Blackberry bakewell slice


Having made some blackberry jam I thought it was only right to find a use for it! I love Bakewell tarts – that combo of almond frangipane and jam is just delish! So I thought I’d make a blackberry version!

You can obviously use shop bought jam for this but if you fancy making it yourself then you can follow my recipe here (blackberry jam). If you have the time, and inclination, you can make your own short crust pastry (recipe below) or you can just buy the ready made stuff from the supermarket! This made one tray and three small tarts – approx 20 slices, at 299 cals each!

You will need:

For the pastry
300g plain flour
125g cold butter or dairy free ‘butter’/ spread
30g sugar (or 15g half spoon to save cals)
1 egg
2 tbsp non dairy or dairy milk (optional)

Or one pack of ready made short crust pastry.

For the filling:
approx 200g blackberry jam

A handful of blackberries

A handful of flaked almonds
250g dairy free spread
100g caster sugar (or 50g half spoon sugar)
5 eggs
250g ground almonds
2 tbsp self-raising flour

If you are making the pastry put the flour, butter and sugar into a processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until it comes together into a rough dough. If it is too dry add a little milk. Add one of the eggs and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of milk. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20-25 mins.

Unwrap the dough (or open up your packet of ready made pastry!) and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll it out until it is large enough for your tray (l used one thought 20 x 15 cm, and then three small round tart cases).

Grease the tin or line with baking parchment and then lay the pastry tins and trim off the excess. Pop in the fridge to chill for 10 – 20 mins and preheat the oven to 200 C.

Remove from fridge, prick with a fork across the tin and line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (or dried pulses or rice if you don’t have any). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden-brown.

Remove the paper and beans and brush the pastry with a little spread, beaten egg or milk and then return to the oven for 5 mins or so until golden brown. all over with the remaining beaten egg. Remove the pastry from the oven and turn the oven down to 180 C. Once done remove and leave out to one side.

Now start on the filling. Beat the spread and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat gentle each time (don’t worry if it appears to split a bit). Add the flour and ground almonds and beat together.

Spread the jam over the pastry, be as generous as you like – I love the jammy bit so I like a thick layer!

Gently spoon or pipe the filling over the top and smooth it down. Press in the whole blackberries, and sprinkle with a little sugar and flakes almonds.

Bake for 45-50 mins. The frangipane should be cooked all the way through with a sugary crust on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Slice and serve – on its own or with some ice cream or custard!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

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Fig, blackberry and almond cake


I was lucky enough to receive some home grown figs from my lovely friend Claire, and I had some more foraged blackberries so I thought I’d put them together in this yummy fig, blackberry and almond cake!

It’s quick and easy to make and really tasty! It is dairy free but does contain eggs, however you can easily use soaked chia seeds as an egg replacer if you want!

You will need:

125g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

200g Ground almonds

2 Eggs (or you can use 1tbps chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water to replace each egg)

100 ml Almond oil (you can use mild Olive oil if you prefer

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 tsp Almond extract (if you have it)

Figs and blackberries (or any late summer fruits of your choice – plums, raspberries, apple etc)

Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and line and grease a 20cm cake tin – if you have a springform tin then use that as it makes it easier to get it out without it breaking. If not a loose bottom tin is the best option.

Add the oil and sugar to a bowl and use a hand mixer to beat together (you can do it by hand with a fork if not). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add in the extracts and mix well. Fold in the ground almonds with a metal spoon. Once mixed pour in to the tin.

Prepare your fruit. Half (or quarter if they’re big) the figs and wash the blackberries. Place the fruit in to the batter. Push them down a little bit so they’re well bedded in there. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon.

Pop in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. It is worth starting to check it at about 20 minutes. Once a skewer comes out clean then it’s done. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then carefully remove it and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

Coconut Apple Bites – a delicious alternative to apple pie!


These are absolutely delicious – quick and easy to make and so much better than a slice of apple pie – but taste just as good – if not better!

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Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less of the crust – you may just have to adjust. Don’t worry about having to buy oat flour – you can make your own – just pop some porridge oats in to a blender and blend until fine.

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to make them 🙂

You will need:

1 cup Oat flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

4 tbsp Coconut syrup (I use Bali Nutra)

1 – 2 Apples (depending on size. I used Bramley’s)

Warm water – up to 4 tbsp

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Pre-heat the oven to 175 C.

Peel, core and dice your apples – you want chunks about an inch square. If you don’t want them to go brown you can pop them in cold water with some lemon/lime juice in. I don’t really mind if they go a little brown so I don’t bother.

Pop the oats and coconut in a bowl, mix the spices in and stir together. Add the coconut syrup and mix to form a dough. You need a workable but sticky dough so you may find you need to add a little water. I prefer not to add more coconut syrup as it gets too sweet but it’s up to you.

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Take a spoonful of the crust mixture and flatten in your hand. Pop a piece of apple in the middle and cover it in the crust dough.

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Pop on a lined baking tray. Once all the apples are covered pop in the oven for 10 – 15 mins – turning once. You want them to crisp up and go golden brown.

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Eat warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for later.

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Nancy’s Mince Pies! gluten and dairy free!


It’s mince pie time again! whoop! It’s so hard to find plant-based, dairy and gluten free mince pies that don’t taste like cardboard so I decided to make my own and boy are they good! I could eat these by the dozen… and in fact I do!

This recipe has been posted here before but has recently been featured over at Pure Form Fitness Kitchen so I thought I’d repost for you 🙂

and here’s a little video of me making them too :

For the Pastry:

4 oz Buckwheat flour
2 oz ground Almonds
5 tbsp Agave nectar
Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the Mincemeat:

3 oz Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped
6 oz Mixed dried fruit (I prefer raisins, currants, cranberries and apricots)
1 oz Vegetable suet
2 oz Raw sugar (coconut palm or dark raw muscovado)
Juice and grated zest of half an Orange
1 level tsp of ground allspice
1 pinch ground Cinnamon
1 pinch ground Cloves
1 pinch grated / ground Nutmeg
1 small handful chopped Almonds
1 tbsp Date syrup

Make the pastry first. Put the buckwheat flour and ground almonds in a processor and add the agave. Pulse and gradually add the water until it forms a dough. You may find you need more or less water. If it is too wet add a little more flour. Once it is forming a firm dough remove, wrap in cling-film and place the mixture in the fridge. You can do this by hand if you prefer – just ensure you mix the flour and almonds thoroughly.

Put all the ingredients for the mincemeat into a saucepan. Cook on a low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the apple is soft and the mixture is thick – it may take some time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 6.

Lightly oil a mini muffin tin with almond, coconut or hazelnut oil. Remove pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it as thin as you can – a few mm. Use a round biscuit cutter to cut out the bases. Place them in the tin. Place in an oven to blind bake for 5–10 mins. Keep an eye on them – this pastry browns quite fast. Once the edges are brown and the middle is firm remove them. While the cases are in the oven take a smaller star shaped (or any shaped) biscuit cutter to cut out the “lids”.

Roll and cut out the pastry cases and lids

Roll and cut out the pastry cases and lids

 

 

Place a generous helping of mincemeat in each of the cases and place your chosen “lid” on top. Lightly oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and raw sugar.

Fill the cases and add the lids

Fill the cases and add the lids

Place the pies back in the oven and bake until golden (5 – 7 mins but check regularly). Keep a careful eye on them. You want the tops to brown but be careful the bases don’t burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Oh My – Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie! Easy and dairy and gluten free! (vegan)


Yes, you read that right – this is a completely dairy and gluten free lemon meringue pie! Can you believe it? I’m not sure I can but I am ridiculously excited about it!

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I’ve been obsessing about lemon meringue pie lately but really wanted to avoid the traditional gluten and dairy-filled pie recipes. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull this off but… oh my word – I definitely have! This is so yummy and really pretty easy too.

I gave a piece to my top taster and this was the result after only a few minutes… so I’m pretty sure she liked it too 😉

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This recipe is in 3 parts – the pastry shell, the curd filling and the meringue. The curd is super easy and the recipe has been posted separately (here) but I’ll re-post it here for ease. The curd recipe will give you more than you need but that’s ok – you can save it for later (or make some extra mini pies too!). If you want a thicker meringue then simply double the meringue ingredients.

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For the pastry:

100g Ground almonds
100g Flaked almonds
75g Rice flour(or other gluten free flour)
25g Golden raw Caster sugar (or other unrefined sugar)
50ml Almond oil
3 -4 tbsp cold almond or other non dairy milk
Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

For the filling:

1 1/4 cups of Lemon juice (I used 6 very large lemons)
Zest of half of the lemons used (freeze the rest of the zest for use later)
1/2 cup of Cold water
1 3/4 cups unrefined raw Sugar (adjust to taste)
5 tbsp Cornflour (corn starch)
2 tbsp non-dairy margarine
6 tbsp Almond milk (you could also use soya or coconut milk)

For the meringue:

6 tbsp Egg replacer (I used Orgran No-egg)
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp ice cold Water
1/2 cup unrefined raw Sugar (smaller granules work better)

Make your curd filling to start with (you can make the curd well in advance – it will keep for a few weeks in the fridge).

Juice and zest your lemons. You only need the zest from half of the lemons but it’s worth zesting them all and keeping the remaining zest in the freezer to use in other recipes later.

Place the lemon juice and water in a cold saucepan. Add the cornstarch and whisk to dissolve. Add the sugar and turn on the heat. Continue to whisk as you bring the mixture to a boil slowly. Once boiling allow it to boil gently for one minute without stirring.

Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking the whole time, and cook for 3 minutes. Have a little taste – if it’s not sweet enough for you then stir in some more sugar. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge. Place clingfilm over the bowl to avoid a skin forming.

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While the curd cools you can make your pastry.

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a 20 cm flan or pie dish lightly with almond oil.

Put the ground and flaked almonds into a bowl with the flour and salt and stir to combine. Keep stirring and add in the olive oil gradually. Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and keep stirring. The mixture should hold together when pressed, if it doesn’t then add some more almond milk, stirring all the time, until it does. At this point have a taste. If you want a sweeter pastry then add some more sugar until you get the desired flavour. Press in to the flan dish. You may well have some pastry left over – if so you can either make some mini-pies or you can create little flat biscuits with the leftovers (just bake until cooked!) .

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until set and barely golden. Remove from the oven and brush the pastry with a little almond oil and return to the oven for a few minutes to set then set aside to cool.

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Once the pastry has cooled fill it with as much curd as you fancy and place in the fridge while you prepare the meringue.

Preheat the oven to 100 C.

Put the egg-replacer in to a large, clean, dry mixing bowl. Add a small amount of water and begin to whisk – ideally with an electric hand blender if you have one. It will form a sticky paste. Continue to mix and add a little water at a time, together with a little sugar. Whisk the whole time and add the water and sugar very gradually. You will see that the paste begins to rise. Whisk until you have stiff peaks and it is a marshmallowy consistency.

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Remove the filled pie from the fridge and spread the meringue over the top. Allow to sit for 10 – 15 minutes so it begins to set. Then place in the oven for 30 minutes. If you want a browned finish to the meringue you can use a cooks blow torch to add that effect.

Allow to cool (if you can wait – I confess, I couldn’t!) and then enjoy!

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Cranberry and Apple Meringue pie! oh my!


Hands up if you love Lemon Meringue Pie! I do! And yes I know, meringue contains eggs, so I’m very sorry to my vegan friends (although you can use a commercial egg replacer for meringue so all is not lost!), but this festive meringue pie is gluten and dairy free 🙂 It’s a nice change to the usual festive fair!

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Pastry

100g Ground almonds
100g Flaked almonds
75g Spelt or Rice flour(or other gluten free flour)
25g Golden raw Caster sugar
50ml Almond oil
3 -4 tbsp cold almond or other non dairy milk
Pinch of Himalayan rock salt

Filling

4-5 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
250g frozen or fresh Cranberries
juice of 1 clementine
75g Dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Corn flour
Raw unrefined sugar (if required)

Meringue

3 Large egg whites (or egg replacer)
150g Golden raw Caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the ground and almonds into a bowl with the flour and salt and stir to combine. Keep stirring and add in the olive oil gradually. Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and keep stirring. The mixture should hold together when pressed, if it doesn’t then add some more almond milk, stirring all the time, until it does. At this point have a taste. If you want a sweeter pastry then add some more sugar until you get the desired flavour. Press it into a 20 cm pie or fluted flan dish. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until set and barely golden.
Remove from the oven and brush the almond pastry with a little almond oil and return to the oven for a few minutes to set then set aside to cool.

Now for the filling! First you need to cook the cranberries. Place the frozen or fresh cranberries in a pan with the juice of 1 clementine (or half an orange if that’s easier!). Cook for 5 mins until the cranberries start to soften and burst. Taste – if too tart for you then add a little raw sugar. Put the apples, cooked cranberries and dried cranberries in a saucepan with 75ml water and bring to the boil. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Mix the corn flour with a tbsp of cold water till smooth then stir into fruit mixture. Boil for 1 minute then pour into the pastry case.

If using them then whisk the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the sugar, a third at a time, to form a thick meringue. Spoon over the fruit and bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a plate to cool.

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Pear and Almond Frangipane – Gluten and Dairy Free


I absolutely LOVE almond and whenever there’s a frangipane or almond tart on offer somewhere you can bet that that will be the cake I choose. So when I came across this awesome recipe I just had to try it! It’s from Isa’s website but I’ve modified it to make it gluten free and substituted the margarine for coconut oil which is much healthier and less processed. My tasters almost didn’t get any of this as I pretty much inhaled it as soon as it came out the oven!

For the pastry:

2/3 cup Ground Almonds
1 cup Rice Flour / Gluten Free Plain Flour Mix / Spelt Flour (for low gluten not gluten free option)
2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar / Unrefined Raw Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt (ideally Himalayan Rock Salt)
6 tbsp Olive Oil
3 – 4 tbsp Cold Almond Milk

For the frangipane:

6 tbsp Coconut Oil (don’t melt it)
2/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar / Unrefined Raw Sugar
1 and 1/4 cup Ground Almonds
2 tbsp Cornflour
pinch salt
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2/3 cup Almond Milk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
4 Pears (I used conference pears as it’s what I had in my fridge!), peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat the oven to 175 C.

Start with the pastry. Put the ground almonds into a food processor with the flour and salt and pulse to combine. Keep pulsing and add in the olive oil gradually. Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and keep pulsing. The mixture should hold together when pressed, if it doesn’t then add some more almond milk, pulsing all the time, until it does. At this point have a taste. If you want a sweeter pastry then add some more sugar until you get the desired flavour. Press it into a pie dish. This amount should do a 9 inch pan. Using a fork prick the base of the pastry shell and place in the oven for 15 minutes to blind bake.

Now for the frangipane (my favourite bit! 🙂 ).Put the coconut oil, sugar, ground almonds, cornflour, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined and all crumbly. Slowly add the almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract whilst still pulsing the food processor until it forms a thick batter. Pour the batter into the pre-baked pastry shell. Peel and core the pears, slice them in half and then into thin slices (about a 1/4 of an inch thick). Lay the pear slices in the batter – overlap them and push them in so about 2/3 is under the batter and the top is sticking out (so you need to put them in at an angle if that makes sense!). Bake the tart for 40 – 45  minutes or until the top is golden brown, then move the tart onto a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes.

warning - this is seriously addictive

Because I used coconut oil, not margarine, for the frangipane this came out as rather like a treacle tart in texture. Now I quite liked that but if you want something a little more cakey then you might want to use vegetable shortening instead. I’ve not tried it yet (though I will be!) but a more solid fat should help with that. Personally I love the flavour the coconut oil gives and I can cope with a nice sticky tart! 🙂