This year, 2013, my soul has craved a change for many reasons, but we won’t go into all of that. Suffice it to say, my head has been whirling ideas around that I have just felt compelled to follow. Textures, colours, and aromas float above my eyes, and what I see makes my mouth water. To that end, I bring you a most sublime Christmas (and gluten-free) dessert that will have you singing songs of bliss. I love the combination of blackberries and apples, and as the sauce turned red, roses sprung to mind – what a lovely, decadent mixture of ingredients to really lift the spirits. I also wanted to offer a healthier choice without the stodge this year – although many of us fall prey to overeating, and that being the case, it may as well be full of substance and delicious culinary nutrition.
You may prepare both the filling and topping the day before, refrigerate, and then put them together in the morning. Lightly bake until almost golden, then re-bake just before serving. I suggest either a nice, hot traditional custard, or some dairy-free cream, or maybe both. If you want to go the whole way with the health ticket, then make some cashew cream in the liquidizer – 1 cup of pre-soaked cashews, a dash of sweetener of your choice, and half a cup of cold water – process until smooth and serve.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
2 apples, peeled and chopped into medium size pieces
¼ cup (60 mL) water
1½ Tbsp agave syrup, or sweetener of your choice – more if you wish
3 cups blackberries (I used frozen ones)
1 tsp arrowroot, mixed with the rose water until a paste is formed, set aside
METHOD FOR THE FILLING
- Place the apples in a saucepan with the water and sweetener, and stew until the apples are soft.
- Then add the blackberries, lower the heat, cover, and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Stir in the arrowroot and rose mixture, stir for a minute, then take off the heat, and allow to cool a little. Taste for sweetness, and adjust if needs be.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
5 Tbsp tapioca flour
100g blanched almonds
2 Tbsp vegan margarine of your choice (one that is suitable for baking)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- Place the almonds in your food processor, and process until they turn to crumbs.
- Next, add the remaining ingredients, and process until crumbs are formed again. The mixture should be thicker crumbs, but still on the loose side. The margarine will make the crumbs denser to the eye, but when handled softish to the touch. If the mixture is too doughy, add a little more flour, and process for a few seconds until crumbs are formed again (but don’t overdo it).
extra blanched almonds for decoration
- Pre-heat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC)
- Place the blackberry mixture in a medium-sized pudding basin, and then spoon on, or use clean hands, to gently place the crumble on top – a peak will most probably form.
- Now decorate your pudding with the almonds on the edges, and place in your preheated oven until golden. Keep your eyes on it, as every oven is different.
- When it’s turned a nice golden colour, remove from oven, and allow to stand for some minutes, before serving with hot custard or vegan cream. Then share and devour ! Enjoy !
All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010