Tag Archives: eggless

Pear and Blackberry Crumble

9 Nov

My nephew likes pears… but these pears at my sister’s house were DRY!!!! Dry, dry, dry… and tasteless. So I decided to make a dessert out of it. I can’t stand to waste food… and organic at that.

I forgot to take a picture of the final product… but the results were pretty different from the original raw fruit. The filling for this crumble came out juicy and sweet and a bit tangy with the addition of the lime juice. That tang balances the sweetness in the fruit and the sugar.

If the pears would’ve been juicy to begin with, maybe you can delete the extra juice. But I just wanted to show you how you can transform a not so delicious fruit into a delectable dessert.

PEAR AND BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE

2 pears, peeled and cut into small pieces
10 blackberries
The juice of 1 lime, you can add some zest if you want too
2 tbs orange or apple juice, especially if the pears are a bit dry… like mine were
2 tbs of organic or brown sugar for the fruits, plus 3 additional heaping tbs for the topping
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tbs cornstarch
2 heaping tbs of spelt flour
2 heaping tbs of butter ( I used softened butter)
1 packet of organic instant maple oatmeal
A handful of walnuts

 

Does it show that when I was making the recipe I only had a soup spoon available??? So it’s all measured by the spoonful…

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350F.
  2. Just place the fruit in a medium pyrex glass baking dish. Add the apple or orange juice. Sprinkle on top the sugar, cornstarch, lime zest, lime juice and the pinch of salt. Mix well together.
  3. On a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, walnuts and butter. Using a fork, mash the butter into the flour/oatmeal mixture. It’ll become like the texture of wet sand. When it feels like that, add it on top of the cut fruits.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until you see the juices of the fruit bubbling and the top is golden brown.

 

I always leave in the oven until we’re about to eat. I like it warm… with a scoop of ice cream on the side.

 

Candied Papaya in Syrup

31 Jul

Dulce de Lechoza, Dulce de Papaya or Candied Papaya Syrup, however you prefer to call it, is a very typical Puerto Rican dessert.

When I used to belong to Mili’s cooking team at the Yoga Center, I needed to come up with different desserts for our menus all the times, because if not, Mili would resort to her trusted papaya dessert each and every time.

It got to a point that I kinda shunned dulce de papaya because I was so fed up with it… but now that Mili doesn’t make it so often, I miss it. I asked her for the recipe… because I wanted to learn how to make it.

I want to thank Jesiel, my long-time friend and author of Sweet Journey of Inspiration, for so graciously lending me the use of her photo of her dulce de papaya.  Jesiel is a former advertising professional and currently is a pastry chef working as a food stylist in Paris, France. We met working together, and even though our professional paths have somewhat diverted, we always stay in touch and connected in more ways than you’ll ever think.

Jesiel’s recipe and Mili’s recipe were very similar indeed. The biggest difference is that Mili’s recipe she stopped using baking soda because we were informed it is not that good for you to cook with it. I will get more info on the WHY for you guys soon… promise.

In the meantime, enjoy the flavors of Puerto Rico…

 

Photo courtesy of Sweet Journey of Inspiration

CANDIED PAPAYA IN SYRUP

 1 large green papaya, but that’s showing signs that it’ll start ripening soon
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tbs whole cloves
2 cups brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla powder
Water

 

  1. Cut papaya in half and clean the inside from all membranes and seeds.
  2. Slice it thinly, in about ¼ inch think and about 2 inches wide. Place in a large bowl. Cover the papaya slices with filtered water and let it rest for about 2 hours.
  3. After the 2 hours have passed, drain the papayas and place in a large pot. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, sugar, vanilla and about ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the syrup is boiling too aggressively, turn down the heat. You sure do not want that hot sugar to boil over. Experience is speaking to you here…
  4. Remove from the heat and let it rest until room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

 

This candied papaya in syrup is best eaten cold and with a nice slice of cheddar cheese or queso del país.

Dulce de Leche

25 Jun

Argentineans, Paraguayans, even Brazilians love their dulce de leche… I know because I just came from a trip in which I almost ate dulce de leche on a daily basis. And the dulce de leche I am talking about is the dulce de leche known in México as cajeta, made from cooked and reduced sweetened milk. Sometimes it’s made from cow’s milk, sometimes from goat’s milk, but every time it’s exquisitely delicious.

There are aisles full of different brands of dulce de leche at every store we visited in Argentina, Paraguay or Brazil. The most popular brands in Paraguay, which is where we stayed the longest, are Trebol and Lactolanda. With their factory very close to Coronel Oviedo, Lactolanda was certainly the most popular brand we ate throughout our trip.

We ate dulce de leche with everything…. On its own, over crackers, with passion fruit mousse… even with queso paraguay. When I am on a trip, I forget about watching my weight and I ate dulce de leche to my heart’s content.

But when I am at home, it’s a different story… My mom once bought a tub of Lactolanda from one of her earlier trips that sat on my kitchen counter for almost 2 years. I am a dulce de leche lover, but I can see the dulce de leche on my kitchen counter and not be hypnotized by it until I finish it all.

But once I a while I do like my sweet fix… Once in a while I crave dulce de leche with a passion. And what do you do when you get a craving and you don’t have a tub of Lactolanda’s dulce de leche waiting in your counter??? You make it yourself…

DULCE DE LECHE

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Yep… one ingredient.

  1. All you need to do is fill a pot with water and place the can of condensed milk inside. Make sure the water covers the can completely. Cover the pot and bring the water to a rolling boil.

2.  Once the water boils aggressively, you can lower the heat to medium-low with cover still on to keep it boiling but to avoid the water from evaporating all away. Let it boil for 1 hour.

3.  After one hour of boiling, carefully flip the can upside down to allow the other side to milk inside to cook evenly. If the water has evaporated that the top of the can is not submerged, add some additional water to the pot. Leave it covered so it starts boiling again fast. Let it boil for another hour.

4.  After the second hour has passed. Turn the heat off the stove and leave the can in the water with the pot uncovered.

5.  Allow the water to cool off a bit for about 1 extra hour. Carefully, take the can out of the hot water and allow it to cool off some more for about an extra hour or so.

I advise you not to open the can immediately because the condensed milk inside that now is converted to dulce de leche is EXTREMELY HOT and you can certainly burn yourself when the pressure and steam created inside the can shoots out the moment you open the can. It oozes super hot like lava and you don’t want a sugar burn…

After you feel the can is cool enough to handle… open it with a can opener and serve as you please. Some ideas are:

As a dipping sauce for crispas…

Inside a crepe…

Over toast or cookies…

Over ice cream…

Or just take a spoon and eat away… and to be honest, who needs a spoon when you have hands, right???

Peach Cherry Crisp

9 Aug

I raided Costco the other day and bought a whole case of peaches… and a case of cherries. All, just for myself. Well, I did share some with my mom when she came over to visit, but before she came over I was puzzled on what would I do with a case of peaches all for me.

I have made already this plum and blueberry crisp… so I tried the same concept with peaches and cherries to see if it would work. The results??? It DID!!!!

When I asked a bunch of you on FaceBook what should I make with these peaches, Adriana recommended a peach pecan something… that gave me the idea to add pecans to the crisp topping. A hit!!!

 

PEACH CHERRY CRISP

2 medium peaches, peeled and cut into pieces
About 14 cherries, pitted and cut into pieces
3 tsps cornstarch
¼ cup raw sugar
The juice of ¼ lemon
Pinch of ground cinnamon
 
For the crisp topping
¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup rolled oats
3 tbs butter
¼ cup raw sugar
2 handfuls of pecans… about ¼ cup
Butter Spray
  1. In a glass baking dish, sprayed with butter spray, add the cut fruit. Add the cornstarch, sugar, lemon zest and juice and finally the cinnamon. Stir well to combine.
  2. Pre—heat oven to 350F.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor combine the crisp topping ingredients – flour, oats, butter, sugar and pecans. Pulse a few times for all the ingredients to combine and form a sand-like consistency. If you want to make this crisp gluten-free or even dairy free, just follow the instructions for the crisp topping I use here. It’ll work all the same.
  4. Place crisp topping over the fruits in the glass dish. You can be generous.
  5. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, until the topping is golden and you see the fruit juices starting to bubble a bit. If you would like to avoid spills in your oven or toaster over, place the glass dish over a sheet pan to catch any drippings.

I did this the other night for a dinner with my friend Walter… he is not into sweets and he had seconds. I hope that meant it tasted awesome!!!!

Strawberry Sorbeto

15 Jul

During my recent trip to Las Vegas I learned the Italian word for sorbet… SORBETO. Kind of funny because in Spanish, or at least here in Puerto Rico, “sorbeto” is what we call a drinking straw.

People at the Yoga Center go crazy for ice creams or frozen desserts of any kind. They’re a nice welcome change from the traditional cake they usually serve. And me, I’m not the cake-lover type. I rather eat a cookie or an ice cream any day before I crave a slice of cake.

So for our Italian Dinner at the Yoga Center I was asked to help out, specifically with desserts… who doesn’t like ice creams, no?? But to make it easy on me I decided to make a very traditional and natural SORBETO. I made a HUGE batch of this, but let’s just scale it down as if I was making it for a dinner party at home…

STRAWBERRY SORBETO

4 cups frozen strawberries
4 tbs of agave nectar

Yep… that’s it. 2 ingredients. That’s why its soooooo good.

  1. Cut the strawberries in quarters, it’ll be easier for the food processor to puree them. Place the cut strawberries in a food processor as you cut them.
  2. Drizzle the agave nectar over the cut berries.
  3. Pulse a few times to get the berries going. Process until the berries turn into a slushy puree. Transfer to a glass or plastic container and freeze until ready to serve.

 

This is soooo refreshing on a hot Summer afternoon…

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