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A thing of beauty…

I haven’t written in ages. I haven’t stopped cooking or reading; just didn’t have to time to write about it 🙂 but today I’m lying in bed with a bad back (after soooo long without any problems 😦 ) so I find I suddenly have the time. Silver lining, right?

So. This used to be the cake I made for my mom’s birthday… until it wasn’t. Then my mom suddenly requested it again. As I no longer have wheat flour, I made it gluten free, but use the flour you have on hand. This is based on “Fruit and cream cake” in “Cakes for all Seasons” by Nira Scheuer.

Ingredients

Dough: (this makes double the amount, I put half in the freezer for the next pie)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour or Tami gluten free flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon zest
pinch salt
150 gr margarine or butter

Cream:
1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 cup milk (240 ml)
1 packet instant vanilla pudding (80 gr)
1 box white cheese (5% fat)

Fruit Topping:
Canned (600 gr with the juice) or fresh (1/2 kg) soft fruit, sliced. I used canned peaches.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Dough: Mixed everything in a food processor until it forms a ball. Do not over process. Put half in a bag in the freezer for next time; press the rest into a pie plate*. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Let cool.

Cream: whip the cream,milk and pudding together until fluffy. Add the white cheese and whip until blended. Put mixture into cooled pie shell. Flatten top.

Fruit: Arrange slices on top of cream in an aesthetically pleasing way (or not 😉 ). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Tip: if using canned fruit, blend the syrup with leftover canned or fresh fruit and freeze into popsicles.

Bon Apetit!

* There’s a rumor that someone has invented the “rolling pin” with which you can roll the dough into a perfect circle and then transfer it with panache to a pie plate. I’ve never believed it.

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I get hungry mid morning and want something light yet sweet. For my kids, I sometimes make the microwaved cakes in a bowl, but for myself I was looking for something that I can finish by myself without feeling guilty 😕

I found this amazing and excellent recipe. At first I was sure something was missing as it had absolutely no added liquids. But it surprisingly works very well. As it’s based on fruit and oatmeal, it’s reasonably healthy (well… if you ignore the 1/4 cup sugar, of course 😉 ). I used cherries instead of blueberries, and added ground almonds and coconut.

My first try came out more like a pudding, because I tried to substitute part of the oatmeal with ground almonds. I heard from a friend that she regularly substitutes ground almonds instead of flour, so it made sense. However, almonds simply don’t absorb liquids the way oatmeal does and this is not a good substitute.

My next tries were more successful – in them I added extra ground almonds, and as my bananas were large I added more oatmeal as well. The result was a very satisfying fruit cake, which I ate with some yogurt or quark.

As always, my eldest loved the cake and my youngest didn’t 🙄

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, mashed

One mashed banana

1/2 cup oats (I used Quakers). More if your banana is large.
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp coconut flakes
6-7 cherries, pitted and cut , or other fruit

[No oil, eggs, water, milk, baking soda, or baking powder. Cool, huh?]

Mix all ingredients together:

Before microwaving

Microwave for 3 minutes, check for done-ness by touching the top of the cake lightly. Top should be dry (assuming you didn’t touch a cherry) and firm.

If not done, add in one minute stages until done.

Done!

Let cool and eat!

I made twice the amount in four bowls for my kids to taste. The results were awesome and looked so pretty…

Four mini cakes

I also made an amount of these without cherries, to take with me to the hospital when I gave birth. They were sweet and very satisfying as a midnight snack when breastfeeding, and kept remarkably well.

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I made banana oatmeal muffins using banana oatmeal bread with the following changes: 2/3 cup sugar; 2 eggs instead of three whites and a yolk; 1/3 cup water instead of the milk; baked in muffin pans. I must have over baked just a few minutes (still traumatized from the banana bread I tried last week) but it was still very tasty and very satisfying. I’m breastfeeding, so I’m hungry all the time and these were really great. As an added bonus, my 2-year-old loved them. I will definitely make these again.

While I didn’t have many cravings during pregnancy, I have loads of them now, when breastfeeding. In some cases I buy what I want; in most cases I make it if at all possible. However, I had a craving for European fruit pie – the kind with sweet crusty pastry, cream or custard, and sliced fruit on top. And I fully intended to buy it, because then I can buy a piece instead of a whole pie. My husband can’t stand cream cakes or fruit cakes, so he won’t help me eat it (he likes chocolate cake. With chocolate chips. That’s roughly it).

I couldn’t find any.

What you find in Geneva in every Pattiserie or Brasserie (or whatever) I couldn’t find in any bakery.

So…

I made the crust using my own pie crust. I personally prefer margarine or butter based pie crusts (even though oil is healthier than margarine blah blah blah) but I didn’t have the patience to take out the mixer and wash it up afterwords, and this crust is made in the pie dish.
I used easy healthy microwave vanilla pudding for the filling. It was more complicated than it looks because the cornstarch clumped and didn’t dissolve, so it didn’t thicken the pudding. In the end I strained it, mixed more the cornstarch with some cold water so it wouldn’t clump, and added it to the mixture (after adding the eggs). The results weren’t what I was expecting texture wise, but it was still quite good.
I sliced kiwi (that was going really soft) and banana (ditto) on top and refrigerated it. I forgot to photograph it, but it looked great…and tasted even better!
I’m not sure why the pudding is healthy. I mean, based on milk and eggs with only 3 tbsp sugar it certainly isn’t unhealthy, but why mention it? I think my next post will be a rant on “healthy” foods…
I would eat more fruit pie but it’s already finished! I gave some to my parents so I wouldn’t eat it all, and my son discovered that he loves vanilla pudding, so I did have some help 😀

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