Desserts with fruits

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Orange pie with phyllo pastry and orange custard – vegan and sugar free

“When life gives you a lot of oranges, accept them with gratitude and make a recipe for a vegan orange pie…” That’s what I was thinking when, a few days ago I was given a big box full of juicy, season oranges! Of course many of them have been and will be squeezed to make fresh orange juices, some will be turned into fruit salads, smoothies, orange – green rainbow salads and maybe I will make chickpeas and vegetables in sweet and sour sauce, but the oranges I have are really a lot and the high temperatures of the week will probably make them spoil. So I had to be more creative in order to make the most out of them!

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Talking about that with my hubby yesterday, we decided that the dessert of the week should be a really… orangy orange pie. Actually as he loves fruit-based desserts and I love oriental desserts, we came to the conclusion that it should be an orange pie with an orange custard made with a generous amount of freshly squeezed orange juice and a crispy, sweet phyllo, sweetened with agave nectar. As it is common with many oriental desserts, after baking they are poured with a sugary syrup to give them their special sweet, syrupy character (which is something I really like) but instead of this processed sugar overload, I usually prefer using agave nectar which is less processed and also it works amazingly -you cannot tell the difference. What I like in this vegan orange pie is the fragrant orange cream that is wrapped between layers of phyllo pastry and then the pie is baked until phyllo gets a golden color and crispy texture so that the sweet syrup penetrates between the layers, filling them with syrup and letting them remain in the same time crispy. One little secret to get the right crispy texture is to brush each phyllo with a generous amount of melted coconut oil or margarine. This step may add a few more calories to the recipe but the result will be unforgettable!

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of phyllo pastry (450-500 gr)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted (or melted vegan margarine)

For the orange custard

  • 1 liter of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup, heaped (200 g) fine semolina
  • 1 cup, heaped (240 ml) of agave syrup
  • zest of 2 oranges

For the syrup

1 1/4 cup agave nectar

Vegan, sugar free orange cream pie with phyllo dough - Βέγκαν, νηστίσιμη πορτοκαλόπιτα με κρέμα πορτοκαλιού, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Prepare the orange custard: Put in the pan the agave nectar, the orange juice, the semolina and the orange zest, mix well with a spatula. Simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a smooth cream forms. Transfer the custard into a glass or metal bowl, cover the surface of the cream with film or a piece of parchment paper to prevent crust from forming and let it cool.
2. Brush a rectangular baking pan with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Line half of the phyllo sheets in the bottom of the pan, brushing them one by one with coconut oil. Phyllo should cover the bottom and the walls of the pan (or you need a smaller pan!). Repeat the process two more times.
3. Pour the orange cream over the phyllo and spread it with a spatula.
4. Cover the custard with the remaining phyllo sheets, brushing them again with melted coconut oil (with the process described above). Fold the excess phyllo and seal the edges. With a sharp knife shape on the surface of the orange pie squares 6-8 cm long and sprinkle it with some water (about ¼ cup). Bake for 50 minutes at about 180 oC or until golden.
5. As soon as the orange pie comes out of the oven pour the agave nectar evenly over its surface. Allow to cool before serve. Usually in Greece they let it for a few hours in the refrigerator to cool before serving to underline the freshness of the orange juice.

 

Facebookpinterestmail

Vegan strawberry panna cotta

Vegan panna cotta is one of the easiest and most delicious desserts one can prepare at home. Its secrets are not much, nor does it require any particular technique to be made. The only prerequisites are a dense, rich, plant-based milk such as coconut milk and a plant-based “gelatine” such as agar agar (a natural polysaccharide made from a species of seaweeds). During springtime, when the strawberries are abundant and delicious, I like to add a few into my recipe so that our panna cotta gets the aroma and the slightly sour taste of fresh strawberries. Garnished with a light strawberry sauce (recipe below) or a drizzle of vegan chocolate syrup, this vegan strawberry panna cotta is one of our favorite desserts during May!

Vegan πανακότα φράουλα - Vegan strawberry panna cotta - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

for the strawberry panna cotta

  • 2 cups or 1 can (480 ml) full-fat coconut milk or homemade coconut milk
  • 250g fresh strawberries (you can also use frozen)
  • 4 tbsp sugar or other sweetener of choice (you can also use coconut sugar or raw cane sugar although they may change the color of the panna cotta a little bit)
  • 2 tsp. (level) agar agar powder

for the strawberry sauce

  • 250g fresh strawberries (or frozen)
  • 3 tbsp sugar or other the sweetener of your choice

Vegan πανακότα φράουλα - Vegan strawberry panna cotta - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. For the panna cotta: Blend the strawberries in the blender and push the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Measure the pulp to make sure it is one cup.
2. In a saucepan add the pulp of strawberries, sugar, coconut milk and agar agar. Stir until the agar agar is completely dissolved, turn on the heat and once it comes to boil lower and simmer for five minutes stirring.
3. Distribute the mixture among 4-5 ramekins and let cool. After completely cooled put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
4. For the strawberry sauce: Blend the strawberries in the blender and push the pulp through a fine sieve. Put the pulp together with the sugar in a pan and simmer for five minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool.
5. To serve: You can serve panna cotta directly in the ramekins, garnished with a spoonful of strawberry sauce or you can unmold it and put it on a layer of strawberry sauce, in a plate. Garnish with fresh strawberries.

Vegan πανακότα φράουλα - Vegan strawberry panna cotta - Vegan in Athens

Facebookpinterestmail
Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan British Christmas Plum pudding - Veganinathens.com

British Christmas pudding – vegan, moist and delicious

When I was a child and especially a teenager I used to to imagine that when I would grow up, I would choose to travel all around the world during Christmas, in order to come in contact with other cultures, different customs and traditions. However, every time I’ve traveled during Christmas holidays in northern destinations, I had a really hard time with the cold weather, which seemed a very hostile condition to a tropical climate enthusiast like me – I used to live in a place where one could go swimming at Christmas! Therefore, I had to invent other ways to fulfill my childhood dreams and experience other cultures without leaving the relatively warm Greek climate.

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan British Christmas Plum pudding - Veganinathens.com
Fortunately for me it was not that hard. As a true food lover, even the smell of food, the image and the taste of a juicy dessert, prepared according to authentic recipes of different countries, are enough to make me travel mentally miles away in space and time, in countries and cities that I would actually like to visit only during summer, when the temperatures raise above zero. That’ s how we started incorporating recipes, music and customs from other countries in our house, making Christmas a multicultural, peaceful day. One of our favorite recipes is the traditional English Christmas pudding.
So every year, in the last weekend of November – right, November! – me and my partner, decorate the house with colorful Christmas lights and a Christmas tree and afterwards we prepare together our vegan English Christmas pudding. It may seem too early, but according to tradition, Christmas pudding has to be prepared at least one month before Christmas, in order to age and acquire its full taste and flavor. If one month seems a lot, let’s just say that in England, they used to prepare this dessert even one year before, shortly after Christmas.
This is a recipe that really works, it is super tasty and probably noone will notice that it’s vegan. What I really like about it is that each small bite has a strong taste of Christmas, cinnamon, fruits and brandy. Even though it takes quite a lot ingredients and patience, it is really worth trying.

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan British Christmas Plum pudding - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 150 g. dried figs
  • 200 g. dried cranberries
  • 150 g. sultanas
  • 100 g. black raisins (or more sultanas)
  • 200 g. dried apricots
  • 150 g. candied ginger
  • 200 g. candieded citrus or orange peel
  • 125 g. mixed candied or dried fruit, with or without sugar such as pineapple, papaya, various berries, cherries
  • 2 small green apples, coarsely grated
  • 1 large carrot peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 oranges (juice and zest)
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 225 g. brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 100 g. margarine (I use a homemade)
  • 150 g. bread, crumbled
  • 180 g. all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 40 ml rum
  • 40 ml brandy
  • 40 ml port wine or liqueur of your choice (orange liqueur is my favorite)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan Plum pudding - Vegan in Athens

To serve

40 ml rum or brandy

Powdered sugar or “drunk” vanilla sauce

For the “drunk” vanilla sauce

  • 150 ml vegan milk (preferably homemade such as almond or coconut milk)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice starch or corn starch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 shots of rum or brandy

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan Plum pudding - Vegan in Athens

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan Plum pudding - Vegan in Athens

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan Plum pudding - Vegan in Athens

Method
1. Chop all the dried fruits (except from the cranberries and raisins which do not need to chopping) and place them in a bowl together with the flaxseed. Pour in the bowl the alcoholic beverages, mix and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder and soda.
3. Melt margarine in a saucepan and put it in a large bowl together with the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon and add gradually the juice of the citrus fruits and the zest. Add the dried fruit together with the remaining soaking liquid, the grated apples, the grated carrots, the crumbled bread and the flour. Stir for a while, until completely homogenized.
4. Prepare a metal pudding mould of 2 liter capacity or use two smaller of 1 liter capacity.
Brush or spray the inner of the mould with some oil or margarine and lay its bottom with a round piece of greaseproof paper, equal to the diameter of the bottom. Fill the mould up to ¾ of its volume. Cut another round piece of greaseproof paper with a diameter equal to the mouth of the mould and press with your hands to cover the dough.
5. Cover the pan with more greaseproof paper tying it around tightly, using a string suitable for food.
Place the mould in a pot of water. The water should reach the ¾ of the height of the mould.
Put to simmer for 5-6 hours on low heat, but from time to time add some boiling water in the pot as it evaporates while simmering.
6. Let cool and put in a cool and dry place (over the cupboard maybe) for one month, covered and tight with the greaseproof paper. This procedure of aging is necessary for the perfect combination of flavors. Thanks to the alcohol, sugar and dried fruit it is not going to spoil but in contrast it becomes tastier as time passes.
7. How to serve: The pudding can be served plain or sprinkled with powdered sugar or with a creamy sauce. Usually I prepare one hour before serving the vanilla sauce as follows: in a saucepan, add the milk, the sugar, the vanilla and the starch and stir to dissolve as we don’t want any lumps. Put the mixture to cook over medium heat and stir constantly until it thickens and comes to boil. Remove from heat and add the brandy, stirring constantly. Transfer the cream to a glass bowl and cover its surface with a film so as not to form crust. Boil the pudding again for about one hour before serving, with the procedure described above. Then invert on a serving platter, remove the greaseproof paper, pour with 40 ml rum or brandy and flambe. This process is very impressive and your guests will surely enjoy it! Cut into pieces and serve with the cream.

Χριστουγεννιάτικη πουτίγκα - Vegan Plum pudding - Vegan in Athens

 

Facebookpinterestmail