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Vegan πουτίγκα μήλου με ψωμί, σταφίδες και κανέλα - Vegan, fat-free apple-pie bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins - Vegan in Athens

Vegan and fat-free apple-pie bread pudding

If there would be only one vegan recipe for autumn, this would definitely be a vegan apple pie. Any vegan apple pie, raw vegan or baked works! In fact, if I think of the first three images that come to my mind when I hear the word “autumn”, I will definitely end up with the brown leaves above and below the trees, the smell of the earth after the first rain – I know, this is not a visual image but a whole experience- and the image of a freshly baked, crusty apple pie just as it comes out of the oven.

Vegan πουτίγκα μήλου με ψωμί, σταφίδες και κανέλα - Vegan apple-pie bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins - Vegan in Athens

Since the beginning of October, we have made several vegan apple pies as well as other apple – based desserts such as my crispy cereal bars. However, the one dessert that we enjoy more often is a vegan, oil-free apple and bread pudding which is also one of the easiest, quickest and healthiest desserts I can think of. The ingredients to make it are really simple and cheap: apples, stale bread, a plant-based milk of choice and maybe some brown sugar or any other sweetener we like.

Vegan πουτίγκα μήλου με ψωμί, σταφίδες και κανέλα - Vegan apple-pie bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins - Vegan in Athens

In this simple but special apple pie pudding I appreciate that it takes minimal effort to prepare, it makes good use of simple ingredients we all have at home and it has a fantastic apple – bread – cinnamon taste and fragrance which is reminiscent of autumn, holidays, Christmas, warm clothes, carpets, afternoons drinking coffee with friends. Usually I like to garnish it as soon as it comes out of the oven with a simple vanilla flavored cream and of course I let it rest for at least half an hour before serving it.

Vegan πουτίγκα μήλου με ψωμί, σταφίδες και κανέλα - Vegan apple-pie bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

1st mixture

  • 1 medium bread loaf – white or whole wheat – (weighing about 300 grams)
  • 2 medium apples peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup blond raisins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

2nd mixture

  • 240 ml plant-based milk without sugar or sweeteners (soy milk works very well)
  • 240 g unsweetened apple sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour flour
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp (85 g) of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cognac or orange juice

for the vegan vanilla custard cream

  • 1 3/4 plant-based milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp heaped brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp corn starch or rice starch
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract or vanillin

Vegan πουτίγκα μήλου με ψωμί, σταφίδες και κανέλα - Vegan apple-pie bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Cut the bread into slices, two centimeters thick and then cut each slice into cubes.
2. Put the bread, apple, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl and mix with a spoon.
3. In another bowl, mix the vegan milk with the apple puree, cognac, sugar and flour until a homogeneous mixture is formed. Pour in the bread mixture and mix well.
4. Line a 25×16 cm baking pan with a non-stick baking paper and transfer the apple pudding mixture with a spoon, taking care not to leave any gaps. Gently press the surface to flatten.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 oC for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
6. In the meantime, prepare the custard cream. Keep 1/2 cup of milk and pour the rest in a saucepan along with the sugar and bring to a boil. In the remaining milk, dissolve the starch and the vanilla. Then pour the starch mixture into the boiling milk and mix with a wooden spoon for 5-10 minutes until creamy. Transfer it to a glass or metal bowl and cover its surface with a clear film to prevent crust formation.
7. When the apple pudding comes out of the oven, pour over it half of the cream and let cool for at least half an hour. Serve hot with an extra spoonful of cream.

Vegan πουτίγκα μήλου με ψωμί, σταφίδες και κανέλα - Vegan apple-pie bread pudding with cinnamon and raisins - Vegan in Athens

Note: In this recipe I use rustic bread and in its most rustic form, that is to say, with the core, first of all because we do not buy packed bread. Many of the packed toast breads contain animal-derived ingredients, preservatives, hydrogenated fats and sugar. So we prefer to consume bread from local bakeries or homemade and with whole wheat flour. Rustic bread gives a nice, chewy texture to the pudding.
To make homemade apple sauce find instructions here.

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Φθινοπωρινή μηλόπιτα με μπισκοτένια βάση και επικάλυψη ξινής κρέμας από κάσιους - Vegan in Athens

Vegan apple pie with speculoos cookies and cashew sour cream

A few years ago, I was reading a food magazine, in which there was a tribute to apple pies. What I liked in that, was the fact that there were many different apple-pie recipes from different countries and they all looked really yummy. Since I am almost addicted to apples and apple pies, from this article I drew some ideas to create my own vegan versions of each recipe, since the recipes that were given there were not vegan. Although I veganized all the apple pies I read in the article, the one that we distinguished and we like to make again and again was called “German apple pie”.

Vegan apple pie with speculoos cookies and cashew sour cream- Φθινοπωρινή μηλόπιτα με μπισκοτένια βάση και επικάλυψη ξινής κρέμας από κάσιους - Vegan in Athens
And maybe I cannot tell you for sure if this is an actual German apple pie, even though we keep calling it like that in our house but I can reassure you that this is one of the best apple pies I’ve ever eaten. It consists of a crispy, aromatic base with cinnamon speculoos cookies, a sweet, slightly creamy and aromatic stuffing and the wonderful cashew sour cream topping which gives a special character to our favorite fall dessert.

Vegan apple pie with speculoos cookies and cashew sour cream - Φθινοπωρινή μηλόπιτα με μπισκοτένια βάση και επικάλυψη ξινής κρέμας από κάσιους - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients
For the base

  • 200 g vegan cinnamon cookies (such as speculoos)
  • 80 g vegan margarine melted

For the apple stuffing

  • 1,5 kg of sweet apples peeled and cut into slices of half a centimeter or thinner
  • 85 g brown sugar (about 5 ½ tbsp)
  • 70 g flour (1/2 cup approx.)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Vegan sour cream topping

  • ½ cup cashews soaked for 4-6 hours
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Φθινοπωρινή μηλόπιτα με μπισκοτένια βάση και επικάλυψη ξινής κρέμας από κάσιους - Vegan in Athens

Method

For this recipe we need a baking pan with a removable bottom approximately 22 cm in diameter or a round baking tin.

1. Crush the cookies in the food processor and mix them with the melted margarine. Transfer the mixture into the springform pan and use the bottom of a glass or your fingers to press it evenly into the bottom.
2. In a large bowl, mix well the apples together with the spices, flour and sugar with and lay them over the biscuit base.
3. Drain the cashews and blend them with the water, lemon juice and sugar, at medium speed for 2-3 minutes to form a cream. With a spoon spread the cream evenly over the apples.
4. Bake at 180 oC for 45-55 minutes or until the surface gets a nice golden colour.

Serve warm or cold.

Note: Use gluten-free cinnamon cookies or other gluten-free cookies to make a gluten-free version of this delicious apple pie!

 

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Βergamot marmelade - Μαρμελάδα περγαμόντο - Vegan in Athens

Fragrant bergamot jam

The first time I made bergamot spoon-sweet, I ended up thinking of recipes where I could use the inner part of the fruit. The spoon-sweet recipe requires only the peel of the bergamots. However I felt that I had to find a way to make use of their flesh and the simplest thing I thought was to prepare a jam, which would be flavored with the zest I kept while preparing the spoon-sweet. After all, even if this wouldn’t work, I would waste a little sugar and a little time…

Fortunately the experiment was absolutely succesful and since then when bergamots are in season, I look forward to preparing the jam rather than the spoon-sweet! The jam has a sour and sweet taste, like a lemon jam, without being bitter. Moreover it is incredibly fragrant, owing to the bergamot zest.

In order to cut down the amount of sugar, I add an apple that balances the intense acidity with its sweetness. Additionally, apples contain pectin which helps getting jam to set properly, even with less sugar.

Βergamot marmelade - Μαρμελάδα περγαμόντο - veganinathens.com

Ingredients

  • 550 g bergamot flesh (the inner part of about 7 bergamots)
  • 1 large red sweet apple
  • 1 ½ tsp bergamot zest
  • 250 g sugar

Βergamot marmelade - Μαρμελάδα περγαμόντο - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. Cut bergamot flesh into slices and carefully remove the seeds. You need 550 grams of flesh.
  2. Wash the apple very well, peel it and add the peel to the pan, along with the bergamot slices. The pectin in the peel helps the jam to set. Remove the seeds, cut the apple into slices and add to pot.
  3. Add the sugar and zest and simmer without the lid for 25-30 minutes, until the jam sets. To make sure that it has the right texture, add a little jam on a saucer and wait a while to cool down. Form a line over the jam with your finger. If the line shuts immediately the jam is not ready. A more accurate way to see if the jam is ready is by measuring its setting point. The setting point for a relatively loose jam, appropriate for mixing with ice-creams, creamy ingredients or spreading easily is 102 oC but if you want a firmed consistency your jam must reach 105 oC. A good way to test for setting point is to have a sugar thermometer clipped to the side of your saucepan, with the end dipped in the boiling jam. Once the boiling mixture has reached the correct temperature then your jam is ready.
  4. Remove the peel of the apple. Pour the jam into sterilized jars while still hot and close with their lids immediately. This way they can be maintained for long time. After opening, keep refrigerated.

Βergamot marmelade - Μαρμελάδα περγαμόντο - Vegan in Athens

 

 

 

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