Archive for Vegan

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova Two Ways {Vegan}

I’m not quite sure what I’ve gotten myself into. It’s blueberry season, and I seem to just keep acquiring more and more and more blueberries! It’s not my fault… they just follow me home, honest!

So, yeah, I have too many blueberries, so I have been making ALL the blueberry things. Earlier it was a (non vegan) lemon blueberry pound cake, but I always like to make sure I have something that’s entirely plant-based happening most of the time.

Today’s recipe is just that.

And I found, when I started to get into the recipe, that I could use the same ingredients in a variety of different ways. I was actually able to create two distinctive desserts out of the same group of ingredients.

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova

Dessert number one is a vegan pavlova.

If you’re not Australian you may not know what Pavlova is. Basically, it’s a big meringue that is baked at a low temp for a long time, and the final result is something that is crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are usually topped with a mixture of curd, whipped cream, and fresh berries, and often served at Christmas.

My vegan version is made, of course, from aquafaba. You simply take a basic aquafaba meringue recipe and instead of piping it into “kisses,” you pipe it into what looks a little like a bird’s nest. This creates the base of the pavlova. You top it with lemon curd, fresh berries, and coconut whip.

Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Dessert number two is inspired by a non-vegan one I had a few weeks back at a local restaurant, H2 at the Westin Bayshore. It was called a Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess, and it consisted of layers of lemon curd, whipped cream and a blueberry compote, topped with meringues. It was delicious, but I wanted to recreate it and make it vegan.

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Here’s the basic recipes to create both:

Here is how to make the meringue. I piped half into “birds nests” to make pavlovas and half into “kisses” for the Eton Mess. You can skip the raspberry powder if you like, but I had some left over from making this recipe, and I liked the idea of raspberry and blueberry together.

Here is how to make the lemon curd.

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a mason jar, combine water, non dairy milk and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well to mix. Pour into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and then cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to stir until it thickens and bubbles.You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and you can run your finger through it without it running back together.

Here is how to make the coconut whip (or you can be lazy and buy it in a can!).

Here is how to make the blueberry compote:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over  medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Allow to cool before creating your dessert–it will thicken as it cools.

Blueberry Shortcake {Vegan}

There are two schools of thought when it comes to shortcake: there are the biscuit folks and then there are the cake folks.

Neither is wrong. It’s just what you prefer.

Vegan Blueberry Shortcake

Shortcake made on a biscuit tends to be a bit heavier in texture, and less sweet. The idea is to use a basic biscuit dough recipe, but add a little sugar to make it a bit sweet, and less savoury.

The cake people have lots of options: I’ve seen shortcake made from regular vanilla cake, angel food cake, and even pound cake.

Either way, to make a shortcake, you place your base (buscuit or cake) on a plate, and top it with mascerated berries and whipped cream, and serve! It’s sometimes better if you have time to let it sit for a while and allow the berry juices to sink in and absorb into the base layer.

The thing about me, though–and you probably know this by now–is that I love the pairing of sweet and savoury. So in this particular instance, I have added a savory element to the busicits–namely the herb thyme. Thyme is a great addition here, because it’s not too strong, and goes well with the blueberry.

Same with the blueberries. I never make any kind of shortcake without adding a little balsamic vinegar to the berries. The balsamic has a little sweetness, a little acidity–that takes the berries to the next level.Blueberry Shortcake Vegan

Blueberry Shortcake {Vegan}

For the shortcake/biscuits:

  • 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • course granulated sugar & additional non dairy milk
  1. Place the non dairy milk in a small bowl, and add the lemon juice to it. Allow to sit while you complete the next step.
  2. Measure out all of your dry ingredients and the thyme into a large bowl, and mix to combine. Drop the vegan butter in and using your hands or a pastry blender (I actually use my potato masher, it works great), mush the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the milk to the dry ingredients, and carefully begin to mix everything together. If the mix is a bit dry, you may need to add a little extra milk, 1 tbsp at a time. You don’t want to overwork your dough, so mix it just until it comes together.
  4. On a floured board, roll your dough out so it’s about 3/4″ thick. Cut out circles using a glass or a cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush a little vegan milk on the top of each biscuit and sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden on the edges.
  5. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

While the biscuits are baking, make the blueberry compote.

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over  medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Remove from the pan into a heat-proof bowl and place in the refrigerator to set. The consistency will thicken as it cools.

To assemble the blueberry shortcakes:

  1. Take a biscuit and split it in half lengthwise. Lay the bottom half on the plate, and top with a generous dollop of the blueberries. Top that with a spoonful of coconut whip. Top with the top of the biscuit to complete.
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