Tag Archive for blueberries

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.

Vegan Panna Cotta with Blueberry-Balsamic Compote

Earlier this summer, I fell in love with panna cotta. Panna cotta is like creme brulee’s country cousin; it’s still a creamy, pudding-like dream, but it doesn’t require eggs. It’s thickened, instead, with gelatin. Now, gelatin makes me a little nervous. I’m unsure where exactly it comes from, and how it’s made, and it’s definitely NOT vegetarian. There is, however, a vegetarian substitute called agar-agar, that’s made with seaweed.

So, I thought I’d try a vegan panna cotta, made with coconut milk and agar-agar, and after a couple of experiments where I didn’t get the ratios right, I finally hit the mark!

vegan panna cotta

This is a very basic, sweet panna cotta. I’m experimenting with a savory version for the fall, but for now, let’s stick to the basics. You could put anything involving fruit on top of this. Whatever you have lying around in fridge or freezer–any berries would be delicious, stewed up with a little sugar (or maple syrup, agave or honey) and water.

IMG_2037

I, however, received a bottle of chocolate balsamic vinegar for my birthday, and I was determined to incorporate it into something more interesting than a salad dressing. What more perfect pairing than blueberries?

So, here you go! Dig deep and enjoy!

Vegan Panna Cotta With Blueberry-Balsamic-Compote

For the panna cotta:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk (400 mls)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 tsp agar-agar
  • 1 tbsp cold water

Method:

  • In a small bowl, place the tablespoon of cold water, then sprinkle the agar-agar in a layer over top. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, place the coconut milk and the sugar. Heat gently just until warm and the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour a couple of tablespoons of the hot coconut milk into the bowl with the agar-agar, and stir well. Add it slowly back into the pot, whisking the whole time. Heat for another 5 minutes, until the milk is steaming, but don’t let it boil. Add the vanilla at the end.
  • Divide between 4 containers. I’ve used mason jars, ramekins, martini glasses, juice glasses or teacups. Refrigerate until set.

For the compote:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar

Method:

  • In a small saucepan, combine all three ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes or so. I use a potato masher on the blueberries to break them up and thicken them a little, you could use an immersion blender if you wanted your compote to be really smooth. I like mine a little chunky. Cook until it is thickened. You’ll know it’s done when you draw a line on the back of a spoon, and it holds.
  • Spoon a couple tablespoons of the compote over the set panna cotta. Refrigerate for at least a half hour more, then serve.