Posts Tagged ‘dessert’



Picked these Empire apples myself in Hood River.


Melted earth balance, evenly distributed.IMG_8804First layer-pack it tight.


 Second layer- just pile it on.

This is from the original French Tarte Tatin recipe,  only with vegan butter.  Don’t be daunted.  This is just an apple pie without seasonings or a top crust, and the only scary part is flipping it over.  But take my word for it, it is not that scary. You peel and cut some apples,  melt the soy butter, dissolve the sugar, pack the apple slices in, add another layer of apples, then cover the skillet with your dough, bake it in the oven and flip.  Easy.  It’s so delicious and simple. You might think that just apples, butter and sugar would be bland, but its rich and delicious.

IMPORTANT: You need a small cast iron pan for this. It’s possible that another type of oven proof skillet would work, but I’ve never tried that myself.

Makes 6 servings


  • 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet or ovenproof pan
  • baking sheet
  • 1 sheet (about 8 ounces) frozen puff pastry OR 2 rolled up pie crusts
  • 8 Tbs earth balance
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (brown sugar is fine to use if you don’t have white, or a combo of white and brown.)
  • About 8 sweet firm apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • If you like, you can add a few squeezes of lemon juice at the end before putting the dough on top.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees – have your skillet and baking sheet ready

2. Thaw your dough, then roll it out and refrigerate it.

3. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it melts, sprinkle the sugar over the butter until it dissolves. Remove from heat.

4. Fit a layer of apples into the skillet, putting the apples into the pan in tight circles. What’s important here is to pack in the apples — because they will shrink as they cook, you want to make sure they are snug in the pan.

5. When you’ve got a tight single layer, cut the remaining apple quarters in half and strew them over the first layer. This layer can be somewhat mounded, which will give the tart some height.

6. Put the pan over medium heat and cook — staying close by — until the sugar turns a deep caramel color. You’ll see it bubbling up the sides of the pan, but if you need a clearer view, you can gently push an apple aside. To get the color you want without burning the sugar, you may have to lower the heat after a while. Count on 15 minutes, more or less, to get the color. Transfer the skillet to the baking sheet.

7. Remove pie crusts or pastry from the fridge and place it over the top of the pan, covering the fruit, loosely tucking in any overhang.

If using two pie crusts, just put one on top of the other.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and, if you used puff pastry, puffed.

9.  Now it’s time to flip it over! Cover the skillet with the large, rimmed serving plate (or pie plate) and, acting quickly and confidently in one smooth flip motion, flip the tart out onto the platter and remove the pan. If any of the apples have stuck to the pan — it happens to the best of us — gently lift them off the pan with an icing spatula and press them gently back onto the tart.

10.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The caramelized sugar is hot enough to be dangerous. Let the tart sit for at least 10 minutes before serving, preferably on a windowsill with a chilly breeze wafting in.



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Guess what? I made this entirely without earth balance or oil and they turned out fantastic.


Ok, leaving out the earth balance was a mistake, but it didn’t hurt them at all.

This recipe is extremely forgiving.  After I pulled them out of the oven, cooled, then tasted them, I mentally reviewed my process  to discover they were devoid of oil – not even in the form of earth balance, which cookies are supposed to have….and it was totally undetectable.  The second time I made them I didn’t have any baking soda, so I used baking powder.  That’s generally a no-no, but I had no choice.  Guess what?  Perfect cookies again!  These are delectably chewy, not too soft, yet crisp around the edges.

Hazelnuts are a big deal around here, I don’t know this for sure, but I think Oregon is the biggest grower of hazelnuts in the U.S.  I love their texture and flavor.  It doesn’t hurt that they are high in fiber and vitamins.

Lastly, one of the big bonuses of these cookies is that you CAN INDEED form the dough into ball shapes and they will spread out, unlike my chocolate chip cookies which you have to flatten into discs.  You only need to flatten the balls a little on the top.

 Enjoy this fudgy, chocolate indulgence with a glass of nut-milk or a cup of tea.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2-1 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts, depending on how many you like. Raw or roasted. Salted or not.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
  • OPTIONAL: 8 tablespoons earth balance
  •  1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbs warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; mix well, set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate chips with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt completely.
  3. Transfer chocolate mixture to a medium bowl.   Add sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla; mix with electric mixer until well combined.  If you don’t have a mixer, prepare to tone those arm muscles.
  4. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in hazelnuts.
  5. The dough should not be dry, but should hold together well.  If it is sticky, that’s ok.  If it is dry or even a little crumbly, add a little water until its all moist and sticks together well.  If you think it’s too sticky, don’t worry.
  6. Scoop batter, form into balls, place on baking sheet. Press down lightly on tops to flatten slightly.
  7. Bake until cookies are flat and surface begins to crack, about 20 minutes.
  8.  When you remove them, they should be softer than you’d expect, but with strong cracks on top and dry edges.  After they cool completely they will be perfect!

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Sweet Crepes

Do you feel Parisian this morning?

I like mine filled, nor topped AND filled.

Crepes, waffles, pancakes.  They are all equally easy.  The only difference with crepes is that you have to let the batter sit.  A good method is to have it sit overnight, but its not necessary.  Stuff or slather with your favorite things: chocolate-hazelnut spread, (there are vegan versions,) jam, fresh fruit, earth balance, soy yogurt, etc.


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in bowl. Sprinkle corn starch evenly over top, then incorporate carefully into batter.

2.  Whisk in milk 1/4 cup at a time, then whisk in vanilla. Cover, and chill at least 30 minutes, or at most- overnight. ( I like this method because it makes the morning easier!)

3. Whisk 1/4 to 1/2 cup water into batter to thin. Lightly grease nonstick skillet with oil. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Pour 1/4 cup batter into hot, non-stick skillet, tilting pan to swirl batter so it coats bottom of pan. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and center is dry. Flip; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.

5. Transfer crêpe to plate, and continue until batter is gone.

To serve: Reheat in skillet, spread with  fillings, fold into quarters, and serve. (Or top the triangles, like Nick does.)

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