I have been seeing so many crumbles and grunts around, that I’ve been dying for a warm, moist, fruity, nutty crumble. Mais, un petit problème: I don’t have an oven in the apartment that I’m renting! Trying not to panic, I reasoned that I could use a mixture of toasted, crushed nuts for the crumble. After all, a crumble without butter and flour would actually be quite delicious, not to mention healthier, right?? Plan devised, crises averted.
While the peaches and plums were simmering away in a mixture of water, cinnamon, and almond extract, I was near drooling over the emanating aroma when suddenly, I realized that in an apartment with no oven, there was certainly no food processor for chopping the nuts. While I suggest using a food processor for this task, there is also nothing wrong with the wrap-the-nuts-in-saran-wrap-and-hit-them-mercilessly-with-a-pan method. Your neighbors will also love this. When they come banging on your door in a fury wondering when you decided to start demolition on your apartment, at least you will have some yummy crumble ready to cheer them up. Second crisis averted.
The peaches and plums cook nicely together, their colors remain intact and their flavors distinct. While they do become soft with cooking, they do not aggregate to form a single colored mush. The cinnamon and almond extract also accentuate their natural sweetness while also adding a slight nutty taste which is perfect for a warm dish.
Peach & Plum Hazelnut Pecan Crumble (No Bake!!)*
1 large peach
2 small plums (about 1inch x 1inch each)
1/3c hazelnuts (whole)
1/4c pecans (whole)
2 tsp water
1/8 tsp almond extract**
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Skin, core and chop the peaches and the plums. Combine them in a pan with 2 tsp water, pinch of cinnamon and almond extract. Cover and let cook on med-low heat for 10 min until the water is absorbed and small amount of thick syrup has formed.
Meanwhile, crush / chop the nuts and toast them, in a separate pan, over medium heat, for 2 minutes or until you start to smell their scent. Remove from the heat immediately as nuts tend to burn very quickly.
Spoon the fruit onto a plate and top with nuts. Garnish with cinnamon and add a very small amount of salt over top just to balance out the sweetness.
*If I had the following ingredients on hand I would have added them while cooking the fruit in the pan: agave nectar and a pinch of lemon juice. I suggest using agave nectar, honey or maple syrup while cooking the fruit which would result in a thicker, sweeter syrup at the end.
**I did not actually measure the amount of almond extract because I do not have measuring spoons! I added a tiny drop, and do not suggest adding more than 1/8 tsp, as you would risk adding an “alcohol-y” taste to the fruit.
***I promise I am leaving this apartment soon so I will have all of my cooking
props, spices and equipment again, and will stop skimping out on ingredients!!
I have had dried apricots sitting in my pantry for a while now and all that I ever do with them is cut them up and put them on a salad. I enjoy how they are sweet, but accompany salty foods quite nicely. Pressed to use my almost-over-ripe-avocado, I thought it would make a great soft stuffing in a nice and sweet dried apricot. A sprinkling of coriander and sea salt gives these sweet hors d’oeuvres an exotic twist. They are really easy to make but unique enough to catch attention at any party.
Sweet n’Salty Avocado-Stuffed Dried Apricot Hors d’Oeuvres
1 avocado stuffs about 16 dried apricots
16 dried apricots
If you look closely at the apricots you will find a slight indentation where you can carefully open them and split them in half. Split each apricot enough to stuff but leave one end closed (almost resembling an apricot pita).
Cut the avocado in half and remove the core. Remove the avocado from its skin and cut into small 1/2inch x 1/2inch pieces. Place each piece of avocado into the previously split dried apricots. Sprinkle with coriander and sea salt according to your personal taste preference; I used about 1/8 tsp of coriander and sea salt for every 4 apricots. I also suggest using a coarse grain sea salt as it adds a slight crunch.
Push a toothpick through each hors d’oeuvre if you so desire and serve!
I’m sorry it’s been awhile, but I’ve been traveling around Europe. While the weather in Prague, Budapest and Bratislava was so hot that I was often bathing in my own sweat, I am now drinking tea and wearing long sleeves in Paris. Typique! We’ve had a multitude of torrential, spontaneous downpours, which have left nothing but chilly weather. Despite the fact that I’d rather be eating soup on a day like today, my warm-blooded-heart is reminding me that it is still summer and to take advantage of two of my favorite foods: fruit and yogurt.
I eat fruit and yogurt after every meal but it gets kind of mundane after, oh 3 years. Usually the pattern is as follows: open yogurt, dump yogurt in bowl, open apple sauce, dump apple sauce next to yogurt making a yogurt apple sauce yin and yang, douse with flax seeds, and eat. I know, you’re bored just reading that sentence!
I wanted to create a dessert using yogurt and fruit but not at all compromising the healthiness of just plain fruit and yogurt. There is no added sweetener and no crust in this pie; it is purely fruit and yogurt.
Mangos seemed like a great fruit to use as the crust because they can be sliced flat and easily pressed if they are ripe enough. Also, who doesn’t loooove frozen mangos?!
The rest is a simple yogurt filling topped with colorful blueberries, raspberries and kiwi; you can of course top the pie with different fruits according to your preference.
The Healthiest Frozen Yogurt Fruit Pie
makes one small pie (approx 9x7)
1 mango peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
250g plain yogurt (I used two small yogurts that were 125g each, so two small yogurts)
¼ c raspberries
½ c blueberries
½ kiwi peeled and sliced thinly
Lay mango slices along the bottom of a small round pie pan. With the extra mango slices, cut them into smaller pieces and flatten them with a fork to cover any holes/spaces between mango slices in the pan making a flat, even crust (this is why it is important to use a ripe mango, if it is not ripe, you will not be able to smush it down with the fork).
Pour yogurt over the middle and spread around evenly with a knife or spoon.
Top with raspberries, blueberries and kiwi (or other fruits if you wish).
Let freeze for at least 1 hr. After one hour of freezing, the pie was perfectly set yet not too frozen to cut. Should you leave the pie in the freezer longer, just let it defrost a bit until you can easily slice it.