Tag: dessert

Blackberry Cheesecake Pots

There are few joys in life as pure as a perfectly ripe, sun-warmed blackberry, plucked from its bramble and eaten whilst squinting in the August sun. I have waxed poetic about blackberries before and praised their versatility and I just can’t get enough of them. These cute little Blackberry Cheesecake Pots combine my beloved blackberries with peppery ginger snap crumbs and a mascarpone cheesecake mousse that is light as air and freckled with vanilla beans. If this doesn’t taste like summer to you then you haven’t had enough rosé.

A local restaurant that I love does a strawberry cheesecake pot and this is a bit of a riff on that. Fruit on the bottom, lots of cookie crumbs and light, light, light cheesecake-ish mousse that, to my palate, eclipses the sturdy silken curd of a baked cheesecake. And honestly, it’s late August, who wants to put on the oven? Not me.

I started these little Blackberry Cheesecake Pots with homemade wild blackberry jam but you could just mash up and sweeten fresh berries if you didn’t have the convenience of jam, either one will be great, just don’t go too heavy with the sugar, you want to taste the summer-fresh flavor of the fruit, not cloying sweetness. But let me clarify, it’s also just fine to buy blackberry jam for these. I won’t tell.


Dreamy Frozen Avocado Lime Tart

I make no secret of disliking the heat of summer. And that’s coming from an almost lifetime resident of Vancouver, a city with one of the mildest climates out there. It was 34C here today and it made me a bit kicky and punchy. When the heat hits I tend to like my dinners al fresco, my drinks extra icy and my desserts chilled. Honestly, you couldn’t pay me to turn on the oven today.

This is the return of my ultra coconutty, extra zesty, avocado lime pie, originally posted in 2013. I call it dreamy frozen avocado lime tart because it is just that: dreamy. It’s luscious and creamy with a sweet tart avocado mousse filling. It’s simple to make with a raw coconut and oat crust that comes together in about 5 pulses of a food processor. Painless to make, and really delicious. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s nothing like guacamole. I promise!
You’ll need to give it a deep chill, so make it in the morning for dessert. Don’t tell your guests what it’s made from and have them guess. They will be pleasantly surprised by the results. Enjoy!

Dreamy Frozen Avocado Lime Tart
makes 1 – 9″ no bake pie
for the crust, pulse the following ingredients in a food processor until well mixed:
1½ C unsweetened shredded coconut
½ C raw oats
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Press the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate. It will be damp and soft and easy to press up the sides and bottom of the pan. Place crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Wipe out the food processor and add to it:
the flesh of 4 ripe avocados
zest and juice of 2 limes
¼ C honey
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Blend the above ingredients until very smooth. Scrape into the chilled crust and spread until smooth.
Garnish with ½ C coconut that has been toasted in a dry frying pan over medium heat until golden brown. (optional)
Chill 2 hours until very firm. Serve cold.
Makes 8 servings.

Summer Hits – a recipe round up

Scroll through a few favorites from summers past … enjoy! (more…)

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake


I want you to have a really great weekend. I want you to do and see all the things you want to; to sleep in late if that’s your thing, or get up with the sun and get ‘er done – whatever floats your boat.

I want you to have a relaxing weekend where you find snippets of peace and happiness in between your yoga class, your hurried trek to get the kids to swimming lessons on time, that unexpected drop in by your in-laws. I want you to have the sort of weekend where you say to your self: “Self, let’s do this!” and you go on, happily, calmly and without locking your keys in the car or putting the milk in the oven and the muffins in the fridge. Deep breath – don’t forget it’s the weekend.

I want you to have a delicious weekend: double long cappuccino with the foam just right, your favourite deli’s sandwich, perfectly wrapped in waxed paper, eaten joyfully in the sun on a park bench, maybe something grilled to embrace the warmer weather if it is indeed warmer where you are.

And this cake.  (more…)

Peaches and Cream Ice Box Pie

I have a dream and it involves an old house in the country. It’s a big old farm house, well worn and comfy. It’s painted yellow with a big white front porch and lots of trees around it. The yard is rambling and lush with fruit trees and a bountiful garden. It’s the kind of house that has lots of room for guests in its spare but comfortable bedrooms filled with light and maybe even a screened in back porch, perfect for sleeping in on balmy summer nights. It’s hallways are decorated with frames filled with family portraits, everyone sitting on the front stairs, each year looks different as everyone gets older. What doesn’t change are the smiles, the bare feet and the sun kissed cheeks of happy people. It is the perfect house for summer entertaining. In this vision I can smell the barbecue smoke mingling with the jasmine and lilac. I can hear the clink of horseshoes being tossed, people laughing, and birdsong. There in the middle of it is a long table outside, set for what is always an epic family dinner. It’s a cook and entertainer’s dream. Mismatched chairs, laundry-line-dried linens, jars and juice glasses filled with flowers, it sits at the center of things, constant and stoic, waiting for its guests to tuck in. There’s no texting, no worry about tomorrow’s commute, nothing but relaxation and fun.


This pie fits that dream. It suits the easy mood and tastes like summer. It is not overly complicated, not cloyingly sweet, but it certainly tastes like a treat and summarizes the culinary freshness of summer. When peaches are not quite in season, or unavailable, canned will work just fine, simply drain them well so they don’t make the creamy filling too soft.


Peaches and Cream Ice Box Pie

For the crust:

preheat the oven to 375°

In a large, deep pie dish, combine:

3 C graham cracker crumbs

1/3 C softened butter or margarine

1/4 C sugar

Using your fingers, rub the crumbs and sugar into the butter until it is the texture of damp sand. Spread the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pie dish, pressing to compact them and make the crust.  Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes until it has darkened, dried slightly and is fragrant. Allow to cool fully. Set aside.

For the filling:

4 C sliced peaches (fresh or canned if you want this out of season)

¼ C cold milk

¼ C hot milk

1 packet plain gelatin

2 cups whipping cream

2 C icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 Vanilla bean, scraped, pod discarded

1/2 tsp almond extract

Sprinkle the gelatin onto the cold milk and stir. Add the hot milk and stir again until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Set aside to cool. Whip the whipping cream to soft peaks, add the sugar, almond extract and vanilla. Slowly add the cooled gelatin mixture. Continue beating for 1 more minute. Scrape cream into the cooled, prepared crumb crust, smoothing the top. Arrange the peach slices on top. Chill the finished pie for at least 2 hours before serving.