Peach Crisp

Crisp is a great way to showcase summer fruits, so I truly love both making and eating it. Additionally, it is easy to transport and can be served either warm or room temp (preferably with ice cream), so it’s a great choice for summer cookouts, barbecues, and picnics.

To make things even better, this is a vegan version of the dessert! So if you are vegan or plant-based, this can be a great way to bring something that is both vegan and familiar.

Peach Crisp

Filling:

3 pounds peaches

Juice of 1 lemon

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons corn starch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping:

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup canola oil

Directions:

Core and slice peaches into 1/4 inch slices (about 8 slices per peach should be good).

In a large bowl, toss peaches in lemon juice, granulated sugar, corn starch, salt, and vanilla until well coated. Set aside.

For the topping, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the melted coconut oil and canola oil, then continue to mix using a fork, wooden spoon, or spatula. This mix should be sort of crumbly, yet moist.

Take the topping and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This will help the oils firm up before baking.

While the topping is chilling, preheat the oven to 350ΒΊ Fahrenheit.

Prepare an 8″ square baking dish by spraying it with nonstick spray (or lightly oiling the sides). Then fill with the peach mixture, pressing down firmly.

Add the topping, covering the peaches. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown and the peach mixture is bubbling.

This recipe is simple, delicious, and great for summer. I made a video to show how to make it, so each step can be seen below.

Almond Cookies

These simple cookies are both vegan and gluten free. They are also quick and easy to make, really only requiring one bowl.

These are basically an almond shortbread cookie, so they are not too sweet at all and pair well with spring and summer fruits such as berries and stone fruits.

Almond Cookies

Prep. Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Yield: 8 cookies

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1 cup almond flour

Pinch salt

3 Tablespoons vegan butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ F.

In medium bowl, soften or lightly melt butter.

Add vanilla. Mix.

Add almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt. Mix until well-combined.

Roll dough into 8 balls, then place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down the centers to flatten somewhat.

Chill for 5 minutes, then place in oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are browned. Let cool on baking sheet.

Hopefully you enjoy these cookies! I like that they are not too sweet and this small and easy batch is perfect to throw together for a coffee or tea date. Plus, being vegan and gluten free, they are good for most people to eat (aside from those with almond allergies of course).

Hot Cross Buns (vegan)

I don’t celebrate Easter much, but I do enjoy a little something to welcome in Spring. A weekend morning with some hot cross buns is a great way to do that, in my opinion. These are quite simple to make and don’t take nearly as much time as one would expect from an enriched, yeasted dough.

The dried fruit can be whatever you like (I use half raisins and half chopped apricots, but currants are more traditional).

Hot Cross Buns (makes a dozen servings)

Prep Time: 1 1/2-2 hours

Bake Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup lukewarm water

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (lukewarm or room temperature)

1/3 cup canola oil (plus a splash extra to coat the bowl)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons orange zest (about the zest of one large orange)

1/4 cup sugar

3 3/4 cups AP Flour

3/4 cup dried fruit of choice

Wash:

2 tablespoons almond milk

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, stir together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and lukewarm water. Let sit for a few minutes until bubbling.

While the yeast is activating, in a separate bowl stir together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, sugar, and dried fruit.

Once the yeast is quite bubbly and active, add the flour/spice mixture, almond milk, and canola oil. Stir until just combined with a spatula. Begin to “knead” the dough by using the dough hook of the stand mixer on low or medium-low speed.

After about 4-5 minutes, it should be thoroughly combined and somewhat elastic. Use a splash of canola oil to coat the sides of the mixing bowl. Turn the coat to allow the dough to become coated.

Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Once risen, punch down the dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide evenly into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a round bun, then place into parchment- lined baking dish (10″ x 14″ or 11″ x 13″ both work well).

Cover again with dish towel and let rise for around 30 minutes (dough should mostly spring back when touched). While dough is rising, preheat oven to 375ΒΊ F.

Make dough wash by mixing together almond milk and maple syrup. Brush onto rolls.

Bake buns for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown. This could vary considerably depending on the oven used, so I would recommend checking earlier to ensure they are baking well. The buns will touch while rising and baking, but that is completely normal.

Once the buns are golden-brown and cooked through, remove from oven. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and place on cooling rack, counter, or large cutting board to continue cooling.

Whisk together almond milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla to make icing.

Once the buns are cooled, top with icing using a piping bag or drizzling with a spoon.

Enjoy! These store well in a covered container for 1-2 days, though they will begin to dry out after that. They are best served the same day or the next day.

3.14

Happy Pi Day! We always celebrate this day in my house with, of course, a pie. It is the perfect occasion for a pie and is made even better by the March timing because some new fruits are starting to come in season (of course the citrus is good this time of year, but in California the berry season is just in its infancy).

I always think that I can’t wait to celebrate pi day with my children one day because we can show them how to find the circumference AND how to make a pie.

This year I went for a strawberry pie and decided to make a sort of pb&j pie by adding peanut butter to the pie crust. It turned out really well and I will definitely be making again!

It gave the serious pb&j vibes I was hoping for, so that is amazing.

The recipe is also quite easy and feel free to add more or less peanut butter to the crust depending on your preference. As a warning, peanut butter does tend to dry out doughs, so you may require more water to have a workable consistency.

PB&J Pie

Crust:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 Tablespoons peanut butter

6 Tablespoons vegan butter

1/4 cup ice water (this may vary depending on how dry the air is, so just add until dough holds shape)

Directions: In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt and pulse a few times. Add peanut butter and butter, then pulse until the texture of breadcrumbs. Add ice water until dough holds together.

Roll out into thin flat disk, then place in pie dish. Chill.

Once crust has chilled for 30 minutes, dock the dough and blind bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. This could take more or less time depending on oven and how chilled the dough is, but bake until the edges of the crust are lightly browned.

Filling:

2 pints fresh strawberries (frozen should be fine too)

Juice of one lemon

1 cup sugar

4 Tablespoons corn starch

3/4 cup water

Directions: Remove the leaves from the strawberries and roughly slice and chop. The pieces can remain rather large because they will cook down.

Whisk together the corn starch and water to form a slurry.

Put strawberries into a large pot on high heat with the lemon juice, slurry, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for around 15 minutes, or until thickened. Once the mixture has thickened up a bit, remove from heat and let cool.

Place in container and let the mixture cool/thicken more in the fridge for at least an hour.

Once the pie crust is baked and cooled, add the filling, then place back in the fridge to continue setting for at least a half hour.

Slice and serve! I served this with coconut whipped cream and it turned out really well.

Lemon Cookies

These lemon cookies are my husband’s favorite. They use vegan butter to make a shortbread-style cookie and are good, especially for someone who loves lemon desserts.

A friend came to work the other day with these giant, fresh lemons from her family’s lemon tree, so I thought a batch of these cookies sounded like a good idea. Then of course I had to take a picture and share the recipe.

Lemon Cookies

Makes about 20-24 cookies.

Prep. Time: 45 minutes

Bake Time: 15-20 minutes (pay close attention because every oven is different and these can easily overtake and dry out)

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups AP flour

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 sticks vegan butter, room temperature

Zest of 2-3 large lemons

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

For the Glaze:

Juice of about 1 lemon

1-2 cup confectioner’s sugar (this depends on how much lemon juice you have and your desired consistency)

Directions:

1. In a medium or large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

2. Once sugar and butter are smooth, add the zest and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated, then add flour and salt.

3. After all the flour is mixed in, form dough into a flat disk, wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, roll out the chilled dough until about 1/3 inch thick, then cut using a biscuit cutter or other cookie cutter (I use my circle cutter, which is 1 1/2 inches).

5. Place cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden on the bottom (the color will show less on the tops of the cookies, so you can always gently lift one and check the bottom).

6. Let cookies cool and top with lemon glaze.

That’s it! These are easy cookies to make and sort of give the vibes of those lemon Girl Scout cookies.

Puff Pastry Tarts with Orange-Lemon Curd

Lemon curd and puff pastry go quite well together. The pastry brings a rich flavor from the fat, as well as a light crispness from the layers. Add in lemon curd and it cuts that richness with a sweet and tart flavor. It brings a textural element as well, contrasting the crisp pastry with a smooth filling.

I used my puff pastry recipe and this lemon curd recipe from the Domestic Gothess, though I replaced half the lemon with orange zest and juice. The lemon curd recipe was pretty good, though I would probably use coconut cream if I make it again because it was definitely missing some depth of flavor that more fat could have provided.

How I made these!

Thaw puff pastry dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll out pastry until about 1/3 inch thick. Cut out circles with circle cutter (mine is 1 1/2 inches). Using a sharp knife, score a smaller circle inside, leaving about a half- inch border.

Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, then chill for a few more minutes (this helps firm the fat in the dough so it doesn’t just melt out, but instead steams up and rises the pastry).

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until very golden.

Once cooled, remove the inner circle.

Place lemon curd inside and you’re done! This could easily be topped with some vegan whipped cream.

Hopefully you enjoy this! πŸ‹πŸŠπŸ₯

Vegan Puff Pastry

I have always liked to bake and especially enjoy making my own puff pastry. Puff pastry isn’t traditionally vegan (in fact it’s meant to have an exorbitant amount of butter in it). However, it actually translates quite well to a vegan recipe because it just require the substitution of vegan butter.

The “puff” reaction comes from the layers of melting fat producing steam, which causes a rapid rise during baking. This isn’t dependent on the fat being butter, so the same results are produced with vegan puff pastry!

The recipe and technique are both much simpler than many people would have you believe, so if you’re interested in making homemade puff pastry don’t worry about the difficulty!

Vegan Puff Pastry

Servings: varied (depends on what you’re making!)

Prep. Time: 1 hour + 30 min

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup water

1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter

Directions:

1. Let butter soften until it is able to be shaped. Place between two pieces of parchment paper and pound with a rolling pin until it is a flat square about 1/2 inch thick. Place in fridge while preparing dough.

2. In a stand mixer or medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Then add water and stir with a spoon until it begins to come together. Finish by kneading with your hands a few times (until completely incorporated).

3. Roll dough into a long rectangle, large enough to seal in the butter block. Take butter block from fridge and seal into the dough.

4. Roll out dough, with butter encased, until about 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Fold lengthwise into thirds. Repeat the rolling and folding once more, then wrap and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes, roll and fold dough two more times. Chill for 30 more minutes.

6. Roll and fold dough two last times. There should be a total of 6 “turns” (times rolling and folding) total.

7. If using within the next 24 hours, refrigerate. Otherwise, puff pastry easily keeps wrapped well and frozen for a month.

Hopefully this explanation made sense! I actually made a video here that shows the process, so if this explanation is confusing that may help.

If anyone tries this and has any questions, feel free to ask πŸ™‚