Monday, 1 August 2016

Coconut and Berry Cream Pies

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So. Pies. Tarts. Whatever you want to call them. 

Don't they look gorgeous? 





I had the idea for this dessert for a while, but was undecided on how to do the pastry. Ideally, I wanted something that was vegan, gluten free and AIP compliant. Totally good for people who want to eat beautiful berrylicious pie puddings but have food allergies and intolerances. The coconut and date chewy crust that I've used before just wasn't right for this - I wanted something crumbly and as close to regular shortcrust-style pastry as possible.

And then, I made some paleo Twix bars from Bakerita and accidentally stumbled upon her AMAZING AIP-compliant pastry. 

The topping is made from coconut cream (you can chill a couple of cans of full fat coconut milk and clip off the solidified cream). Or you can buy it in a carton - I do. Have a look in the supermarket near where the coconut milk cans are. It's not creamed coconut, that's something else. Coconut cream is what you want for this. 




I've used a selection of frozen berries, which I've defrosted and scattered over the top. Redcurrants, blackcurrants and blackberries. Don't be alarmed at my instructions for handfuls of berries - I don't think it's too crucial if you have an extra berry here or there - handfuls, sloshes and glugs are pretty much the way I cook nowadays.

If you have a tart tin like the one I have which makes individual tarts then do use that. It comes with removable bases, which makes lifting the pies out nice and easy. You can buy one like it here. Or you could use a loaf tin and then lift the whole thing out and cut into squares to serve. 

These pies are sweet (not not too sweet), creamy and tart. The berries scattered on over the end really make it work, as their juices mingle with the flavoured coconut cream. And the crust is perfect. Crumbly, rich and just right. 




Coconut and Berry Pies
The pastry base is adapted only very slightly from Bakerita - see the original recipe for the Twix bars (paleo but not AIP) here.

Makes 8
Ingredients
For the pastry: 
2/3 cup coconut flour, + 2 tablespoons
good pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup
half teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil (mine was liquid, because it was a warm day)

For the filling: 
250ml (1 cup) coconut cream
3 handfuls frozen mixed berries (mine was a mixture of blackberries, strawberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
First, make the pastry by combining all the pastry ingredients together in a bowl. It should come together like a soft dough in a ball in the bowl. If it doesn't firm up enough, add a little more coconut flour, bit by bit, until it does. 

Oil a loaf tin or the holes of an individual tart mould with a little coconut oil and take small handfuls of the mixture and press the dough into the bottom of the moulds. Don't worry about pressing anything up the sides, just push a little into the base to form the shortbread-like base for the pies. If you're using a loaf tin without a removable base, it might be a good idea to line it with parchment paper with overhanging sides, to make it easier to lift out later on. 

Slide the tray or loaf tin into the oven at gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF and bake for 9-10 minutes, until just starting to turn golden at the edges. Once the pastry is cooked, take it out and leave to cool completely. Keep it in the individual pie moulds or the loaf tin. If the pastry has risen up in the centre and cracked a little (it happens) just gently press it down, while warm, with the back of a spoon and leave to cool.

While the pastry is baking, make the berry topping. Clatter two handfuls of the mixed frozen berries into a small saucepan or frying pan and add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Bring to a light simmer and bubble away until the berries release their juice and become soft and jammy. Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once the berries are at room temperature, blend them until smooth and press the juice through a sieve placed over a bowl, scraping under the sieve at the end to get the sauce that's stuck to the bottom of the sieve and hasn't dropped down into the bowl. 

Open the carton of coconut cream and pour out any watery liquid. Squeeze the rest into the bowl with the berry juices in. You can either swirl lightly, or mix it in fully for a darker, more uniform colour. 

Divide this mixture between the holes of the tart tin and place in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours. It will set slightly and stay creamy - it won't set rock hard. 

To serve, push the tarts out of the tin (or pull up the parchment paper if you're using a loaf tin and unravel it, placing it on a board) and top with the remaining handful of berries, which by now will have defrosted. Serve straight away. 




Have you made this recipe? Tweet me @joromerofood or tag me in if you share on Instagram or Facebook. I always love to see your creations! 

Have you seen my ebooks? I've written a few ebooks specially for the autoimmune protocol paleo diet. Come and have a look

I've entered this recipe into the AIP Recipe Roundtable over at Phoenix Helix. Go check it out for more AIP inspiration! 






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