Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pear and Berry Trifle, delicious and vegan too!

I've been ogling all the lovely classes at Millenium that 'Albion Cooks' has been attending and I was lucky enough to visit the restaurant with my Mum and Grandma this time last year. I finally opened the cookbook to find a vegan dessert for my Buffet class final. I'm so glad I did. Millenium are really clever with the use of nuts to make a creamy dessert, this was very pretty and festive. I did a trial and then made the recipe for the 40 people who attended our final class for the buffet. It went pretty well, and it was really fun, if a little stressful to be making dessert for that many people!

If I'd been braver, I'd have tried the agar to thicken the mousse a little bit. The recipe calls for 3/4 tsp agar powder. This would have made the mousse thick enough for piping, giving a more professional looking dessert.

This would be a great dessert to prepare for a party, you can make all the components ahead of time, but assembling at the last minute would keep the cashew crumble crispy. I think a cashew as an additional garnish would be a nice subtle warning that it has nuts in for people with allergies.

Pear and Berry Trifle adapted slightly from The Artful Vegan

Pear Mousse

6 to 8 Bartlett or French butter pears peeled, cored and diced (about 4 cups)

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsps white grape juice

1 cup unsalted cashew pieces

6 tbsps florida crystals (or sugar)

1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds reserved (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

pinch of salt

2 1/2 tbsps arrowroot, dissolved in 1/4 cup water

6 ounces extra firm silken tofu

Berry Sauce

1 1/2 cups of fresh berries-blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, huckeberries all work

1 cup white grape juice

1/4 cup florida crystals or sugar

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tbsp water

Cashew Crumbs

1 cup unsalted cashew pieces

Chopped zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

2 Bartlett or French butter pears, cored and sliced thinly for garnish.

Preheat the oven to 350f

First get started on the mousse. Place the pears, cashews, vanilla, sugar, grape juice and salt in a large saucepan and boil until the pears have gone mushy, around 10 minutes. Add the tofu, then take a hand blender and thoroughly blend until smooth. Bring back to a simmer and add the arrowroot, dissolved in the water and heat for another minute, stirring. Chill for at least 4 hours, if possible.

Berry sauce-heat the berries, grape juice, sugar, lemon juice in a saucepan until the berries have broken down. Add the arrowroot in the water and heat, stirring for a further minute. Set aside.

Cashew Crumble-Combine the cashews, lemon zest, flour in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour in, then pulse until combined. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, then mix the crumbs and bake for a further 10 mins or until brown. Keep a really close eye, they burn really easily.

Assemble the trifle with layers of mousse, berries and crumble. Garnish with a pear and a roasted cashew. I would have liked to have piped the mousse, to get a better finish, but I didnt have time to get it to set up enough.

PS sorry about the terrible photo. I think my new years resolution is definitely making sure to get better pictures!

1 comment:

Elra said...

Love pear, and make so many dessert out of it. Your trifle sounds so tempting.