Sunday, June 26, 2016


Best Blog Tips

I do apologize for blogging do seldom lately!  A combination of lack of inspiration, attempting to sort through the accumulation of belongings after being in this house for 18 years and get rid of what is not needed, and various family stuff (including, I'm so sorry to say, a death in the family) has kept my cooking to a fairly simple minimum.

I'm happy to say that the early summer produce available locally and the need to use up bounty stored in the freezer and in jars from last year has inspired me  somewhat. This last is what inspired me to make this ice cream.

My granddaughter and her partner and her dad are coming over today for lunch (my husband is doing a photo shoot of her because she is due to have her baby in about 2 weeks!), and I wanted to make a nice dessert to come after the vegan chile, cornbread and salad.  I immediately thought of something lemony because I had 5 lemons that I needed to use up and lemon ice cream came to mind-- creamy, slightly tart. Just the thing.  But then I remembered the jar of my homemade Italian Wild Plum Jam (recipe here) in the refrigerator that I had made last year. I thought it would be perfect swirled through the ice cream, a color and taste contrast. (There are some suggested alternatives in the recipe if you don't have anything similar, BTW,  so don't let not having plum jam handy put you off!)

So, here is the result and very fine it is, in my opinion.  Let's see what my guests think...

Printable Recipe

Servings: 10
This is easy to make, creamy and  refreshing!

1 cup raw cashews (see Tips below for nut-free alternative)
2 1/2 cups creamy non-dairy milk (I prefer Silk original Organic Soy Milk)
1 cup unbleached organic sugar (light-colored)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
NOTE: I used 5 medium lemons in total
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum OR 2 1/2 tsp. Instant Clear Jel (use only the instant)
OPTIONAL: 2 T. vodka, white vermouth-- the alcohol prevents the ice cream from freezing rock solid
For the Swirl:
1/3-1/2 cup wild plum jam (see Tips below for alternatives)

Cover the cashews with boiling water and let stand for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. When you are ready to mix them with other ingredients, drain them well.

Combine all of the ingredients (EXCEPT the jam) in a high-speed blender, including the soaked and well-drained cashews. Blend at high speed until very smooth and creamy.

Chill until the mixture is very cold.  Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker.  (I use a Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker and it took about 20 minutes freezing time.)

Have ready a 2-quart rectangular glass, metal or ceramic baking pan (9 x 13"), or a rectangular 2-quart freezer storage container, which you have placed in the freezer while the ice cream maker does its work.

When the mixture is creamy but frozen, spread it into your frozen pan or container. For the swirl, drop blobs of the jam in two lines down the length of the ice cream.  Take a table knife and swirl it into the ice cream. Cover and freeze for several hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 219 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 77.8mg sodium, 208.4mg potassium, 35.9g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 28.7g sugar, 4.4g protein, 6.3 points.


Omit the cashews and the non-dairy milk and use instead 3 1/2 cups of your favorite dairy-free creamer, but don't use a sweet or flavored variety.  My favorites are So Delicious Original Coconutmilk Creamer and Silk Original Soy Creamer.

You can use any not-too-sweet plum jam, or other not-too-sweet dark-colored home-style fruit jam if you have no wild plum jam. If your jam is very solid, you may need to water it down a little so that it swirls nicely.  You could use water or even a little plum slivovitz or schnapps to thin it out, if you like.

My Italian-Style Wild Plum Jam recipe is here:
and there is a recipe for plum jam made with any type of plum here:
This Canadian website shows some types of commercially made home-style jams of a less common type than are generally available: ,  including Bonne Maman Mirabelles Plum Jam
I have seen these jams in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty stores. Amazon also carries various gourmet plum jams.


Saturday, June 11, 2016


Best Blog Tips

I've been working on this recipe for weeks now (which is one reason why I haven't blogged lately) and I think I have finally nailed it.  Quiche Lorraine (made with eggs and milk and bacon or ham) was one of my go-to dishes many years ago.  We always had it for Christmas breakfast, and on many other occasions.   It was great warm or cold and you could easily take it for a packed lunch.

I have made many vegan quiches over the years that we have enjoyed, some my own inventions, some from others, but I still have a hankering for Quiche Lorraine.  It's French, of course. North Americans often add cheese and/or onions to his quiche, but the classic version does not contain either, and that's what I was after.  In any case, I found that adding vegan cheese to the filling mix didn't really add much in the way of flavor and it stiffened up the filling too much.  I have also found that in many vegan quiche recipes result in a filling that is too thick, grainy or paste-y, so I was going for a more silky, delicate texture.

I tried several times with my own homemade Tofu Bacon, which we love, but the flavor was just too overwhelming for this quiche.  That is why I recommend a commercial vegan "bacon" or "ham" (or a homemade seitan "ham"), lightly sauteed in a little dark sesame oil, instead.

Printable Copy

BRYANNA'S VEGAN QUICHE LORRAINE (Updated on June 11, 2020)
Makes one 9" quiche     Serves 4 to 6

1/ 9" pie shell (recipe below)
3 oz. thinly-sliced vegan "ham" or commercial vegan "bacon" product
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 1/4 cups creamy non-dairy milk (I prefer soymilk)
1 cup medium-firm tofu or extra-firm Silken tofu (2/3 of a 12 oz. tetra pak)
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. "chicken-style" vegan broth powder or paste
1 1/2 T. Bird's custard powder (no vanilla!) OR 1 1/2 T. cornstarch plus a pinch of turmeric for color
1/2 tsp. agar powder (If the quiche is too firm for your liking, use a little less agar next time.)
1/2 tsp. salt or Indian "black salt" (which has an egg-y flavor)
a pinch of ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Pre-bake the crust (prick the dough all over with a fork) for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven to a cooling rack.

Cut the vegan "ham" or "bacon" slices into about 1" pieces.  Brown the pieces over medium-high heat in the sesame oil until lightly browned, but not crispy. 

Blend the remaining ingredients well in the blender and pour over vegan "ham" or "bacon" pieces in the crust.  

Bake for 10 minutes, then cover the whole pie with a piece of baking parchment cut to fit (this keeps the top of the quiche from getting too brown and prevents the crust from burning) and bake 25 minutes more. Remove the quiche from the oven to a cooling rack and remove the baking parchment.

The quiche needs to be cooled down a bit before slicing-- we prefer it at room temperature.  It can be refrigerated for several days, if necessary.


Printable Copy

BRYANNA’S LOW-FAT OIL PASTRY (with Lower-glycemic flour option)
Makes one 9" crust
Although this crust does contain fat, it has about half that of ordinary pastry, and it uses oil rather than hard fat.  Divided into 8 servings, each piece with either a bottom OR a top crust (not both) and a fat-free filling will contain 5 g of fat.
The pastry flour and soured non-dairy milk make a tender crust that no one will guess is low-fat.

1/2 c. unbleached white flour (or white spelt flour)
1/2 c. MINUS 1 T. (7 T.) whole wheat pastry flour (or oat flour)
3 T. oil (I like olive oil)-- if you have time, measure it & freeze for an hour or so.
3 T. plain soy, nut or hemp milk (or a plain vegan creamer) + 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
3/8 tsp. salt
3/8 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. sugar

Mix the flours in a medium bowl with the salt, baking powder and sugar.  Drizzle the oil into the flour mixture and cut the oil in gently with a fork so that it “beads up” with the flour (see photo).

Add the milk/lemon juice mixture:

and stir gently with a fork until it holds together in a loose ball.  (If it's too dry, sprinkle with a TINY bit of water.)  

If you have time, place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate it for an hour before rolling out, but it works fine without chilling.  Roll out on a silicone mat, using as little flour as possible,  and bake as you would an ordinary crust.