Bourbon Vanilla Cherry Blueberry Pie & Vanilla Bean Whipped Coconut Cream

After a Saturday morning run with my sister to the farmers market, she said she needed to decide on a dessert to make for a potluck later that evening. I referred her to my recipe inspiration board on Pinterest where I go when I'm not quite sure what to make.

She very quickly decided on this bourbon and vanilla infused pie overflowing with more cherries and blueberries that could possibly fit in her pie pan.

After making it for that Saturday evening potluck, we made it into a cobbler for my brother-in-law's birthday, and again as a monstrous pie for a game night gathering [where we enjoyed the company of a hilarious bunch as well as homemade-from-scratch salsa and guacamole].

 I found it to be a brilliant filling for this flaky gluten free pie crust and a sublime candidate for this ethereal vanilla bean flecked whipped coconut cream.

Who knew bourbon complimented berries and whipped cream so exquisitely?

Bourbon Vanilla Cherry Blueberry Galette
& Vanilla Bean Flecked Whipped Coconut Cream
makes 1 galette -or- filling can be doubled to make 1 pie


-1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
-1/2 pound fresh blueberries
-1/3 cup coconut sugar
-2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
-2 Tablespoons bourbon
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
-zest of 1 lemon

-1/3 cup millet flour
-1/3 cup sorghum flour
-1/3 cup brown rice flour
-1/3 cup arrowroot starch
-3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
-2 Tablespoons sugar
-1/2 cup dairy free butter, chilled
-1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-3-5 Tablespoons ice water
for brushing and sprinkling: dairy free milk or butter and turbinado sugar

whipped topping
-1 can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
-scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean pod
-1-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

1. Begin preparing crust by whisking together flours, xanthan, salt, and sugar. Cut in chilled butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add apple cider vinegar and ice water until mixture comes together to form a dough. Transfer to flour-sprinkled parchment paper-lined cutting board, flatten slightly, and refrigerate for 15 minutes, not too much longer.
2. Prepare the filling: In a large bowl toss together cherries, blueberries, sugar, starch, bourbon, vanilla, and zest. Toss well to coat making sure everything is well mixed. Set aside.
3. Remove crust from fridge, preheat oven to 375F, and flatten dough slightly with hands. Sprinkle flour over top of dough and place additional parchment paper over top. Roll dough out from center to edges until rolled to 11-12" circle.
4. Spoon filling onto crust dough, first placing the fruit into the center, carefully folding dough up around edges of filling. If dough breaks or tears, simply smooth over with your fingers or tear off a small piece from the top and patch, making sure there are no holes or tears for the juicy filling to escape while baking. The more rough and rustic the form, the better. Once all possible breaches are patched in the crust, spoon filling juices into center of galette. Chill pie for about 30 minutes, until crust is firm.
5. Brush crust with dairy free milk or butter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until crust is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 4 hours before slicing.
6. To make the whipped topping: chill mixing bowl. Using a whisk attachment, beat chilled coconut cream and scraped seeds of vanilla bean at high speed until whipped and fluffy. Add maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness is reached, whip until thoroughly combined and fluffy. Serve immediately or store sealed in refrigerator.
Slice pie and top with whipped topping. Enjoy.

filling adapted from this recipe by Half Baked Harvest
crust adapted from this recipe by Allergy Free Alaska
optional substitutions:
-coconut sugar: turbinado, white, or brown sugar
-arrowroot starch: corn starch

Mangia! Mangia!

Lemon Cream Meltaway Fudge

These days I'm eating more food and craving more sweets now that training is in full swing for my fifth half-marathon event taking place in October. I will be running this one with my two heartening sisters and my motivating brother-in-law through the resplendent streets of San Francisco, California.

Half marathons are inspiring. The fellow runners are motivating, the crowds and their signs are encouraging and entertaining, the snacks are fantastic, and at the end, I wind up so thrilled and accomplished, with endorphins coursing through my body, that I end up signing up for another and coming back for more.

Like I said, the snacks are exemplary. Through the years we've seen energy chews, protein bars, energy bars, fresh orange slices, and even chocolate squares-talk about motivation.
Lately I've thought of how fantastic it would be to fuel up along the 13.1 mile adventures with delicious, nutrient-dense snacks without added colors, flavors, or preservatives.
I would absolutely love to pack some chocolate covered caramelspeanut butter chocolate bites, or something like these creamy lemon meltaways for a jolt of protein, fiber, fat, and vitamin C during the event.
I have yet to figure out a way to tote these along, they melt rather quickly.

Lemon Cream Meltaway Fudge
makes about 6-12, depending on if you use mini muffin liners or full-size

-1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons raw cashews, or 1/2 cup cashew butter
-3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla
-juice of 1 large lemon, about 3 Tablespoons
-pinch sea salt

1. Place muffin liners on a flat surface, set aside.
2. Process cashews in food processor for 5 minutes, add remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, if using cashew butter, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.
3. Spoon into muffin liners and place in freezer. Freeze at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

store in freezer, they melt quickly at room temperature
adapted from this recipe by detoxinista

Mangia! Mangia!

Date Oat & Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dates are one of the most versatile, sweet, delicious ingredients in our dessert arsenal.

They work hard to sweeten and hold together triple layer caramel creme bars, raw pie crustchocolate fudge balls, and no bake granola bars, among countless other tasty recipes.

In addition to their driven efforts in recipes, this dried fruit from the date palm provides a healthy dose of fiber and potassium as well as a small amount of vitamins A and B6, calcium, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and zinc (USDA).

This brilliant chocolate chip cookie recipe is sweetened with dates, and is made without added oil, refined sugar, or flour.

The dough bakes up into a perfectly sweet, chewy, almost creamy, chocolate chip cookie and provides fuel for energy from the nuts, oats, dates, and flax.

P.S. The striped walnut spoon pictured is the latest addition to my growing carved wooden spoon family, joining a sturdy oak kitchen spoon, a coffee and tea paddle, a large walnut scoop, and a long handled spice spoon.

Date Oat & Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes a dozen cookies

-1/2 cup pecans
-1/2 cup oats
-12 pitted dates
-1 flax egg
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
-pinch sea salt
-1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick baking mat.
2. Prepare flax egg (combine 1 Tablespoon ground flax with 3 Tablespoons water), set aside. Process nuts, oats, and dates in food processor until fine. Add flax egg, vanilla, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, process until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
3. Spoon by tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until soft golden brown. Let cool a few minutes on cookie sheet. Enjoy.

adapted from this recipe by Stir it Up
optional additions:
-chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruit
optional substitutions:
-pecans: walnuts
-oats: can be replaced with additional nuts
-flax egg: other egg substitute

Mangia! Mangia!