Plum Sorbet

Plum Sorbet / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

This week, I was the lucky recipient of a metric boat load of bite-sized cherry plums from a friend’s plum tree in her front yard!!!

So, what would YOU do with sacks and sacks of fresh tasty plums?  Well, besides pop them directly in your mouth…which happened a lot around here.

Plum Sorbet / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I decided to try something new….

Plum sorbet, ya’ll! Come and get it! It’s muggy and sticky outside. That means it is perfect weather for a tangy scoop of honey-sweetened Plum sorbet! And it’s dairy free!

You could easily replace the plums in this recipe with another in season fruit, like blueberries or strawberries or peaches! This is So delicious.

Plum Sorbet / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

These plums that I used were perfectly tart and the honey provided juuuuust enough sweet balance. Also, I added a splash or two or three of champagne in the sorbet! Booze it up! Champagne or white wine in the sorbet provide the finished product a bubbly tang and help with the scoopability! Boom Boom!

Wait. This would be great as a Champagne Float! What? Yes please! If that is not a thing, it should be. Tip that pinky up, honey. Put your fancy hats on and get a big ol’ scoop of Plum Sorbet! Cheers!

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Plum Sorbet

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups sliced plums, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup champagne or white wine (or water)
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processors. Purée until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour the plum puree through a fine mesh sieve to catch large pieces of skin. Place mixture into refrigerator for 30 minutes (or overnight) to chill.
  2. Place the plum purée into the bowl of a chilled ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It will take about 25 to 30 minutes. While the mixture is churning away, place a glass container into the freezer that will be big enough to place the processed sorbet into. After the sorbet is finished, either serve immediately or place into the air tight pre-chilled container and freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up.  The wine will help keep the sorbet from getting icy and will assist with scoopability if serving at a later time. Allow to sit out at room temperature for about 5 minutes after removing from the freezer, then scoop away!

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Lemony Coconut Tapioca Pudding

Lemony Tapioca Pudding / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

I am in need of a vacation. It’s mid February and the skies are dismal and the temperatures are even more dismal.

So I have decided to create a vacation atmosphere in my home. Cozy, comfy, and relaxing. I curl up with a great record, a cozy blanket, and something creamy….like pudding. This tapioca pudding has the bright flavor of lemon. It reminds me of a random warm day in the 50s or 60s that comes along in the middle of winter and makes you want to run wild outside after having been locked inside from snow mounds and drifts of snow. Actually, at this point, I would go running around outside like a lunatic if it hit 40 degrees outside. I’ve got my bongos ready…I think it might hit 42 today. YES.

Lemony Tapioca Pudding / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

So like I was saying. Lemons. Nothing is more refreshing and spring-like in flavor like lemons. This tapioca pudding has what every dismal winter day needs…a ray of sunshine and a warm breeze. But combine that with creamy tapioca pudding and you have comfort in a bowl.

Lemony Tapioca Pudding / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

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I prefer to use small pearl tapioca, fresh honey, and a mixture of coconut milk and 2 percent milk. But for a completely dairy free version, by all means, use combination of other dairy free milks.

Lemony Coconut Tapioca Pudding

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of coconut milk (or half coconut milk and half 2% milk)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca or granulated tapioca (I used this type)
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • toasted coconut (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine coconut milk, salt, tapioca pearls, egg yolk, and honey in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer while stirring frequently.  Turn heat down and allow to simmer softly for 20 minutes, stir frequently and make sure the bottom does not burn.  The tapioca will begin to thicken quickly at the end.
  2. Once the tapioca mixture is thick like gravy, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest. Portion out 1/2 cup servings into separate pudding cups. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Serve alone or with extra lemon zest and/or toasted coconut on top.

Lemony Tapioca Pudding / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Blackberry Cashew Cheesecake (Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo)

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I like surprises.  Well…good surprises. This week has been full of some unpleasant surprises but it has also been filled with amazing surprises like…friends dropping by to say hey for no reason but just to visit, a letter from an amazing friend telling me how they cherished our friendship, random hugs, dinner ready when I get home from work, coffee ready when I get up (what a blessing), random dance parties downtown…

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I also like having intimate gatherings at our place and surprising people with a healthy dessert.  When it comes to a dessert that surprises most folks because it is both gluten-free and dairy free, this cashew cheesecake takes the “cake”. I have made multiple versions including strawberry-vanilla, chocolate-banana, and now blackberry.

This blackberry cashew cheesecake was the BEST so far.  I made the cashew cheesecake filling using my high-powered Cuisinart Pro Plus food processor.  If you have a Vitamix or Blendtec, use it. I’m jealous. But seriously, a great food processor will do the trick but it just may take a bit more time.

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Instead of mixing whole blackberries into the filling, I made a blackberry sauce and strained out those pesky seeds that looooove to stick around in your teeth while you are trying to be sexy and suave but no one tells you that you have a massive black seed the size of a minivan lodged in your front teeth.  So, I just amped up your sex appeal and created a seedless sauce to mix into the blackberry cheesecake layer. You are welcome!

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The blackberry sauce is easy and takes only an extra 10 minutes. I used 2 cups of blackberries that I froze last summer.  You could also use a bag of frozen blackberries (completely thawed and use organic if possible) or fresh blackberries when they are in season. Boil the blackberries and juices in a saucepan until it begins to thicken (about 5 minutes).  Add a tablespoon of arrowroot powder mixed with water to make a slurry. Arrowroot powder is a grain-free starch alternative to cornstarch. If you aren’t worried about grains, then you could swap cornstarch for the arrowroot powder. Adding the starch will make the sauce even thicker.  Strain the cooked blackberries through a strainer and reserve about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the sauce. This sauce is amazing in yogurt, on pancakes, waffles, my face.

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So go surprise your face and someone you love or maybe even just tolerate and make this cheesecake. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Plus, it is gorgeous!

Blackberry Cashew Cheesecake (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free)  (adapted from My New Roots, serves 8)

Note – You will need a very powerful food processor or blender (such as a Vitamix). I have a Cuisinart Pro Plus food processor that works like a champ and a half. 

Crust Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked at least 4 hours)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey for non vegan)
  • juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (thawed if frozen and retain the juices)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder + 2 tablespoons of water

Instructions

  1. Crust – In a food processor, place nuts, salt, and pitted dates and pulse until the ingredients combine into a paste.  The mixture should hold together when you pinch a small amount between your fingers.  Place Saran wrap in a 7″ pie pan (spring form pans work best but aren’t necessary) or 8×8″ square baking dish. Spoon crust mixture into pan and press evenly and firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed. Wash and rinse the food processor.
  2. Blackberry Sauce – Place the blackberries and thawed blackberry juices in a heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir frequently, and bring to a low boil.  In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of cold water until it forms a slurry. Slowly stir the arrowroot slurry into the blackberries. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the homemade blackberry sauce thickens to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat. To get separate the seeds from the blackberries, set a strainer over a heat-proof bowl. Pour the blackberry sauce into the strainer and mash with the back of a spoon to get all of the juices from the blackberries. You should get about 1/2 cup of sauce. Reserve the sauce for later use in the filling. You can keep the blackberry mash for either a topping or another use (stirred into oatmeal? in yogurt?).
  3. Cashew Cheesecake Filling – Microwave the coconut oil in a small Pyrex dish for 30 seconds until mostly melted. Whisk in maple syrup to combine. Place all of the filling ingredients (except the blackberries) into the bowl of the processor and blend on high-speed for several minutes until very smooth.
  4. Assembly – remove the crust from the freezer. Pour about two-thirds of the cashew mixture onto the crust and smooth evenly with a rubber spatula. To the remaining third of the cashew filling mixture, add the blackberry sauce (about 1/3 cup). Blend on high until smooth. Pour this mixture onto the first layer of filling. I drizzled an additional 1/4 cup of sauce on the top of the blackberry layer and made a swirl pattern with a butter knife. Place in freezer for about 2 hours or until solid.
  5. Serving – To serve, remove from freezer about 30 minutes before serving.  Heat a smooth and sharp knife under hot water and cut the pie into 8 slices. Serve with any additional blackberry sauce. Store any remaining pie in the freezer.