Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Too often that salty sweet treat is off the table for my lactose intolerant husband. When my son asked if I could make a batch that Daddy could eat, how could I refuse?

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is loosely based on one I found at Cooking Light. It includes many of those ingredients you would expect to find: brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. I added some hand harvested French sea salt (Sel de Camargue) and substituted coconut oil for the butter. Coconut oil has a lovely flavor and is my go-to substitute for pistachio brittle. That is, when I'm not using bacon grease for my bacon pecan brittle!

Cooling the hot popcorn before we dig in.

Cooling the hot popcorn before we dig in.

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Serves 8, recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1 cup popping corn
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Pop the popping corn according to the directions. 1 cup of un-popped pop corn, will make approximately 16 cups of popped popcorn. Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 250 F. Lightly grease a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and sea salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will bubble vigorously.

Pour the hot mixture over the popcorn, coating thoroughly. Pour the popcorn on the greased sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes to ensure even coating.

Once cooked, pour the hot popcorn onto parchment paper and let cool for 15 minutes. Will keep for up to a week when stored in a cool, dry place.

 

Pineapple Mosaic Cake

Okay, it's upside-down cake, but look at this picture, doesn't it look like an artistic mosaic? I love the sweet-tart combination of caramelized pineapples against a rich-tender bed of cake. The extra brown sugar and rum bring out the delicious tropical fruit flavors. This recipe is easy to pull off for a fun dinner party on the weekend and the results are sure to wow. You can use a 9 inch round cake pan, if needed. I was able to find this square beauty at Marshalls for under $13. 

This lactose-free dessert is easily converted back for all of you butter lovers. Swap the coconut oil for butter, and use regular milk for those of you who don't have lactose issues!

Pineapple Mosaic Cake

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 medium pineapple - peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (~3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk (lactose-free or regular)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust rack to middle of the oven.

In a small bowl stir together the melted coconut oil, brown sugar and dark rum; spread the mixture evenly in a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square cake pan (non-stick finish). Pat the pineapple very dry between several sheets of paper towel, and arrange it evenly on top of the sugar mixture.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the room-temperature coconut oil with the white sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. The batter will be very thick.

Place the cake in the middle of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge, and invert the cake onto a plate. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped coconut milk

Baker's Notes: A few of my pineapple pieces stuck to my pan. Don't fret, gently pry them off the pan and artfully place them back in their rightful place. 

 

Blueberry Custard Crumb Pie

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest, and had to make it twice in the same weekend-it was that good! Filled with blueberries (fresh or frozen), this easy, not-too-sweet treat, will become a favorite for your recipe box. To convert this recipe to #lactosefree, I subbed lactose-free sour cream for the custard filling and coconut oil for the crumb, a.k.a. streusel topping. I also added lemon zest and additional salt to satisfy my tastebuds (and those of my dinner guests)!

Blueberry Custard Crumb Pie

Having thoroughly researched the question, this pie tastes best cold. Make sure you allow at least 6 hours in the fridge prior to serving. The crumb topping stays crunchy, I  PROMISE!

Using frozen berries didn't slow down the cooking time. I used fresh for my first pie and frozen for my second with no noticeable difference in the cook time.

Feel free to make your own pie dough. I used store bought, but here's an excellent recipe, if you'd rather make your own: Pie Dough Recipe (makes 2 crusts). 

Blueberry Custard Crumb Pie

Blueberry Custard Crumb Pie

Serves 8-10, Recipe adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Custard Filling

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) lactose free sour cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, roasted and salted
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Allow for 6 full hours in the fridge after cooling. Plan ahead accordingly!
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to the middle position.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, ¾ cup sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla extract and salt with a spoon until smooth. Gently fold the blueberries into the sour cream mixture. Spoon the filling into the unbaked pie crust.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  5. While the filling is baking, prepare the crumb topping. In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar and flour. Mix the room temperature coconut oil in with a fork, or your hands,  until the mixture resembles course sand. Fold in the chopped pecans. After the custard filling has cooked 25 minutes, sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the pie. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until filling is set and topping is brown.
  6. Use a crust shield or make a loose foil tent towards the end of baking.
  7. Remove from oven and let pie sit for at least 20 minutes. Refrigerate for 6 hours before serving.
Blueberry Custard Crumb Pie