This Community Recipe is Lisa’s Vegan Velvet Berry Pudding. This layered dessert starts with a set vegan custard on matzoh, topped with a zingy blitzed berry mix and covered with soft peaked pillows of plant-based meringue. If you thought meringue always needs egg, get ready to see what magic happens with chickpea water! This recipe is kosher-for-Passover for people who eat Kitniyot.
Community Recipes is a recurring feature where we share your vegan recipes on the Jewish Food Hero blog. If you want to share a recipe in this series, pitch us your idea here. This series is all about sharing healthy plant-based and vegan recipes. We are creating a positive community around food and sharing.
All about Lisa Wyness
Lisa is a farm girl, wife to a wine farming husband and mom to 3 beautiful boys. Have a look at her delicious cooking via her Instagram page.
Growing up on a wine farm in South Africa, Lisa was always walking barefoot, making hay bale forts with her brother and two sisters and looking after their animals. Her mother is an amazing cook and baker who made wonderful birthday cakes. Lisa’s childhood memories are full of family gatherings around a long dinner table. Her mother would make decadent desserts, and Lisa remembers munching big slices of homegrown watermelon on the porch. In 2003, a blue-eyed boy came to work on her parent’s farm and Lisa and he fell in love.
They married 14 years ago and now have 3 sons together. In 2020 the family emigrated to the English countryside. Now they spend their time enjoying nature. They also have many, many pets, including: a rescue pigeon, 2 geese, 3 chickens, 2 ducks, 4 quails and a dog.
Lisa’s cooking style
As well as cooking her mom’s family recipes, Lisa likes to veganise Jamie Oliver dishes. Her favorite foods are Indian curries, fresh fruit, cashew cheese on homemade sourdough bread and vegan sushi. Of course, cooking is an expression of love for Lisa.
How was Lisa’s Vegan Velvet Berry Pudding recipe created?
When her family had big gatherings, Lisa’s mom used to make a dessert of baked custard, smeared with tangy apricot jam and topped with golden pillows of meringue. So, it always makes Lisa think of family meals and kids stealing off to the kitchen to sneak spoonfuls of leftovers from the fridge.
Custard and meringue are notoriously eggy puddings. Usually, the egg yolks go into the custard along with cow milk, and you whip egg white with sugar to make meringue.
Lisa’s recipe uses some classic vegan switches. Her custard uses a combination of almond and coconut milk, thickened with cornflour. Her meringue uses the vegan super ingredient aquafaba. It is simply the reserved water from a can of chickpeas. If you prefer to use dried chickpeas, you can use reserved chickpea cooking water (not the soaking water!)
Key ingredients in Lisa’s Vegan Velvet Berry Pudding
- Turmeric – This vibrant yellow spice powder comes from turmeric root. Many people hail it as a health food for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Although it is frequently in curries, it still works in sweet dishes. The minimal amount in Lisa’s recipe gives the custard its signature yellow color.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla is one ingredient which is worth splashing out on. A good quality extract made from real vanilla pods is black and syrupy with visible specks of seed. Artificial essence will do the job in an emergency, but go for the real thing when you can and you will see and taste the difference.
- Maple syrup – The perfect vegan liquid sweetener. Maple syrup is natural and much more nutritious than refined sugar. Its warm, almost smokey wood flavor adds an interesting depth to this custard.
- Chia seeds – These little seeds are famous for their high protein and fibre content. One of their most useful qualities is that, when mixed with liquid, they set it to make a firmer texture. In Lisa’s Vegan Velvet Berry Pudding, blitzed up chia seeds set the berry layer into a spoonable, firm jam.
- Potato Starch: A thickener that versatile and heat-friendly than. It is a resistant starch so it naturally ferments in the large intestine to function as a healthy prebiotic.
For the base:
1 packet matzoh or water biscuits
For the custard:
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups almond milk
1 400 ml tin coconut milk
1 cup corn starch or potato starch
½ cup maple syrup
For the berry layer:
2 cups of fresh/thawed berries
4 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp caster sugar
For the meringue:
½ cup aquafaba (the water from a tin of chickpeas)
Slightly heaped ½ cup caster sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch or potato starch
Line the base of a baking dish with matzoh or water biscuits.
Add all the custard ingredients to a saucepan, whisk to combine until there are no lumps. Turn on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
Once the custard thickens and it becomes harder to whisk the mixture, pour it over the biscuit layer. Set to one side to cool, then transfer the dish to the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, place all the berry layer ingredients in a blender and blitz on high until thoroughly mixed. For a smoother texture, strain the blended mixture through as sieve – although this is optional.
Pour the berry mixture over the cooled custard layer, and return the dish to the fridge.
To make the meringue layer, first preheat the oven to 130 Celsius.
Take a large mixing bowl, and ensure it is completely clean – there must be no traces of grease or the meringue mix won’t work. Add the vinegar and aqua faba and beat until stiff – you should be able to hold the dish upside down above your head for a few seconds without any of the mixture falling on your head.
In a separate bowl, mix together the caster sugar and cornflour. Add the sugar mixture a tablespoon at a time, waiting 20 seconds between each sugar addition.
Dollop spoonfuls of the meringue mixture on top of the berry layer – try to form lots of peaks which will go golden and crisp when grilled.
Place the dish into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then, turn on the grill to grill the meringue for 3 minutes – watching carefully throughout to prevent the meringue browning too much.
Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately!
Keywords: vegan, dessert, meringue, set custard, berry dessert
More Community Recipes
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to mix up our regular recipe rotation. Our Community Recipes feature is for just that – to share our favorites and hear from a variety of people in our community. Since you’ve read Lisa’s, do you feel inspired to share your own recipe? Don’t forget to get in touch to share your vegan recipe too!
Check out these other recipes from our community: