Lemon Coconut Cake – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free

Lemon Coconut Cakes - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free 1

I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut for the last few months – just being lazy and going back and forward between banana cake or chocolate brownies, two delicious, tried and true recipes that I love but, honestly, was getting a little tired of. I never thought I’d get tired of banana cake! But it happened.

Seeing as we’re trying to make the most of the last days of summer, I felt a tropical, refreshing flavour was called for – so lemon and coconut it was. Lemon and ginger was another flavour contender but it’ll have to wait for another day. Maybe until next weekend…

These cakes are incredibly light, fluffy and moist – something that doesn’t come as easily to gluten free baked goods as wheat flour products. Honestly, I’m pretty proud of them. The subtle lemon and coconut flavour is gorgeous, not in your face at all, as I know quite a few people who aren’t coconut fans. For those who are, simply add in a few drops of coconut extract to up the flavour. Voila. I think the best compliment that I received for these cakes was Ev eating an entire muffin himself and enjoying it. If you knew him, you’d know he hates cakes, he’s a pastry man. These are that good.

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FODMAP Notes

  1. Lemon zest has not been tested for FODMAP content, to my knowledge. However, the zest is taken from the outer layer of the peel, which contains the essential oils, fatty acids, pigments and other compounds.
  2. Coconut milk/cream are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (125 ml) serves. The 1/2 cup in this recipe is split between 12-16 serves, so is quite safe. Coconuts are also not tree nuts; they are seeds and are considered safe for those with tree nut allergies.
  3. Coconut oil has been tested and is low FODMAP. FODMAPs are carbohydrates and as coconut oil is an oil, it makes sense that it’s safe. Beware that the high saturated fat content of coconut oil can stir up IBS symptoms in those with fat malabsorption issues.
  4. The flour blend that I recommend is low FODMAP, follow the link for the recipe.
  5. Turbinado sugar is low FODMAP, with a fructose ratio of 1.0. If you wish to learn more about sugars and their FODMAP content, please read this post.
  6. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs but can cause gut issues in those with egg intolerances. If this is the case for you, please substitute in your favourite egg replacement.
  7. Xanthan gum contains no FODMAPs, though some can have separate issues to gums. Chia seeds are low FODMAP in 2 tbsp. serves, this recipe suggests half that as an alternative to xanthan gum, so is safe.

Lemon Coconut Cake

Serves 12-16

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup turbinado or raw sugar
  • 145 g coconut oil, softened (or butter if dairy is okay)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 250 g gluten free plain flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. chia meal soaked in 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • Optional – 2-3 drops coconut extract

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F.

Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin, or a 12 hole muffin pan.

If not already soft, in a small saucepan, very gently melt the coconut oil, do not let it boil. Set it aside to cool (refrigeration will help). If using the chia gel, rather than the xanthan gum, mix the chia seed meal in the water now, then set aside.

Next, separate the eggs, putting the yolks aside. Beat the egg whites and salt at a high speed until light and fluffy, then add in the sugars and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form (as if you were making a pavlova).

Thoroughly mix the cooled coconut oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract and coconut cream together and whisk briskly, then pour into the meringue batter and stir on a medium speed until combined. Add in the chia gel at this stage, if you are using it instead of xanthan gum.

Place the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum (if you are using it rather than the chia gel), baking powder and lemon zest in a small, separate bowl, mix through and then pour into the rest of the batter in thirds. Mix the finished batter on a medium speed for a minute to properly combine all the ingredients, scraping down the sides as required.

Bake at 180C/350 F for:

  • 9″ round cake tin – 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before upending it onto a cooling rack.
  • Muffins – 18 to 20 minutes, or until a muffin tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.

I serve these dusted with icing sugar (as it looks pretty) at dinner parties but it does not need it for the flavour, so if you’re just baking for you, feel free to leave it off.

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Mockapple Crumble – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Vegan

Mockapple Crumble - Low FODMAP, Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Vegan

Ahhh Autumn. The markets are full of bright and shiny balls of temptation known as apples. Everyone’s Thanksgiving and Christmas menus always include apple in some form of pie, cake, crumble or salad – at which point I have to calmly remind myself of what will happen if I partake: pain and misery. Good bye, apple pie; Bakers Delight’s fruit mince tarts are a distant memory. Sigh.

For years I had to be strong (or pretend I was wearing blinders) when walking past the dessert buffets at family/friend meals but no more! Enter the choko. I can’t remember how I came across chokos (also known as chayote squash in some parts of the world) but they also happen to be in season during late Summer to Autumn and they make fantastic apple substitutes. To the person or website that first mentioned them to me, I will say a massive THANK YOU!

Chokos are a low FODMAP variety of gourd that, when eaten peeled and raw, resemble an apple in texture (crisp and juicy), with a very mild taste that can be accentuated with the right sugars and spices. They are exactly what you need to make a mockapple pie or crumble and, in my humble opinion, are a much better option than peeled zucchini. So good, in fact, that in Australia there’s an urban legend that states that McDonald’s used to use chokos in their apple pies, because they were cheaper than apples and nobody could tell the difference!

The first time that I made this crumble, I treated the choko like an apple and baked it from a raw state – that was mistake number one. Choko takes a lot longer to soften than apple does, so you need to stew or poach it first, otherwise the crumble topping will be overly brown by the time it’s soft in an incredible 1 hour and 40 minutes. Yikes. I also added the same amount of starch that I would have added to an apple crumble – mistake number two. Mistakes are good, though. We learn from them and – hopefully – don’t repeat them.

After a third attempt I feel I have mastered the choko mockapple crumble; just sweet enough, the choko has the texture of cooked apple and a mild flavour that lets the traditional apple pie spices shine through, while still bringing something of its own to the dish. This filling would also work well with your favourite gluten free/FODMAP friendly pastry for a mockapple pie.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Chokos are a FODMAP friendly gourd in 1/2 cup servings.
  2. Dried coconut flesh is low FODMAP in servings of 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup contains potentially problematic amounts of sorbitol.
  3. Almonds are FODMAP friendly in servings of 10 nuts, while 20 nuts gets a high rating for oligos.
  4. Maple syrup, when pure, is 1:1 fructose/glucose, thus is considered fructose friendly.
  5. Cinnamon, ginger, all spice and cloves are low FODMAP spices.

Mockapple Crumble

Serves 10-12

Crumble Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

Mockapple Filling

  • 1.0 kg sliced chokos
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar or 1/2 cup dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. potato starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 pot of water for poaching

Peel, then slice or dice your chokos (discarding the large centre seed) into 2 cm or so chunks. Poach them in a pot of simmering water until soft – around 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all the crumble topping ingredients and mix until they are well combined, using your food processor (or by hand/with a pastry mixer). The result will slightly resemble a sticky cookie dough. Keep it in the fridge until you need it.

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F. Drain the choko and mix through the sugars and spices. Pour the now runny choko mix into a 9 inch pie dish and then top evenly with the crumble dough. Bake at 180 C for 45-50 minutes, until the choko filling has thickened and the crumble has turned a lovely golden brown.

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Serve warm, with whipped coconut cream (or normal whipped cream) or your favourite FODMAP friendly ice cream (vegan if required). Enjoy!

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Strawberry and Coconut Chia Seed Puddings – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo & Vegan

Strawberry & Coconut Chia Seed Puddings - FODMAP. Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan

To further my obsession with puddings for breakfast, I combined some of my leftover strawberry sundae sauce with some leftover coconut cream and the dregs of a packet of chia seeds – I just happened to have the perfect amount of everything, lucky! It was delicious but did not make a super healthy breakfast, as there is decent amount of castor sugar in the sundae sauce, seeing as it’s intended for dessert fare.

It was so good, though, that it was worth revisiting, so the next time I made them I just used fresh strawberry puree with a little maple syrup and stevia. Bingo! They became the perfect weekday breakfast, as they’re made ahead of time. Bonus – they are also sweet enough to serve for dessert, if you wish.

Notes:

  1. Coconut cream is low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup.
  2. Maple syrup is contains 1:1 fructose and glucose, just make sure it’s pure maple syrup and has no additives.
  3. Pure stevia extract is low FODMAP, different brands of stevia products may or may not be low FODMAP, depending on sweetening additives used, such as polyols.
  4. Strawberries are low FODMAP in servings of 8 medium berries or less.

Strawberry Coconut Chia Seed Puddings

Makes 8 x 120 ml/4 oz. puddings.

  • 400 ml of coconut cream (your choice of full or light)
  • 300 g fresh strawberries, plus a few more for serving
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup, or to taste
  • 5 drops of stevia extract, or to taste

Wash, hull and pat dry the strawberries, then place them in your blender with the coconut cream, maple syrup and stevia. Blend on high for 2 minutes, until smooth – or until there are only very small chunks of strawberry left, if you’d like.

Pour into a mixing bowl and stir through the chia seeds.

Divvy the mixture up between eight 4 oz ramekins, or put it all in a large serving dish, before covering and leaving them in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Top with extra strawberries, if you wish. Dig in!

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Coconut Chia Seed Puddings – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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Ev and I are a little obsessed with puddings and while his brother has been staying with us over the Aussie school summer holidays, he has become addicted to them as well. I bought a 6 pack of rice puddings once day and by the next night there were none left and I didn’t get to have one! Oh well, it was probably for the best. But I swear, teenage boys can eat!

These chia puddings are lower GI than rice and you can control what goes into them, which isn’t much at all – they are so simple!

To find out more about the health benefits of chia seeds and its relationship with FM, read here.

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Notes:

  1. For some with IBS, the high fibre in chia seeds can cause problems – gurgly stomachs, stomach and gut cramps and diarrhoea to name a few. It’s the typical FM case of you need to try it yourself and see. I have had no issues, luckily.
  2. Coconut cream is low FODMAP, although there are small amounts of polyols present.
  3. Some people who have low stomach acid, or just sensitive stomachs, may need to use the light coconut cream for these puddings as the higher fat content in full fat coconut cream can irritate their guts. This is not FODMAP related, however, as fats are not FODMAPs (a group of fermentable carbohydrates).
  4. If coconut is completely out for you, any sort of milk or cream (normal, lactose free, vegan option) will work.
  5. Top with fructose friendly fruits of your choice – I like berries, bananas, desiccated coconut, passion fruit or kiwi fruit.
  6. If you can’t tolerate pure maple syrup, something like glucose syrup or rice malt syrup would also work.

Coconut Chia Seed Puddings

Makes 4.

  • 400 ml can of light or full fat coconut cream – full fat tastes better
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds – add 1-2 tbsp. more if you like a firmer pudding
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Berries/fruit of your choice to top

Mix the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract vigorously until combined, then stir through chia seeds. See, I said it was simple!

Share the mixture between four ramekins and refrigerate for 2 hours, until set. Once set, top with whatever you’d like; I used mixed berries and desiccated coconut shreds.

I like to use canning jars (or left over jam jars) to store my chia puddings as they come with lids, which keeps the pudding air tight – this means it lasts longer in the fridge and is already in a travel friendly case. Just don’t forget your spoon!

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Banana Nut Muffins – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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I am SO excited to share this recipe with you guys, not just because these muffins are so moist and delicious without being overly sweet but because it was the first successful use of my own gluten free plain flour blend!

When trialling this flour, I had to use a recipe that I had down pat, and what better recipe than an old favourite? That way I’d know, if something went wrong, I could blame the flour blend.

Banana bread/muffins/cake is a comfort food for me – good thing that bananas are low FODMAP – and I like baking them in individual servings so that I can freeze them and let one thaw each day that I want one. It also means that they last longer, seeing as they’re frozen and I can’t just grab one out and scoff it – I need to wait and be patient. SO not my strong suit.

These muffins work well for breakfast on the go, a morning tea or a dessert – maybe give them a dose of cream cheese icing if you want to serve them for dessert and have them looking the part.

Notes:

  1. Bananas are low FODMAP, except for overripe sugar bananas. But your average supermarket banana is safe as long as it’s a small to medium size.
  2. Almonds are low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts. There is only 1/4 cup of almond meal in this entire recipe, spread over 12 muffins, so FODMAP-wise they’re safe.
  3. For a lactose free muffin – use unrefined virgin coconut oil instead of butter and a LF milk with a dash of lemon juice.
  4. For a vegan option, use the LF options as well as 1/3 cup silken tofu instead of the eggs, the instructions remain the same. Alternatively, use your favourite egg replacement method.

Banana Nut Muffins

Wet ingredients

  • 115 g (approx 1/2 cup) butter or virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dextrose
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs or 1/3 cup silken tofu
  • 1 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk – or lactose free/non-dairy milk with a dash of lemon juice

Dry ingredients

  • 250 g GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut shreds
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F and line a 12 pan muffin tray with patty pans.

Cream the butter, sugar and maple syrup on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes, then add in the eggs, mashed banana, vanilla extract and buttermilk and mix until combined.

Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and stir through. When the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, gradually add in the dry ingredients and keep beating on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the edges as necessary.

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Scoop a heaped 1/4 cup measure into each pan and sprinkle with extra desiccated coconut. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C, or until a centre muffin tests clean. Let them sit in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack and allowing them to reach  room temperature before you box or freeze them.

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Hedgehog Slice – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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During my two years of VCE – years 11 and 12 of secondary school in Victoria – I swear I kept the canteen running from my addiction to Hedgehog Slices. Jam doughnuts were a close second. Very close. This dwindled out when I started my B. Science and Monash Uni’s Cafe Cinque Lire had ah-MAZING citrus tarts. Seriously amazeballs. It made 8 am starts with 2 hours of biology and chemistry bearable – I wasn’t to know that, by 2nd year physiotherapy, 2 hours was a walk in the park; try 5 hours. However, when I moved to Melbourne Uni to start my physiotherapy degree, Thresherman’s Bakehouse near Lygon St had cheap and delicious custard tarts.

You can tell I’m a bit of a pastry fan 🙂

After moving to Seattle and having to deal with not only HFCS – for those of you back home in Australia it’s corn syrup that has been chemically altered to change over half of its glucose to fructose – but an increase in my sensitivity to wheat as well, I had to cut baked goods from my life unless they were homemade. Combine this with the fact that I haven’t even seen a hedgehog slice in the US, last summer I decided it was high time that I made my all-time favourite slice.

Notes:

  1. This contains coconut. While coconut is no longer listed as a FODMAP by Monash University, some people are sensitive for other reasons. I use unsweetened desiccated coconut.
  2. The biscuits used can either be store bought GF/FF plain biscuits – think Arnott’s Marie biscuits from Aus – or roll the almond meal pastry mixture flat onto a baking tray and completely blind bake it to form plain biscuits which can then be crumbled and used instead.
  3. A serving of 20 almonds or more is considered high in FODMAPs. If you limit yourself to one or two pieces of this, you should be right, unless you are particularly sensitive to GOS’s.
  4. Butter could be replaced with the same amount of coconut butter.
  5. Although I use dark chocolate and cocoa powder, which has less lactose than milk chocolate, be aware that this might cause a reaction in those who are sensitive to lactose.
  6. This mixture uses raw eggs. They are added to the hot butter mixture, so they will cook but not at length in an oven. To be safe, I would say this is not safe for consumption by pregnant women or infants. If you can tolerate it, condensed milk would provide the same binding properties that eggs would. Just be sure that, if you buy the sweetened version, you know what it is sweetened with.
  7. The original recipe called for 1tbsp. dark rum, instead of maple syrup. You can swap it back if you’d like.

Hedgehog Slice

Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s, ‘The Cook’s Companion’ to be FF/GF.

Slice Base

  • 350-375 g/12.5-13 oz GF/FF Arnott’s Marie style biscuits or almond meal pastry biscuits.
  • 100 g/3.5 oz chopped walnuts
  • 125 g/4.5 oz unsalted butter
  • 3/4 – 1 cup dextrose/castor sugar – dextrose isn’t as sweeet as sucrose so more might be necessary to your taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder – I’m a chocaholic so I add the 1/2 cup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten or approx. 1/3 cupcondensed milk for an egg free version, you can add more later if necessary

Chocolate Icing

  • 130 g/4.6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup – optional
  • 50 g/1.75 oz unsalted butter or coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut to top, more if you wish

Grease a baking tray’s base and sides and set aside – should be around 20 cm/8 in square with edges but if it’s a little bigger, like mine was, don’t worry.

Put the biscuits in a marinade bag and smash them with a rolling pin. You want chunks, not powder, so don’t crush them too much. It’s very cathartic, so I recommend making this if you’re angry – chocolate and stress release in one!

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Melt butter and dextrose until well combined, then add in the cocoa powder and mix until completely smooth. Add in the lightly beaten eggs or condensed milk and mix until smooth once more.

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At this point, you can either let the mixture cool before adding the biscuits and walnuts, or mix them in anyway – it will just mean the mixture takes longer to set later on. If you feel more condensed milk is necessary (i.e. the mixture is too dry) add it now.

Once the dry and wet ingredients are mixed though, you can press them into the greased tin you prepared earlier. Condense the height and even it out with a spatula. I only had a large baking tray and it worked without any issues.

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To prepare the icing, melt the dark chocolate, butter and maple syrup (or rum) in a double boiler until smooth and creamy. Pour over the slightly cooled base, being careful if you used a bigger pan than necessary, as I did. You don’t want to lose the icing on the uncovered portion of the baking tray.

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Sprinkle with as much shredded desiccated coconut as you’d like and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting them into 5 cm/2 inch squares.

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These are best made the day before eating, so they can really firm up in the fridge.  Store them in the fridge for no more than a week, due to all the dairy and the potentially uncooked eggs.  They go really well with a cup of Earl Grey tea. Enjoy! And if you use the condensed milk option, let me know how the slice turned out.

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Strawberry, Rhubarb and Coconut Pie – Low Fructose

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Just last weekend there was a Strawberry Festival at a local park and I stocked up on freshly picked strawbs. Yum.

But what to do with them? I had conveniently forgotten that the fridge was full of raspberries, blueberries and kiwis that needed to be eaten, not to mention all the strawberry jam I made a couple of months ago.

Thinking… thinking…

It hit me when I was walking through the fruit and veg at the supermarket. Rhubarb is in season and I hadn’t had any since I took the very last of it from the grocer’s at the beginning of Autumn just been. Ev told me I was a bitch for taking the last of it, I maintain that it’s there to be sold.

A quick note on coconut. There is SO much confusion between all the different research and subjective reports flying around that there’s no wonder we struggle to know which we should trust. I compiled a short list of resources regarding coconut and it’s FODMAPS (or lack of) content here for your perusal.

Almond Meal Pastry

  • Use one batch of almond meal pastry to cover a 9 inch tart/pie dish.

Follow these linked instructions for the recipe and partially blind bake it according to option number 2.

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Strawberry, Rhubarb and Coconut Pie Filling

  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit or 2 tspn. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dextrose, optional for extra sweetness
  • 1 cup shredded desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans

Simmer the rhubarb, strawberries, vanilla bean and dextrose (optional) for half an hour, until the rhubarb is completely tender.

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Remove the vanilla bean and mix through the shredded coconut and almond meal. If coconut flesh affects you, you could just substitute more almond meal in its place. If you want the flavours to really intensify, let the mixture cool and refrigerate overnight. It turns delicious into KABOOM!

When you are ready to fill your partially blind-baked pie shell, keep the oven at 150 C/300 F (from baking the pastry) and spoon in the mixture until it is within 5-10 mm from the top of the crust.

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Cover with chopped pecans.

Bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until the crust has turned a golden brown and the pecans are fragrant.

So I forgot to take a photo before I put it back in the oven...

So I forgot to take a photo before I put it back in the oven…

Remove and serve hot or cold, it’s up to you. Vanilla bean custard, whipped cream, whipped coconut cream (if it agrees with you), ice cream – it’s all good. And a good cup of tea.

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Enjoy!