Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp {gluten-free}

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

If you think you are experiencing a bit of deja-vu, then you may be right. To go hand in hand with my blog re-design I am also doing a bit of an audit, revisiting old recipes and seeing how they have fared over the years and what I might do to encourage the wee stragglers. I first posted this recipe in October 2014 with some pretty dreadful photos attached. I remembered how delicious it was so I made it again and agreed that yes I was right the first time, this was really delicious and by gum I need the world to know.

I didn’t want to just get rid of my old post entirely though, so what follows below is the original post, just with much better photos.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

These past two Sundays since I begun my market stall have diverted us from our traditional lazy Sunday lunches due to the utter pandemonium of cake carrying boxes and cake stands and plates to be washed up on our return. We have eaten on the hoof, our giant roasts of meat which would always do us through Monday and Tuesday have recently been foregone for quick suppers before we succumb to the sofa.This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

Sunday nights have always been pudding nights in our house, for me they don’t seem right on any other evening. When I was a child I remember sitting down to the Darling Buds of May on a Sunday evening with a bowl of sticky jam sponge and hot custard so thick the spoon could stand upright in the bowl. There is something about Sunday night television which calls for the comfort of the old fashioned Pud. As the opening piano music for Downton Abbey is starting I am often spooning a steaming sponge into our glass dessert bowls, yelling into the other room for the TV to be paused so I don’t miss a moment.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

This hot pud was perfect then for our new busy Sundays, it had to be a quick throw together dessert which didn’t feel like an effort and could be done whilst I was waiting for our burgers to grill (I know, a bit of a comedown from roast beef and yorkshires). Like any good idea, the inspiration came all at once as I knew precisely that it had to be a combination of blueberries, coconut and oats. Something hot but that felt full of light goodness; despite the change in the weather I am not quite ready for a treacly syrup sponges just yet. The fact that I had ricotta in the fridge was an absolute boon and brought the rest of the ingredients together in sweet harmony. The best thing about this pudding is that it takes no more than 10 minutes from all your ingredients being in the larder or the fridge to them being assembled and tucked into the oven for a 30 minute bake. It isn’t the grand affair pudding that you would necessarily present to guests, it doesn’t have the sophistication for that. However, it’s exactly the sort of pudding that brings your family together at the end of a weekend, squished up on the sofa, slippers on, a pot of tea on the go and Downton Abbey pride of place.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

These photos were taken in collaboration with Tara at Fork and Dram. She has been a huge inspiration to me lately, assisting in the direction of my blog, cake stall and photography and has been marvellous to work with.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp {gluten-free}
This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.
This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g porridge oats
  • 40 g coconut flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 25 g coconut flakes
  • 300 g blueberries
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 225 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g porridge oats
  • 40 g coconut flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 25 g coconut flakes
  • 300 g blueberries
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 225 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  2. First make the coconut crisp by mixing together the oats, coconut flour and 75g of the sugar. Rub the butter into the dry mixture, using your fingertips until little oaty coconut clumps have formed and there are no big lumps of butter left. Mix in the coconut flakes then set aside for a moment.
  3. Take a medium sized baking dish (the one I used was 7”x10”) and grease the inside. Then pour the blueberries into the bottom so they are in an even layer.
  4. In a separate bowl beat together the ricotta, the rest of the sugar and the lemon zest for a few moments until fully combined and then pour on top of the blueberries.
  5. Scatter the coconut crisp on top of the ricotta.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes when the coconut crisp has toasted and the blueberries are bubbling up from within.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

This Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake is dark, rich and intense. A sublime treat for your afternoon tea.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

I’m making my Seville orange marmalade this week which meant that I needed to finish the scrapings at the bottom of last year’s jar to make room for the new.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

The marmalade had not been easy to spread on toast for a few months now as the surface had crystallised a little but the intense zesty bitter flavour was still all there and I found that once I had sawn through the solid sugar structure with gritted teeth this cake turned out to be the perfect way to make use of the dregs. It might have lost its lustre but last year’s marmalade has managed to find a new lease of life paired with chocolate, ricotta and pine nuts. I mean, what ingredient wouldn’t? Of course you are more than welcome to make this cake with this season’s offering, you certainly don’t have to be using 2015’s rejects.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

My life is full of to-do, should-really-do and must-do-upon-point-of-death lists at the moment, none of which ever really get completely crossed of by the end of the day. However, cakes always seem to jump to the top of the queue, ahead of taking my pile of unloved clothing, which I keep tripping over every morning, to the charity shop, or paying that cheque into the bank, or even finding that blasted cheque which no longer seems to be sitting proudly on my mantelpiece where I placed it very safely about three months ago.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

So when I decided that the marmalade had to go in a cake the ingredients magically gathered themselves up and jumped into a baking tin without so much as consulting any of my lists. I blame the ricotta. Mmm ricotta, just seeing the word on the screen makes me want to dollop it into and onto everything I eat. It’s ideal here, adding such a luxurious dampness to the cake without imparting heaviness.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

The marriage of flavours is so lovely and subtle that this cake is fit for any purpose. The newly revived marmalade just adds a hint of tang with the occasional rind peeking through the sponge as well as a wonderful jammy blanket to the top – the glaze is definitely all important. The toasted pine nuts were a last minute addition but integral to give a welcome break in texture. I don’t think I need to convince you about the chocolate.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

So my to-do list may be never-ending but at least I can end the day with a slice of darkly decadent cake and the promise of tomorrow’s marmalade.

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

Dark Chocolate, Seville Orange, Ricotta and Pine Nut Cake

Inspired by Emiko Davies’ Ricotta and Dark Chocolate Cake

250g dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 70% and 54%)
75g pine nuts
300g ricotta
175g light soft brown sugar
100ml olive oil
3 eggs
60g Seville orange marmalade + 2 tablespoons for glazing
200g plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C then line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie and set aside.
  3. Scatter the pine nuts onto a baking tray (reserving about 20g to keep untoasted) then bake them in the oven for about 8 minutes until very lightly toasted. Set aside.
  4. Place the ricotta, brown sugar, olive oil, eggs and marmalade in a large bowl and beat until smooth.
  5. Pour the melted chocolate in then and stir thoroughly into the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then add into the mixture and beat until just combined.
  7. Finally fold in the toasted pine nuts then pour it all into the loaf tin.
  8. Scatter the remaining untoasted pine nuts over the top of the mixture, pressing down to slightly submerge into the batter.
  9. Place in the oven and bake for about 90 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack.
  11. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of marmalade in a small saucepan then brush over the top of the cake liberally to glaze.
  12. Leave to cool completely before serving.

Apple, Cinnamon and Ricotta Gluten-Free Friands

Apple Cinnamon and Ricotta Friands
If you have met a financier (the cake kind not the money kind) then you have met a friand, albeit in a different shape and from another country. Financiers hail from France and are so-called due to their rectangular shape which was thought to resemble gold ingots. They are made with sugar, ground almonds, a kiss of flour and foamy egg whites, giving a lovely light and moist sponge. The friand is made in exactly the same way, except in an Australian kitchen and baked in oval shaped tins rather than rectangles. So that’s basically why I chose to made friands instead of financiers – that’s the tin I have.

Because the recipe uses so little flour it is no effort to turn these babies gluten-free without losing anything from the original recipe. The flour is just there to bulk out the ground almonds rather than any grand alchemy taking place. I think that’s the easiest way of creating gluten-free bakes, by adapting recipes which don’t rely on flour.

Apple Cinnamon and Ricotta Friands

I have tried mixing my own gluten-free flours and experimented with different blends of sorghum flour, potato starch, rice flour and millet flour among others. However, sometimes it’s just easier to reach for the bag of ready-made stuff. When you’re using so little flour anyway like in this recipe the difference is negligible. For this purpose I am more than happy to use Dove’s gluten-free flour blend, it’s reliable and the benefit is that you don’t need to order any out of the way ingredients from Amazon as it’s more than likely that your local supermarket stocks it.

These friands are amped up from the usual recipe by dropping in a teaspoonful of lemony sweetened ricotta into the finished batter then garnishing the top with cinnamon spiked buttery apple pieces just before they go into the oven. I think I got the idea of including the ricotta in a food magazine years ago and haven’t been able to resist adding a dollop to my recipe every time since. The creamy ricotta pairs perfectly with the buttery apple topping, making this a very simple bake but one that feels luxurious, delicate and of course good for your gluten-free friends.

Apple Cinnamon and Ricotta Friands

Apple, Cinnamon and Ricotta Gluten-Free Friands
Makes 12

3 Apples, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon icing sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
squeeze of lemon juice
160g ricotta
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
250g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
100g gluten free flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
200g butter, melted
180g egg whites (about 6)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and butter a 12 hole friand tin.
  2. Melt the 2 tablespoons butter then add the icing sugar, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice and then tip in the apple pieces.
  3. Fry for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat just before the apples turn soft and leave to cool.
  4. In a small bowl mix the ricotta with the vanilla, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon icing sugar until smooth and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl mix the almonds with the flour, the rest of the icing sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt together
  6. Then in another bowl the whisk egg whites a little until light and foamy.
  7. Fold the egg whites into the almonds along with the melted butter.
  8. Divide the batter between the friand moulds, then top with a spoonful of ricotta mixture. Finally add a few apples to the top of each one.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  10. Dust with icing sugar.

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream
I find ice cream one of the most relaxing and joyful things to make.  One of the key notes about Diane Keaton’s character in It’s Complicated- oh we quote the highbrow art here – is that if she can’t sleep she makes ice cream.  Typically for a Diane Keaton role she is uptight and neurotic so her freezer is bursting with ice cream.  However, that comforting and gentle experience of making ice cream is something I can completely relate to.

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

When I stopped working full time last year I went on a bit of an ice cream bender.  I made all the flavours I had been setting aside for the many years I had worked in an intense and long-houred career.  I was now free to produce tubs of salted butter ice cream, apple pie ice cream, cornflake ice cream, and malted milk ice cream.  I bought gallons of double cream and whole milk, experimented, I infused and I churned like milk maid gone wild.  There were no losers in this scenario.  It took my mind off the terrifying prospect that I had just voluntarily given up the career I had proudly worked all my adult life to achieve and it helped me reflect on exactly what I planned to do next.   Plus my husband loves ice cream so he was as happy as a pig in Mississippi mud pie ice cream.  Which was also delicious.

It’s surprising then that I haven’t talked much about ice cream in the few months I have been writing here.  I suppose I took a bit of a hiatus, after all our freezer isn’t the giant American style megalith that Diane Keaton had and it could only take so much.  The good news is that my ice cream supply is now dwindling and I have been slowly picking up the pace these past couple of weeks to build it back up again.  Unfortunately it has coincided with the time of year that the freezer needs defrosting, but that just means we’ll have to eat it as quickly as I make it.  Again, there are no losers in this scenario.

Bitter Choc and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream
Makes about 600ml

250ml double cream
100ml whole milk
Zest of 1 orange
240g ricotta
6 egg yolks
90g caster sugar
50g dark chocolate

  1. Mix together the double cream, milk and orange zest in a medium saucepan and warm through. Set aside for 1 hour to infuse.
  2. Mix the ricotta in with the cream mixture and heat in a medium saucepan until just under a boil.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until smooth.
  4. Pour the ricotta mixture into the egg mixture in very slow and steady stream whisking constantly.
  5. When everything is combined pour back into the saucepan and heat until just under a boil and the mixture has thickened.
  6. Strain to remove the zest, then chill for at least 4 hours.
  7. Churn in an ice cream machine. When it seems ready, sprinkle in the chocolate chips and continue churning for a minute to evenly disperse.
  8. Decant into ice cream tubs and freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.