Decadent, rich, sticky and fruity with all the taste of a traditional bakewell tart, this Quinoa Cherry Bakewell has the added silkiness of tahini (yes, I’m at it again with the tahini desserts!) and the wonderful, nutty crunch of quinoa.
In my latest attempt to transform a traditional sweet recipe into something both vegan and whole, I think I’ve come up with something really special.
What’s more, a relatively small bake (I used a 20cm Falcon Enamel pie dish) can provide 6 dessert portions, or – left to set in the fridge – a week’s worth of fabulous breakfast bars!
Can you tell I’m excited about this recipe? Well I am, and here’s why you should be too. It’s:
- bursting with the familiar, comforting and fragrant flavours of a bakewell;
- a real dessert that will leave you feeling satisfied from something sweet, without the heaviness of pastry or lots of refined sugar;
- really easy to make;
- full of the goodness of cherries (including high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants) and almonds (lots of vitamin E and magnesium); and
- a great new way to enjoy quinoa, which is a complete protein and packed with vitamins and minerals, making this a delicious and nutritious dessert!
The combined flavours of zingy cherries, nutty tahini, almonds and pumpkin seeds hit a fantastic balance between sweet and savoury, which is my favourite kind of pudding. This is a wholesome and substantial sweet treat, so a little really does go a long way.
And it keeps so well in the fridge! This dish works super well for breakfast, and as the tahini sets into the baked quinoa over the course of a week it transforms into something even more rich and magical.
If you want to adapt this recipe completely from a pudding to a breakfast bar, just halve the quantity of cherries and leave it to set in the tin.
This really is a versatile dish. We enjoyed our latest batch as:
- pudding: on its own and with ice cream (custard will be just perfect in the colder months!);
- breakfast bars on the go and at work, to the envy of your colleagues as you release the sweet cherry and almond aromas;
- a topping for fresh chopped fruit such as nectarines; and
- a not-too-naughty late-night snack.
I’ll definitely be making more of this as Autumn sets in, I think it’s going to become a firm family favourite.
Do you have an awesome way to adapt a classic recipe to your own tastes? I’d love to hear!
- 50g quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp olive or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
- Pinch Himalayan pink salt (or other good salt)
- 20g pumpkin seeds
- 350g frozen pitted cherries, or 200g fresh
- 50g flaked almonds
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- After rinsing, place the quinoa in a saucepan with 100ml water. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer until the water has evaporated (about 10 minutes). Leave covered for another 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, simmer the cherries in a saucepan on a medium heat. Mash with the back of a wooden spoon or fork to transform them into a jam-like consistency. This will take around 10 minutes.
- Once the quinoa is ready, add it to a mixing bowl with the tahini, oil, maple syrup, salt, pumpkin seeds and half of the flaked almonds. Give it all a good stir and pour it into your baking tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon.
- Next, pour on the cherries and smooth out the surface. Sprinkle on the remaining flaked almonds, pressing down to give an even coverage.
- Place on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 30 minutes.