10 June 2017

Maggie's Vegan Peachy Cream Bars

Last week, my neighbor brought over 10 beautiful, juicy, perfectly-ripe peaches. She got them from The Peach Truck, which makes runs of Georgia peaches during peach season. I looked at them and daydreamed about them, but then figured I really needed to DO something with them.

The first thing I did was dehydrate six of them. I blanched them (like you do with tomatoes), so that I could remove the skins easily, and then sliced them for the dehydrator. Approximate 6 hours later, we had these chewy, candy-sweet peaches. What is in that tiny bowl is all that remains. Next time, I'll do double the amount.

After that, I needed to figure out what to do with the remaining blanched/peeled peaches. I knew we were having some friends for a late dinner to break their Ramadan fast, so I starting thinking about some kind of dessert. After double-checking that they like peaches and were willing to try a brand new recipe (both of which got enthusiastic positive responses), I starting digging around. One of our friends is completely gluten-free, so  I that was a constraint. I also didn't want to simply make a peach cobbler or pie. I stumbled upon a recipe that seemed like a good place to start. What emerged was a delicious dessert, perfect for a summer sweet tooth.

Maggie's Vegan Peachy Cream Bars
This recipe was inspired by the one found here at the Veg Life.

1 1/4 c. almond meal flour
1/2 T. Ener-G egg replacer powder
1/4 c. brown sugar
5 T. Earth Balance "buttery" sticks
8 oz. vegan cream cheese
5 T. powdered sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
4 ripe peaches, peeled and roughly chopped (approx. 1 1/2 c.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. In a small bowl, mix the almond meal flour and egg replacer powder in a medium-sized bowl.
2. Add the brown sugar and buttery sticks. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, mix/cut in the fat and sugar until the mixture looks like sand.
3. Press this mixture into a well-greased 8x8 glass pan. Bake for 20 minutes. The crust will brown on the stop and feel soft upon removal from the oven. Do not cook any longer; it will harden some as it cools. Cool completely.
4. In another small bowl, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar using an electric mixer.
5. In a small saucepan, mix the cornstarch and white sugar, then add the water and peaches. Heat over medium heat, boil until thick.
6. Once the crust and peaches are cool, spread the cream cheese over the crust, and then spread the peaches on top.
7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Helpful Hints
  • If you opt for another fat, I encourage a solid-at-room-temp one. 
  • I used Tofutti brand vegan cream cheese. I've been starting to investigate making my own cashew cream cheese for this so that it could be both gluten-free and soy-free (using Earth Balance soy-free spread). I've got a goal to have that ready by the middle of next month. 
  • If you'd like to add other fruits, go for it! If you wanted to keep the flavors in the same family, you could use a mixture of peaches, nectarines, plums, or other stone fruits. Alternatively, add in some kind of berry. 
The post "Maggie's Vegan Peachy Cream Bars" first appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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