Fruit baked in a rich-tasting almond cream makes a homey, yet special, dessert. Tofu may seem like a surprising ingredient, but it makes a very successful and healthy substitute for butter or cream in this almond custard. Another bonus is that this dessert is dairy-free.
Patsy Jamieson, Diane Temple
⅓ cup slivered almonds
⅓ cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 egg white
120 g silken tofu
1 tablespoon mono- or polyunsaturated margarine
¼ teaspoon almond extract, optional
300 g frozen pitted cherries, partially thawed, or 1½ cups well-drained sour cherries
icing sugar for dusting
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Preheat the oven to 180°C. Coat four 1-cup capacity gratin dishes with cooking spray.
Spread almonds in a small baking dish. Toast in the oven until light golden and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool.
Combine almonds, sugar and flour in a food processor. Process until almonds are ground. Add egg, egg white, tofu, margarine and almond extract, if using. Process until smooth.
Distribute cherries in the dishes. Pour tofu mixture evenly over cherries. Bake custard until just set, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool slightly. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Substitute vanilla extract for almond extract and add 2 teaspoons brandy. *Mixed berry almond custard: In Step 4, substitute 300 g mixed berries, such as raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (fresh or frozen and partially thawed) for the cherries. *Pear and dried cranberry custard: In Step 4, substitute 3 thinly sliced peeled firm pears, such as Beurre Bosc, and ½ cup plumped dried cranberries (microwave with 2 tablespoons water on high for 1 minute) for the cherries.