Today’s Vegan Mofo challenge is called “Tell us about a weird food combination that you love.” Ha, good one. I don’t think I like a single weird food combination. I am very boring when it comes to flavours and sweet and sour is already too much for me. When I think about new recipes for this blog, I usually go for complementing and supporting flavours. Some of these combinations could be labeled as weird. For example, I like tart berries a lot and I like to exaggerate their flavour by pairing them with herbs. Black currants, sea buckthorn, blackthorn (sloe) are rarely sold at stores. They haven’t made it next to the much sweeter varieties such as raspberries, strawberries, and cultivated blueberries. Black currants, sea buckthorn berries, or sloes all have different flavours, but they have one thing in common. If you taste them, their flavour makes you think of Scandianvian forest, of moss and water drops on dark green leaves. You can smell conifers and moldy soil. Or in the case of sea buckthorn you can feel the wind in your face and hear the waves.
These berries have a complex flavour, a hint of intractability, that is not pleasant for everyone. Some of their flavour comes from the essential oils and tannins present. That is why they are not widely popular, I think. But this is what makes them so outstanding. Herbs usually have essential oils, too and that’s why they go so well with tart berries. My favourite combination used to be berry plus rosemary, but this year I finally made use of the lavender bush in our yard. I used two teaspoons of dried lavender buds, but you can halve the amount, if you don’t trust this flavour combination. But that probably doesn’t count as weird anymore. If you don’t have black currants available you can use blueberries.
- To make the crust, combine all ingredients except for the oils in a bowl.
- Add coconut and vegetable oil and knead until a crumbly dough forms.
- Reserve 1/4 of the dough for the topping and form the remaining dough into a disk.
- Wrap in foil and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a round pie or tart pan with a diameter of 28 cm (11 inches).
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic foil and press into the bottom and the edges of the pan.
- For the filling combine jam and lavender buds. (If the jam is very thick you can heat it for easier handling.)
- Pour into the crust and form the reserved dough into large crumbs.
- Distribute on top of the cake.
- Bake for 35 minutes and let cool completely before removing from the pan.