Tempting Sugar-Free Desserts

Plum Applesauce (A Dessert)
2 lb. gala or golden delicious apples, quartered, seeded and left unpeeled 2 lb. red or black plums, quartered and pitted
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
Cook all ingredients in a heavy pot, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally until fruit is very tender and falling apart1-1-1/4 hours.
Force mixture through a medium mesh sieve using a spatula, discarding peels. Keeps covered and chilled one week.
Source: Gourmet, September, 2006

Peach Compote
2 lbs ripe fresh peaches
2 cups water or to cover
1 tsp vanilla Roasted nuts
Scrub peaches thoroughly and cut lengthwise, gently separating fruit from pit. Cut each half in 3 wedges. Place peaches in a heavy saucepan with water and vanilla, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer five minutes. Serve chilled or room temperature with sprinkling of roasted nuts.

Stewed Apples
6 apples
Apple juice, or water; Sweetener, if desired.
Peel and core the apples and cut them into attractive chunks. Place in a saucepan and pour juice over them until it is about an inch deep in the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until the fruit is soft, stirring once or twice to insure against sticking. Check sweetness and add sugar or the sweetener you prefer, if it is needed.
Variations: 1. Raisins cooked with the fruit provide interesting texture and enough added sweetness for most apples. 2. Adding a stick of cinnamon gives bright flavor without the disagreeable catching in the throat that the ground spice may cause. 3. Ginger add a long think slice of fresh gingerroot with, or instead of, the cinnamon, taking it out when the flavor seems strong enough. Both cinnamon and ginger parry sore throats and congestion.

Stewed Pears
Follow directions above, but use gingerroot, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel or dried cranberries.
Source: Laurel Robertson

Blueberry-Strawberry (or Raspberry) Tart
1 cup rolled oats
cup almonds, ground
cup walnuts, ground
cup whole wheat pastry flour Pinch of salt
cup maple syrup
2 T. cold-pressed vegetable oil
2 T. water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries or raspberries
1 cup apple or berry juice
1 T. kudzu (or cup arrowroot)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, combine oats, ground nuts, flour, and salt.
Add 2 T. of maple syrup, oil, and water; mix well. With wet hands, press the mixture into an 8-by-8 pan. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Wash and trim strawberries and cut in half. If using raspberries, rinse and use whole. Mix juice and kudzu together in a small pan until kudzu is dissolved. Add blueberries and remaining 2 T. of maple syrup; heat mixture, on medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and clear, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in strawberries or raspberries. Pour mixture on top of pre-baked oat-nut crust.
Allow to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving. Serves 9.
Source: Cynthia Liar.

Cashew-Almond Cream Topping for Any Fruit Compote or Dessert
1 cup cashew pieces
1 cup almonds
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
to 1/3 cup water
2 T. mirin (sweet rice wine) (optional)
In a food processor or blender, grind the nuts until pulverized. With the machine running, add the maple syrup, vanilla, optional mirin and enough water to make a creamy consistency. (This cream has a tendency to thicken as it sits; add some water as needed to thin it out.). Makes 2 cups
Source: The Natural Gourmet

Pumpkin Tart with Pecan Crust Delicious!
1 cup pecans
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/8 t. sea salt
cup maple syrup
cup vegetable oil or choice (ghee)
1 pounds winter squash, roasted and pureed (2 cups) 1 cup silken tofu
10 T. maple syrup
1 T. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 T. finely grated orange zest
t. ground cinnamon
t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla extract
cup arrowroot powder
1. Adjust a rack to the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9 tart pan with a removable bottom.
2. In a food processor, combine the pecans, flour, and salt and grind to a fine meal. Add the maple syrup and oil and pulse a few times to form dough.
3. Transfer the dough to the tart pan. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and spread it to fill the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap and prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven to cool.
1. Combine the pumpkin puree with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and puree until creamy smooth.
2. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 50 minutes.
3. Cool on a rack, then refrigerate until chilled.
Note: To make a pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut a small pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in a baking pan and roast for 30-40 minutes until it pierces easily with a knife. Cool and scoop our flesh, puree until smooth.
Source: Peter Berley