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Monday, 12 May 2008

And the celebrations go on...

I did say the month of May is my favourite month of the year because of all the celebrations! Well, yesterday it was my birthday. I’m not particularly excited when it comes to my own birthday but I do like spending some time with my family. And especially this year, as I’m in Mauritius around this time, we were all reunited. (I am not always in my home country for my birthday).

Everyone helped out to prepare salads and nibbles.


The nibbles were:

Okra Bhajis that I previously attempted.


Courgettes (zucchini) Rolls - The filling was carrots and mushrooms cooked with hoisin sauce and a bit of potato flour to ‘stick’ them all together; the courgettes were previously marinated in lemon juice, salt and sugar.


Chickpea patties inspired from Jessy’s ( Tex-Mex Burgers – I used chickpeas instead of black beans. And I omitted a few more of the ingredients she used. I ended up using just chickpeas, sweet corn, onions, pinch cumin (powdered), spring onions and corn flour. They were really tasty!


Garlic and sesame toast – basically slices of bread spread with just margarine mixed with finely chopped garlic, cracked pepper and sesame.


And roasted red onion hummus (I'll provide the recipe another time but it's pretty basic and if you've ever made hummus before, you can guess how to make it).

For the birthday cake, we had a bit too much cake lately, so SisterLovlie and I decided to make a pie instead. Pies are one of SisterLovlie’s favourites, especially custard ones. The birthday pie was an Apple Custard Pie which we had for dessert.


The pie is fairly easy and can be made even easier if you just get frozen ready-made shortcrust pastry and some canned filling for the topping. I’ve used coconut milk for the custard but you can use any other non-dairy milk. Almond milk might be nice too!

I used a 26 cm (10.5 inch) pie dish.


Shortcrust pastry (or use frozen ready-made shortcrust pastry):
300 g plain flour
150 g vegan margarine (room temperature)
5-6 tablespoons water (or as required)
Pinch salt

1 can coconut milk
5 tablespoons custard powder
200 ml water
70 g sugar

Apple filling:
6 apples (firm ones are best)
Juice from 1 orange
Pinch cinnamon.

5-6 tablespoons demerara sugar

2 handfuls of red beans or baking beads (for weight on the crust when baking)

Apple filling:

  • Peel and cut the apples into slices (not too thin).
  • Add cinnamon and orange juice.
  • Cook on low to medium heat until soft.

Shortcrust pastry:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift the flour. Add the margarine, cutting and folding.
  • Mix with hands until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  • Add salt.
  • Add water (as required) and knead to form a dough. The dough should be supple and non-sticky.
  • Flour a board and roll dough to the size of your pie dish.
  • Transfer into pie dish. Add some red beans (to prevent the dough from rising).
  • Place in oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown.


  • Place coconut milk in a saucepan.
  • Mix custard powder with 200 ml water.
  • Add this to the coconut milk.
  • Add sugar.
  • Cook on low heat until mixture thickens (about 10 minutes).

I like rather creamy custard. (It’s hard to describe what consistency you need to reach with this custard but the more you allow the mixture to reduce, the thicker the custard will be when set).

  • Remove crust from the oven. Remove all beans from the crust.
  • Pour custard onto crust. Smooth out lightly.
  • Arrange cooked apples on top of crust.
  • Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  • Put back in oven and allow to bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy hot or cold.


Next is Mother's Day coming up in two weeks over here and SisterLovlie's birthday to finish the joyful month of May!


  1. Happy birthday!!! What a spread of food! How great that you got to spend time with your family. What country are you normally in for your birthday?

  2. those zucchini rolls are SO SO SO SO SO CUTE!!!!
    everything looks so delicious! wish i was there!

  3. theresa: I've been in and out of Mauritius for the past 10 years, spending 3 years in Melbourne, Australia and 3 and a half years in the UK (Leeds, London and a little while in Dundee, Scotland).
    Australia is a fantastic country! I want to be there again!

    dessertobsessed: Thanks! My family loved everything even though they're omni. Since I've been back they've reduced all meat and animal products consumption considerably!

  4. Happy birthday! So may good things to eat and thank you for the pie recipe!

  5. Happy birthday! You sure know how to celebrate!
    You had me at zucchini rolls, but then the pie... oh the pie! it looks sooo good! and not specially complicated.

  6. oh wow! all that food is making me super hungry! and i'm glad the tex-mex patties with chick peas turned out to be really good! i'll have to try 'em with chick peas next time - good idea!

    you said yesterday was your actual birthday? mine, too! happyface!

    thanks for all the awesome posts and rock'n recipes!! they all look so darn good!

  7. mihl and alice (in veganland): The pie was nice and I preferred it slightly warm.

    jessy: My birthday is actually on 11th May. I always tend to forget that we've already reached the next day when I'm posting past midnight!
    Happy Birthday to you too! There sure are a lot of May babies in my blog list!

  8. I think I just pee'd my pants a little looking at that Pie!!
    It excites me sooooo much - gonna give this a try for sure.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Jeni, you're a funny one! hahhah! I haven't made any custard pie for a long while!


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