I’m a big fan of Heather Crosby’s work, and was excited to read her new cookbook, YumUniverse Pantry to Plate. I know it’s not a novel, but it really is a page turner! The plant-based and gluten-free recipes are intertwined with practical information, and the whole book flows with a fun, whimsical design. Pretty photos and artistic sketches decorate nearly every page, and the recipes are laid out in a very unique, yet simplistic way. And of course Heather entices us with cool recipe names, like Chesapeake Carrot Fries, Caramel-Cocoa Crunch Amazeballs, and Bourbon Salted Pecan Nice Cream.
But I must clarify that YumUniverse Pantry to Plate goes well beyond traditional stand alone recipes. The creative format has very short, specific chapters that lead with an infographic-style guide, which outlines how to build your own recipes.
For example, the the Veggie Fries chapter starts with basic directions, gives you a whole range of vegetables to choose from (even Daikon radishes!) and the baking time for each one, lists your oil options, your flavor options (there are many!), and even added “crunch” options. After the guide, Heather then includes a few specific recipes to get your started.
There are chapters like this for Granola, Soups, Maki, Tacos & Wraps, Hand Pies, Cookies, Nice Cream, and yes, even Amazeballs!
You’ll have to check out YumUniverse Pantry to Plate for yourself to really get the gist. But I can start you off with this sample Bourbon Salted Pecan Nice Cream recipe from Heather.
Special Diet Notes: Bourbon Salted Pecan Nice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- ½ cup (50 g) raw pecan halves
- 1 tablespoon + ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Two pinches cayenne pepper
- Two pinches ground cardamom (optional)
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 3 cups (720 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 3 ounces (85 g) dairy-free dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the pecans, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup ¼ teaspoon of the salt, cinnamon, cayenne, and cardamom until the pecans are coated.
- Scatter on the baking sheet and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove from the baking sheet and cool in the fridge.
- Press the vanilla bean pod so it lies flat on a cutting board. Carefully slice down its entire length with a sharp knife and open. Use the back of your knife to scrape out the caviar-like seeds and toss into a large pot.
- Heat the pot to medium-high and whisk together the coconut milk, the remaining 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup, oil, bourbon, arrowroot, and ¼ teaspoon salt until velvety smooth and starting to simmer.
- Remove from the heat and chill for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge, until thoroughly cool.
- Melt the chocolate bar over a double boiler and toss the pecans in the chocolate until coated.
- Cool in the fridge; chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Process the chilled milk mixture in an ice cream maker until firm but stirrable.
- Transfer to a freezable container and fold in the pecan clusters until evenly distributed but maintain swirls and chunks.
- Freeze for 1 to 3 hours, until firm.
- Thaw to scoopable consistency and serve.