An Interview with Darina Allen, Owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School

This week, I am very excited to bring on a guest I met this year at Terra Madre. Darina Allen is the president of Slow Food in Ireland and the founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School. The work she is doing in Ireland is truly inspiring.

Vegan Pear Torte

Ingredients ¾ cup maple syrup ½ cup unrefined coconut oil ½ t. vanilla zest from one lemon ½ cup organic unbleached flour ½ cup organic whole wheat pastry flour 1 tsp. baking soda Pinch salt 2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced juice from one lemon, maple syrup granules and cinnamon

Directions Cream coconut oil in mixer, until smooth. Add maple syrup. Add vanilla and lemon zest. In small bowl, make a mixture of the ground flax seeds and the apple cider vinegar. Let stand for 5 minutes until thickened, and then add to wet ingredients.

In separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt. Add to mixer, one scoop at a time.

Spoon batter into 9 or 10” fluted torte pan. Decorate top with pears and press lightly into batter. Sprinkle lightly with maple sugar granules and lemon juice. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until pears are soft and cake is set.