Raspberry Oat Dessert to Sweeten the Sesshins – The Zen Universe


At each sesshin, there will be times when as tenso you would want to ‘sweeten’ the practice by offering dessert. Therefore, in this first article, we want to present a very simple recipe that has been initially seen on Good Food.


150g fresh raspberries 50g butter 100g pine syrup 200g rolled oats 50g almonds

100g walnuts


Before going to the method you have to understand that these ingredients can be replaced. Don’t limit yourself to what’s written here. For example, you could use any type of nuts; the pine syrup can be replaced with maple syrup or any other syrup (alternatively you could use honey). The raspberries can be replaced with any kind of berries. If we’re talking about a winter sesshin, you could use dry berries too. All you have to do is to cover the fruits with water for a couple of hours and then mash them.

You are cooking for different people with different tastes and needs, some might be lactose intolerants, some might be allergic to nuts etc. Find all you have to know about the people before starting to cook.

Since you’re cooking for a lot of people you have to take care of the quantities needed for whatever food you’re willing to prepare. Buy more if you don’t have enough or replace some of the ingredients if less money. Be realistic and let your creativity and experience work for you.


– Some temples or practice places might not have modern ovens. If that’s the case you’ll have to prepare the fire in such a manner that you’ll have to obtain a hot oven, 200-230C, just above the bread baking temperature. – Mash the raspberries in a bowl and set aside. – Spread the almonds and the walnuts in a tray and keep them in the oven for up to 5 minutes. Let them cool and then use the mortar and pestle to grind. The ‘baking’ phase it’s not mandatory, but it will be easier to grind the nuts. -In a pan melt the butter and add the pine syrup. If there are people which are lactose intolerants than you could give up on the butter and add more syrup to compensate. In low heat add the oats and the nuts, and mix until all have a touch of the syrup. – Use baking paper or, if you don’t have such thing, grease the tray with butter or cooking oil. Then press half of the above mix in one layer on a baking tray (25x15mm). You could use a flat-bottomed glass in order to make it as compact and planar as possible.


Spread the mashed raspberry on top in a very thin layer and then add the other half of the oats mix. Do the same thing as in the first layer.

-Depending on the layers thickness you could bake for up to 15/20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool before slicing into 15.

You will have to adapt this recipe given the number of the people practicing at the sesshin and the available resources. Understanding what people need in terms of food, at each point during the sesshin means that you have harmonized with them. Therefore, try to maintain a balance with all the ingredients on one hand and with the food and the people spirit on the other. Now, I hope that you will use this recipe in the future sesshins and that people will be satisfied with the result.

Bonne Appetit!


A recipe recommended by Ramona C.
Please contact us if you have a recipe that you think it could be used during the sesshins.