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Double Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_a-midsummer-night-dream_Yes,-more-please!

 

“So we grew together like to a double cherry, seeming parted, but yet an union in partition, two lovely berries molded on one stem.”

― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Before the season ends take this stone fruit so plentiful in the summertime and make it delicious and refreshing. I love frozen yogurt in all its rich flavors and smooth texture as my favorite hot weather indulgence to beat to cool off my palate. I often like to go to one of the many frozen yogurt shops and take advantage of the endless number of flavors and toppings. This is the best time of the year to prepare your own and you might be surprised that you just need a freezer and a blender or food processor to make frozen yogurt at home.
Red cherries have a sweet and tart flavor which is intense and works well for a yogurt flavor. By de-stoning several plump fresh cherries you can freeze the fruit and combine it with yogurt frozen in cube form in a blender or food processor to create a soft and creamy rich dessert. To further enhance the flavor, I added a cherry liquor of good pedigree. This becomes even more decadent with …wait for it…. dark chocolate morsels. Sorry for those of you clinging dearly to ‘simple’ because here comes the topping…nothing less than roasted and chopped pistachios. Once these have landed on top of a couple scoops of this romance you will certainly experience nothing short of Cherry Ecstasy followed by perfect summertime bliss.

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_ingredients

Double Cherry Frozen Yogurt

Serves 4-6 on a midsummer afternoon…

2 cups greek yogurt frozen into ice cubes tray.
1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and frozen.
1/4 cup agave nectar
1-2 ounces LUXARDO Il Maraschino Originale

Toppings:

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks, I used Scharffen Berger Chocolate, Fine Artisan Dark, Baking Chunks, Semisweet
1/4 cup Roasted pistachios

 

Preparation Method:

1. Using an ice cube tray pour the yogurt and freeze. You can do this step one day in advance. During summer time I always have yogurt ice cubes handy to make a quick frozen treat, they are life savers when you are in a snack attack mode! I like to use this rubber ice cube trays they are super easy to pull out.

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_frozen-yogurtcubes

2. Cut in halves and Pitt the Cherries. If you do not own a cherry pitter I’ve heard good comments on this one, or since you are just pitting a small amount you can use my super easy “clip” method check this out:

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Cherry-pitting-technique
3. Once you have every frozen item you need, place the yogurt ice cubes, frozen cherries, agave, and one ounce of the LUXARDO liquor and blend well until smooth. Taste, and if you want to go ahead and add the other ounce of liquor is up to your taste. The Maranchino cherry liquor enhance the cherry flavor with some almond and honey notes, it is the perfect complement to this frozen treat. If you do not care about this liquor, just add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_Luxardo-maranchino-liquor_yes,-more-please!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt_blend

4. Line up a loaf metal pan with parchment paper and poor half of the cherry frozen yogurt, sprinkle some chocolate chunks, cover with the rest of the frozen yogurt. and cover with parchment paper making sure it makes contact with the mixture, to avoid freezer burn.

Double-Cherry-Frozen-Yogurt_steps

5. Place in Freezer for about 2 hours. Serve and sprinkle with some chopped roasted pistachios. Enjoy!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt-and-Luxardo_yes,-more-please!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt-summer-dream_Yes,-more-please!

Double-Cherry-frozen-yogurt-for-two_Yes,-more-please!

A dream for two…

Music Pairing: Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady

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Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit Cardamom and Pistachios

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta

Citrus Season is here! I’ve been juicing, zesting, squeezing all the magic citrus kingdom; oranges, blood oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins, clementines, and Ooh the pink grapefruits! I love pink grapefruits. My mouth waters just to think of the plump and juicy semi-sweet segments. The aromatic smell and the pink flesh color; I love everything about this juicy citrus. Grapefruit it’s undoubtedly one of my favorite fruits.
I wanted to make a very simple citrus dessert using pink grapefruits, based on what I was craving.
I imagined it to be a creamy and light, but not overly sweet dessert with fresh citrus, loaded floral ,and fragrant notes. Something very light on the palette…What would that be?… Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit Cardamom and Pistachios.
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert, which means cooked cream. It sounds fancier that what it is, and is way easier to prepare than what you may think so it can make in a flash. In my recipe I added some cardamom in order to bring some floral notes to the creamy mixture. If you are not to crazy about cardamom you can substitute vanilla bean, lavender or thyme. I wanted to showcase the grapefruit segments, juice, and zest, so I made a light syrup to complement the silky creamy yogurt. For crunch and texture I sprinkled some roasted salted pistachios on top as a final touch.
This Panna Cotta is quite a delicious and dainty dessert. Simple ingredients, about 10-15  minutes of preparation and a few hours in the refrigerator and voilà you have a silky, creamy, aromatic, and light to the palette dessert that will satisfy your citrus cravings. Enjoy!

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta-~-Yes,more-please!

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta~-'what-ever-fits-your-fancy'

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pink Grapefruit Cardamom and Pistachios

Makes 6 – 8 ½ cup ramekins, molds, 3 oz mason jars, or “whatever suits you fancy”

2 cups Greek yogurt (2%fat is what I used)
½ cup milk
½ cup Heavy Cream (you can substitute for milk if you want a lighter version)
½ cup sugar (you can replace with agave or honey)
6-8 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine grapefruit zest
½ cup grapefruit juice
3 teaspoons powder un-flavored gelatine
2-3 medium large PINK grapefruits will yield about 1 cup to 1-1/4 cup grapefruit juice.
¼ cup shelled roasted salted and chopped pistachios.

For the Light syrup:
½ – ¾ cup grapefruit juice
½ cup water
the zest of one grapefruit, long thin curls*
¼ cup agave nectar or sugar.
3-4 green cardamom pods
The segments of 1 whole grapefruit.

Preparing the Grapefruits:

1. Fine zest one grapefruit Long zest one grapefruit.
If you do not have a zester, here is a good one for the fine zest; and for the long thin curls* I recommend this one like in the photo.
2. Juice one or two grapefruits until you have 1-1/4 cup juice.
3. Reserve ½ cup for the  Panna Cotta and  the rest for the syrup.
4. Cut the top and the bottom of one grapefruit. Following the curve of the fruit remove all the skin, leaving no skin in the flesh.
5. With a pairing knife working over a bowl to catch the juices slice in between the sections and carefully remove the grapefruit segments. Set them aside. Squeeze the remaining membrane to get all the juices out.

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_Zesting,-juicing-the-grapefruit

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_grapefruit-segments

Preparing the Panna Cotta:

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, warm the milk, heavy cream, yogurt, sugar, cardamom pods and ground cardamom seeds. Warm up gently until sugar dissolves, and the cardamom seeds release their aroma. About 3-5 minutes. Set a side. Add the fine grapefruit zest to the mixture and stir well.

2. In a little bowl add ½ cup of grapefruit juice and sprinkle the gelatin powder let it bloom. The juice will dissolve all the gelatin granules, absorbing all the juices, it will look like a jelly paste.
This paste will be easier to incorporate to the yogurt mixture.

3. With the help of a spoon, remove the cardamom pods from the yogurt mixture, usually they float to the top so its easy to find them. Add the juice-gelatine paste to the yogurt mixture, making sure there  are no lumps.
4. If you are using individual metal molds*, lightly grease them with some vegetable oil before pouring. Pour Panna Cotta mixture all the way to top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm but tender and springy to the touch.

*( I love these mini tin plated steel  molds. I can use them for baking tarts and because they are metal they chill faster. Or you could use silicon molds like these which will work like a charm! for easy unmolding)

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_disolve-gelatin-in-juicePink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta_pouring-into-molds

Preparing the Syrup:

In a medium size pot combine the ¾ cup grapefruit juice, ½ cup water, cardamom pods, grapefruit zest, agave nectar or sugar, whisk until well combined. Bring to a slow simmer and reduce by half.
Remove from heat. Set aside. When the syrup is warm to the touch add the grapefruit segments, and refrigerate. Make sure to bring to room temperature your syrup before serving, it taste better this way.

Yogurt-Panna-Cotta-with-Pink-Grapefruit,-Cardamom-and-Pistachios-Grapefruit-syrup

To Serve:

To un-mold the panna cotta dip the metal molds in warm water for about 1-2 minutes (be careful about not to get water into the mold). Proceed to un-mold the Panna Cotta into an individual serving plate, then turn the mold upside down and tap the back of the mold with a spoon, this will help release the panna cotta. Drizzle the Grapefruit syrup and top it with 1 or 2 grapefruit segments, sprinkle the chopped pistachios. Enjoy.

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta-~Yes-more-please!-ready-to-serve

Pink-Grapefruit-and-Cardamom-Yogurt-Panacotta-~yes-more-please-bite!

~Creamy and Silky Grapefruit Yogurt Panna Cotta~

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Raspberry Pistachio Tart

Raspberry Pistachio Tart~Yes, more please!

I know you might be asking why Raspberries in September?…. I have no Idea! Usually berry season is from June to mid August… I was planning to get some stone fruit… and what grabbed me were these ruby-red fruits. I guess this will be the last post to say good-bye to the summer and what a better farewell that a Raspberry Pistachio Tart.  Here in Texas its still warm and we are on the high of 90F… but we are finally starting to experience some weather changes.
I’m ready to welcome to the baking season!!! Yes, gear up those ovens because we will bake… and we will bake a LOT!… in the meantime, just to warm up and dust off the oven I made this tart as my farewell summer treat. Fresh raspberries, buttery pistachio crust, a layer of hazelnut cream, vanilla bean pastry cream .… *sigh*
I have no further explanation on this simple and delicious dessert, you can make the components one or even two days in advance and assemble an hour before you want to serve it… It is one simple and delightful sweet treat…

Raspberry Pistachio Tart-ingredients

Raspberry Pistachio Tart

Serves 10-12

3-4 cups chilled pastry cream (recipe follows)
1 Tart Shell cooked and room temperature (see recipe follows)
½ cup of nutella warmed up.
2-3 cups of fresh raspberries
¼ cup Extra toasted pistachios and powder sugar to dust.

For the Pastry cream:

2 cups of whole Milk
½ cup sugar
½ Vanilla Bean paste or Vanilla Bean pods.
5 egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons of unsalted cold butter cut into small squares.
pinch of salt

Directions:

In a small sauce pan , combine the milk, ¼ cup of sugar , and pinch of salt. Cook until the mixture became to a simmer or small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Set a side do not let it come to a boil.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, ¼ sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Slowly and while whisking at all times temper the egg yolks by adding about 1/3 cup of the hot milk-mixture, once incorporated continue adding the rest of the hot milk. Once is all incorporated, Pour mixture back in the sauce pan and cook on medium heat for about 8-10 more minutes, whisking constantly until starts to thicken. With a cooking thermometer, make sure the pastry cream riches 160 F.
Transfer to a bowl and keep whisking to cool down the mixture and start adding the cold butter one square at a time. Whisking for about 5- 8 minutes until the pastry cream cools down. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the pastry cream, this will ensure the formation of a skin. Refrigerate until well chilled at least 2-4 hours. Works best to chill overnight. When ready to use, just whisk thoroughly by hand to smooth consistency.

For the Tart Shell :

1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter room temperature
½ cup powder sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 ¼ cup un-bleached all-purpose flour
½ cup unsalted shelled and finely ground pistachios. ( You can use Almonds, pecans any nut of your preference.)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of heavy cream
¼ teaspoon almond extract
In a large bowl combine the butter and powder sugar until well combined and creamy. (you can use a hand mixer, an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a wood spoon and your strong-arm!). Add egg yolks and almond extract mix for about a minute until well incorporated. (Scrape the side of the bowl to get everything evenly combined) Start adding the flour 1/3 at the time. Mix gently, add the ground pistachios, salt, and cream. Mix just enough until all the flour is incorporated maybe 1 minute or less. The less you mix the more tender the crumb in your tart. Place all the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, flatten to form a 1 inch tick block the shape of your tart mold round, square or rectangular, this step will help you later on when is time to roll the dough. Wrap tight, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, is better over time.

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 375 F/ 190 C
Lightly flour your work surface, roll out the dough to about ¼- inch thickness. And fit it carefully into your pan. Use your fingers to slightly press the dough into the edges and with a paring knife cut the edges. ( see picture below). Line the tart dough with a piece of parchment paper and pie weights* to bake and Place the pan into a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the paper and the pie weights and bake for about 8-10 more minutes or until golden brown. If the edges are getting to toasty cover them with foil and keep baking until the center is golden brown.
Lets talk about pie weights, they are usually used for what is called “blind baking” which is a technique used to bake these types of crusts so as to prevent them from shrinking and puffing up also to bake the crust more evenly. You can buy pie weights at any baking-supply store, or use any type of beans or rice that you are gonna designate their use for only this purpose. I used old nuts in a shell, the house smells great when I use them…

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_How to make a tart crust

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_Unshell-Tart

 

Assembling the tart:

Evenly spread the warm Nutella into the bottom of the tart shell. Spoon the pastry cream and spread in an even layer. Top and garnish with fresh raspberries, pistachios and dust with powder sugar.
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve cold enjoy!

 

Nutella layer…

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_Nutella-Layer

Pastry cream layer…

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_Pastry-cream

Raspberry layer…

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_fresh raspberries, pistachios the final touch!

Powder sugar dust…

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_dusting powder-sugar

Raspberry Pistachio Tart_summer dessert for two

ENJOY!

Variations…

I used a 12 “x 16” rectangular pan with a removable bottom it makes the un-molding so easy.
You also can make this recipe into an individual 4” tarts it will make around 8-10, or a 12” round or 2 -8” round tarts
Pastry cream: you can add lemon or orange zest.
For the crust: You can interchange any nut you like, or omit it and replace the 3 ½ cup of nuts for flour.
For the spread: If you don’t like Nutella (I believe there’s nobody on the face of earth that does not likes it) replace with melted chocolate of your preference, dark or milk .

Vegan version…

Replace Butter for 2/3 cup of earth balance spread or vegan margarine. Replace heavy cream with almond milk or coconut butter.
Replace pastry cream for soybean yogurt adding vanilla paste and some agave nectar.
Replace the Nutella, for melted vegan chocolate.

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