Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Creamy Fruit Desserts


Fruit makes a great dessert on its own, but sometimes having an adaptable base for a company dessert lets you give your family or dinner guests a special treat. Use new healthy dairy products and your fanciest old-fashioned dessert mold. Another way to serve this tart-sweet cooler is to layer it with fruit in stemmed glasses or parfait dishes.

For a 6-8-cup mold or 6 parfaits
• 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
• ½ cup cold water
• 1 cup orange juice, apricot nectar or mango nectar *
• ½ cup honey
• 4 cups greek style plain or vanilla yogurt, full-milk, low-fat or fat-free
• 1 tsp. canola or safflower oil
• 4-6 cups mixed summer fruit, cut in small slices or chunks **
• Mint sprigs

Sprinkle the gelatin on the cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften. Heat the fruit juice or nectar and the honey to boiling. Pour it over the softened gelatin, stirring till thoroughly dissolved.  Gently whisk in the yogurt.

Lightly oil your dessert mold and pour in the fruit/yogurt mixture. Cover lightly with a piece of plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours until firmly set.  Turn out your mold on a 12-16-inch platter or shallow serving dish and top it with the fruit. Cut slices or wedges from the mold or scoop with a broad shallow
spoon. Decorate with mint sprigs.

For individual servings, mix all ingredients except the fruit and mint together and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Spoon ½ cup of the mixture into the bottom of each parfait glass, add a layer of fruit and repeat, ending with a top layer of fruit.  Top each dessert with a mint sprig.

*Instead of orange juice, try some of the pleasures of the Latin or Caribbean section of your grocery store.  You will find apricot nectar and other fruit nectars that enlarge your taste vocabulary. A fruit nectar is very similar in texture to the with-pulp version of orange juice.
**In what we sometimes call “menu-French” a mixture of chopped fruit cut in small pieces is called a “macedoine.”  Peaches, plums and blueberries; pears and strawberries; or nectarines and raspberries all make wonderful macedoines. Cutting fruit pieces small exposes as much flavor as possible and lets you eat all the ingredients in the mixture together—a real summer treat!

Lauren Hill is a contributing author for Hamilton Beach, a kitchen appliance company offering a large selection of blenders, ice cream makers and slow cookers.  Go here to see more summertime recipes.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided in sharing this post, 
but I wouldn't share it with you if I didn't think it was delicious! I can't wait to try it out myself.

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