Hay, Hay, It’s Sorbet!

I was so excited when Eat Drink Live announced the sorbet theme for the next round of Hay, Hay, It’s Donna Day. I have a Donna Hay magazine that I’ve been keeping on my coffee table because the raspberry semifreddo on the front cover is so gorgeous and now is the season for cold fruity desserts.

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I had several ideas for this but most were dashed by lack of raspberries and blueberries and then I forgot to buy the ginger or I would have had something very similar to Brilynn’s strawberry mango ginger sorbet! Maybe it was because of Independence Day that I got ‘stripes’ in my head, but I kept picturing a layered sorbet dessert so this is what I came up with: mango nutmeg sorbet resting on strawberry key lime sorbet on top of a pineapple slice.

Mango Nutmeg Sorbet

1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar

3 large mangoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Mix the water and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Chill.

In a blender, mix mangoes, lemon juice, nutmeg, and sugar water. Puree until smooth. Freeze.

I think I used about 1/4 t. of nutmeg in mine and it overpowers the mango so I’m suggesting less here.

Strawberry Key Lime Sorbet

1 c. water
3/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 lbs. strawberries
1/3 c. key lime juice
zest of a lime

Mix the water and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Chill.

In a blender, mix strawberries, lime juice, lime zest, and sugar water. Puree until smooth. Freeze.

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I don’t have an ice cream freezer. (I’d love to have one and a copy of David Lebovitz’s book The Perfect Scoop) So, I put my sorbets in the freezer in containers and I stirred them a few times before I went to bed and in the morning I mushed them up with a spoon before layering them on the pineapple and refreezing them. As I mentioned above, the nutmeg was a little too overpowering for the mango in the quantity I used — it would be better with either less nutmeg or some peach nectar or something added to give it more fruit flavor. The strawberry key lime is a keeper!

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You Are My Sunshine

A few weeks ago, for the last Student Lunch of the year, someone brought some cookies from Sam’s Club but, because she couldn’t eat them herself, she left the extras here. Actually, there were several kinds — we had a boatload of desserts that day and somehow all the extras got left with us. One of the cookies, a coconut and pecan cookie, was particularly good, especially for a Sam’s Club cookie. It was at the beginning of my recent coconut and lime obsession and after eating one of those cookies I thought, you know what? This would make a great base for a key lime tart.

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So tonight when we had a guest for dinner, I gave life to the mental experiment. For the crust, I used, approximately:

1 c. flour

1/3-1/2 c. coconut

1/3-1/2 c. brown sugar

2/3 c. margarine

1/2-3/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans

Mix butter/margarine into the dry ingredients to resemble a coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Press into the base of a greased and floured tart pan. Bake at 400 F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

I used the same filling I mentioned before. This time I made a little sauce from some seedless blackberry jam and spread it on top of the tart and garnished with Cool Whip (again, due to lactose intolerance issues) and fresh blackberries. I think it’s better than the original recipe due to the dynamic depth of flavors. The only thing better would be to have huckleberries instead!

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I’m so glad Coconut and Lime’s birthday celebration spurred this recent coconut and lime interest!

Coconut and Lime Cupcakes

Rachel at Coconut & Lime is celebrating the third birthday of her blog and started a contest based on coconut and lime ingredients, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get to her older posts to link it. 😦

I love both coconut and lime but ever since I read that post, I find myself thinking of experimental coconut & lime foods to make. Here is the first of several experiments I have planned:

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Coconut & Lime Cupcakes

Lime Cake:

2 1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

3 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 c. homemade yogurt (I used Stonyfield Farms for my starter but my homemade stuff isn’t quite as thick as store bought yogurt)

1/2 c. applesauce

1/4 c. butter

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

zest of one lime

Blend together all ingredients in a large bowl, on low speed for about 30 seconds and then on high speed for about 2 minutes, scraping bowl.

Coconut Filling:

2 c. flake coconut

2 Tbsp. flour

2 egg whites

1 t. vanilla

1/2 c. sugar

Stir together all ingredients until well mixed and moist.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin tins. Fill about 1/2 full with cake batter. Spoon a Tbsp or so of coconut filling into the center of each cupcake. Bake 20 min or until done. (Makes 24 cupcakes.)

Because I didn’t want a half cup of poofy frosting on top, I made a slightly thicker frosting and put a tablespoon or a little more on each, making a slight mound on top, but not a decorated swirl.

Lime Frosting:

3 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/4 c. butter

juice of one lime plus a little key lime juice

1 t. vanilla

a little extra coconut sprinkled on top of each cupcake

Beat well.Β  It would have been better with a little lime zest in it.

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Happy Birthday Coconut & Lime!

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A Little Surprise!

Sometimes a recipe is so good, you come back to it again and again. Even when you want something a little ‘different’. I’ve shared about my recent infatuation with key lime and I had hoped to participate in Elena’s Muffin Monday 02 but ‘a day late and dollar short’ doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. IF I would have been on time, this would have been my entry for a muffin that makes you say ‘oooh!’

Tartlet 1 said, “Mom, these are absolutely the best muffins you have EVER made. I don’t know what that stuff in the middle is, but I love it!”

Essentially, I made the same muffin and a half batch of approximately the same mostly lime curd as I’ve posted before, and then I put a little curd in the center of the muffins.

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topped with a little more batter:

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baked to golden brown:

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Some ‘centers’ sank a little lower than others but none of them leaked through.

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This will be a new favorite variation. I’m going to have to make larger batches of lime curd and keep them on hand!

Lemon (and Lime) Curd Cake with Fresh Fruit

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I generally try to offer one dessert that doesn’t have any chocolate in it and I like to pair it with fresh fruit and often use a lemon flavor in the base. This year I made a whipping cream cake and put lemon curd between the layers and started playing with frosting options. I made a mess.

For a few minutes it looked absolutely lovely. I baked the cakes in flower shaped pans and when I spread the frosting on the top I made petal shaped swirls in the frosting. Then I started adding my fresh fruit. That’s when the trouble began.

I sliced strawberries in half and let them sit on a paper towel for a few minutes to absorb the juices and then I put them at the ends of my ‘petals’. Almost immediately the strawberries began ‘weeping’ with the sugar from the frosting and my not-very-firm frosting went all limp and the strawberries began sliding off the edge of the cake. ACK!!!

So the strawberry halves sat around the base of the cake like I planned it that way from the beginning. πŸ˜‰ The frosting stood better after refrigerating but the fruit made a lot of juice and I drained off the platter before serving. Several people really liked it and, again, the guests are too polite their curl up their noses and say, “Fruittart, what did you *do* to this thing?”. πŸ˜€ The key lime in the ‘lemon curd’ adds a little bite and does taste fantastic. I love the texture of this cake — the whipping cream for the fat with the cake flour makes a nice texture. The picture of the top was taken before I added blackberries to it.

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Whipping Cream Cake (from Betty Crocker, 1969)

1 1/2 c. chilled whipping cream

3 eggs (1/2 to 2/3 c.)

1 1/2 t. vanilla

2 1/4 c. cake flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour baking pans.

In chilled bowl, beat cream until stiff.

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Fold eggs and vanilla into whipped cream.

Stir together remaining ingredients; fold gently into cream-egg mixture until blended. Pour into pans.

Bake 30-35 min or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool.

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Lemon curd

4 large lemons

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter
8 egg yolks

Grate the zest finely from the lemons, then squeeze and strain 3/4 c. of juice. After juicing 4 lemons I only had 1/3 c. and I didn’t have any bottled juice on hand so I added key lime juice until I got to 3/4 c.

Combine the juice, zest, sugar, and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Whisk the yolks in a bowl until liquid. Beat 1/4 of the boiling liquid into the yolks and return the remaining liquid to a boil over low heat. Whisk the yolk mixture into the boiling liquid and continue whisking until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Do not allow the lemon curd to boil or it will scramble, although it may come to a slight simmer at the edge of the pan.

Pour the lemon curd into a clean container, press plastic wrap against the surface and chill.

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For my frosting I used 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/4 c. butter, 1/3 – 1/2 c. lemon curd, a couple Tbsp. of whipping cream and several (5-6) c. powdered sugar. Because of the moisture from the lemon curd, it turned out rather soft and I really could have added more powdered sugar to get a firmer frosting that may have held up better with the fruit, although it was doing just fine until I added the cut strawberries. I think the whipping cream could be left out entirely. It made more frosting than I needed for the cake.

Taste of Summer

Way back in time, at the New Year’s Eve party, I made a lime and macadamia nut tart and promised Ellie I would post the recipe. I’ve been waiting until I made it again b/c I so wanted to post pictures, now that my favorite toy is my camera!

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Tonight was a perfect night for it. We had over a blogless couple that we haven’t gotten to see for a while. She has been my right arm in two catered events and I don’t think I could do it as a business without her.

I made some steak and chicken kabobs. The Husband did the skewering because I was running behind and thinking about just broiling the meat on the pan and serving it in a dish with a fork or tongs but he and Thing 1 like the metal skewers . . . if I do decide to make this food stuff into a livelihood rather than a hobby, he won’t be hired for kitchen help — each person could have an entire chicken on a skewer. πŸ˜‰

I also made asparagus. Somewhere in Mexico it is spring and there were tender little asparaguys in the Grocery last night and I couldn’t pass them up. After all, when Mobileoak and Beth picked up and headed to Seattle, I snagged their asparagus pot and have been dying to try it out. Let me just say, OH YUM! Perfect asparagus. I’ll try not to become obsessive like the artichoke & mushroom thing, but it may be hard. I love asparagus. And this pot is so sweet. Thank you Mobileoak and Beth for letting me adopt it! πŸ˜€

We also had baked potatoes and bagged salad. And the tart.

This recipe came from a Southern Living Christmas magazine a couple of years ago. The original calls for the optional addition of green and yellow food coloring. I’ll just say one word about green food coloring – BLECK! Until mathuaerknedam came over with his pie, I don’t think I had ever eaten a key lime pie before. They have milk, which isn’t great when you are lactose intolerant but I can have a Lactaid pill and enjoy dairy (although I don’t dance with cows), and I’ve always seen them in that unfortunate green color that everything is dyed for my birthday. MN’s pie was a purplish color with the cranberries and I LOVED the lime flavor in it, so when I looked at this recipe I wanted the key lime rather than juicing the less aromatic Persian limes that abound at the Grocery.

I forgot that the next time I made this I was going to try using my usual shortbread crust with macadamia nuts in it rather than the graham cracker crust, but it *IS* very tasty! Last time I garnished with real whipping cream, this time I used Cool Whip with the lime spirals and macadamia nuts.
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Lime and Macadamia Nut Tart

Crust:

1 (5 1/3-oz) package graham crackers, crushed (1 Β½ c.)
Β½ c. macadamia nuts, finely chopped
ΒΌ c. sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
6 large eggs
1 Β½ tablespoons grated lime rind
Β½ c. fresh lime juice (I used Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime)
1 c. sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine

Stir together crust ingredients. Firmly press crumb mixture evenly on bottom and sides of 10-inch tart pan.

Bake crust at 350F for 7-9 minutes. Cool.

Whisk together eggs, lime rind and lime juice in a non-aluminum saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and butter. Cook, whisking constantly, 8 minutes or until lime mixture is thickened and bubbly. Let cool 15-20 minutes.

Pour filling into prepared crust; cover and chill 4 hours or until set. Garnish with lime slices and whipped cream as desired.

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