dessert

  • cherry tart
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Cherry tartlets

We spent last Sunday in the charming town of Hammana lured by their annual cherry festival. Hammana is nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains covered with pines. Folks were warm and welcoming, inviting me to their garden and not seeming one bit bothered by picture snapping. One beautiful house was built on a […]

Cherry tartlets
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Servings Prep Time
12 tartlets (3") 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 tartlets (3") 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 90 minutes
Cherry tartlets
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Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 tartlets (3") 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 tartlets (3") 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 90 minutes
Ingredients
Crust
Cherry curd
Cherry mousse
Servings: tartlets (3")
Units:
Instructions
  • fill with dough
    1. Place the flours, salt in a mixer bowl; mix to combine. Add the butter cut into small dice and mix gently until the mixture looks mealy. Add the yolks and rose water and mix until the mixture takes shape. In a few seconds, gather firmly into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour or longer.
  • fill with curd
    2. Grease and flour tartlet pans or a 9"X12" pan to make bars. Place a piece of wax or baking paper in the pan to make removing the crust easier. Press with the tip of your fingers a golf-ball size of dough on the tartlets to cover the entire bottom and sides. Prick with a fork and cover with a paper or foil covered with dry beans or small rocks. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12 minutes, removing the paper and beans halfway through to make sure the crust is golden brown evenly and perfectly crisp. Cool and set aside.
  • blend
    3. Make the cherry purée; pit the cherries and sprinkle with sugar. Set aside until the sugar melts in the fridge for a couple of hours or place in a blender with the lemon juice and purée for a few minutes. Strain, pressing on the purée with a mallet, and make sure there is about 1 1/2 cups of purée. At this point, you can mix in extra sugar or honey or citrus juice or (in my case) mulberry syrup, or leave as is, to taste. Place one cup of purée in a saucepan to make the curd; add the butter (melted in the microwave), the eggs, and stir continuously over very low heat. Meanwhile, place the gelatin sheet in a bowl of cold water to soften for 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze it to rid of excess water and add it to the curd. Keep stirring continuously and when the mixture starts steaming, stop the process and let it cool and thicken in the fridge, covered.
  • strain
    When the curd is thick and colder, fill the tartlets with it, cover and keep in the fridge till serving time. Make the mousse if desired. Place the mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 30 minutes. Place the whipping cream, one tablespoon of sugar and rose water and whip till the cream is thick. Meanwhile, soften the gelatin in cold water for a few minutes. Add the cherry purée to the cream and add the gelatin sheet (squeezed first to rid of extra water). Combine all of these ingredients gently and place in the fridge covered to stiffen for one hour or longer. When ready to serve the tartlets or bars, add a dollop of mousse on top of the cherry curd and garnish with a fresh cherry if desired.
  • cherry curd and mousse
    NOTE: To substitute powdered gelatin, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold lemon juice or water till it blooms or stiffens. Then add it to the hot liquid until it dissolves.
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By |June 18th, 2015|Sweets|7 Comments
  • apricots with marshmallows
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Apricots with marshmallow topping

Apricots are in season and since it is a short one, let’s eat gobs of them. At least that’s what I do, especially since they are so delicious in Lebanon. The best apricots are picked fresh from somebody’s orchard (bartered with a neighbor for, say,  some zaatar). They are tiny, golden-orange and can be […]

Apricots with marshmallow topping
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Fresh apricot halves are panfried in a butter and honey sauce and topped with marshmallows
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes
Apricots with marshmallow topping
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Print Recipe
Fresh apricot halves are panfried in a butter and honey sauce and topped with marshmallows
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  • pan-fry apricots
    1. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the apricots, sprinkle sugar and drizzle honey and let the sauce thicken while shaking the skillet from time to time, making sure they do not burn.
  • till sauce bubbles-up
    2. Flip the apricots on the other side and when they are softened and the sauce is thick and bubbly, remove from the heat. Place half a marshmallow on each half apricot and heat in a preheated oven for 6 minutes or until the marshmallows begin to melt on the sides. Serve immediately.
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By |June 4th, 2015|Sweets|2 Comments
  • muhallabieh
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Earl Grey Muhallabieh

A few days ago, it was cool, overcast, with a nice ocean breeze.  I felt like making an easy dessert and drinking some tea. Tea weather does not hit these Mediterranean shores very often so I had to seize the moment. Earl Grey being my all-time favorite tea, I figured I would infuse the […]

Earl Grey Muhallabieh
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Light and delicate, this is a homestyle custard infused with your favorite tea
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Earl Grey Muhallabieh
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Print Recipe
Light and delicate, this is a homestyle custard infused with your favorite tea
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  • 1. Place one ladyfinger broken-up in several smaller pieces in each serving ramequin or cup.
  • strain cream
    2.Place the milk, tea, cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir continuously until the cream has thickened, about one minute. Strain and divide into 4 cups or ramequins. Cool in the fridge and serve cold.
  • To make your own cream: Place the cream, one tablespoon sugar and a touch of vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip for a few minutes. If the bowl is cold, it will whip faster. When thick stop the machine and keep covered in the fridge.
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By |May 19th, 2015|Sweets|3 Comments
  • strawberries dessert
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Strawberries Romanoff

This is a retro dessert  featured on the menus of continental fine-dining restaurants around the globe; kind of like tiramisu is now.  It was supposedly named after the Romanoff line of czars in Russia, but frankly I did not dig into history books  to give you the exact scoop. I just loved it as a […]

Strawberries Romanoff
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Fresh strawberries are marinated in sugar and liqueur and served with whipped cream
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 30 minutes
Strawberries Romanoff
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Print Recipe
Fresh strawberries are marinated in sugar and liqueur and served with whipped cream
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  • 1. Place the sliced strawberries in a bowl and add the sugar and liqueur. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • 2. Place the whipping cream and powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer bowl and whip till firm, about 5 minutes at maximum speed. Cover and chill till serving time. When ready to serve, place some strawberries in a serving cup and top with cream.
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By |May 10th, 2015|Sweets|2 Comments
  • Candied orange rinds
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Candied orange peels (Murabba al-busfeyr)

This is the uber traditional Lebanese confection, made yearly  by every grandmother in the country whenever Seville oranges (busfeyr) are available.  I figured I’d seize my chance when I noticed some. My aunt Wadad was pronounced the sole expert in the family (as the eldest, she learned it from my grandmother before being married off at […]

By |March 25th, 2015|Sweets|15 Comments
  • Date snack
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Date sweets

I love dates. Is there a better snack to start or end the day with? I can’t find one. The good news is one can find fantastic dates in California or, of course, in the traditional date-producing countries like Egypt, Iran or KSA. Iraq alone used to have several hundred (if not thousands) of varieties at […]

By |March 5th, 2015|Sweets|5 Comments
  • berry brownies
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Berry Brownies

Nothing beats brownies. I was waiting for someone to show-up and I made these on an impulse, from scratch (of course). The tanginess of the berries cuts into the richness of the chocolate. A friend of my daughter’s who was around at the time, tasted one and raved about it. She told me  she is […]

By |February 20th, 2015|Sweets|6 Comments
  • Valentine dessert
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Meringue with berries (quick and easy)

I only had 15 minutes to make “something” for Valentine, in order to entertain my 6 and 8-year old nephew and niece. This is a non-pretentious, no measuring required, easy peasy, even “healthy” dessert. Their mom who watches their diet like a hawk ( their school forbids chocolate or candies to be brought to […]

By |February 13th, 2015|Sweets|2 Comments
  • fondant
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Chocolate fondant (quick and easy)

Foodies will be able to relate to the following statement: I remember the exact time and place I first tasted a fondant. It was in Paris, about twenty years ago, and my brother had taken us all to a restaurant not far from where he lived. Nothing fancy, kind of a family eatery chain. […]

By |December 23rd, 2014|Sweets|11 Comments
  • S'Mores
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S’Mores in a jiffy

The sight of freshly puffed marshmallows on chocolate cream, served on a plain cookie elicits delight on a universal scale.
Then, why not serve s’mores on a holiday table, for a dessert made in a jiffy? You can whip these in under 5 minutes flat and make adults and children happy, without having to […]

By |December 2nd, 2014|Sweets|5 Comments