August 15, 2010
GELO DI MELONE – WATERMELON JELLY DESSERT
Recipe n. 23
Here we are again. We are back from our vacation in Italy and I have brought back, along with the nostalgic feelings, a lot of good stories, new recipe ideas and beautiful pictures of Sicily, which I will soon be posting on this blog with their own link. Today I want to tell you about ‘Sicilian gelo di melone’. If you go anywhere else in Italy, you are unlikely to find this delicious dessert in a pastry shop, while in Sicily during summertime it’s almost impossible to walk into a pastry shop and not find ‘gelo di melone’. I love the taste, the color and the consistency of this unique dessert. I made it the other day and I wish I had made more, as it was gone in no time…
This is the recipe with a little twist, my own personal variation.
Angurie al Mercato del Capo a Palermo
- 1 big watermelon (about 5 Kg.)
- 100 gr sugar for every liter of juice obtained ( I use instead orange blossom honey)
- 80 gr cornstarch for every liter of juice obtained
- 100 gr pistachios (pistacchi di Bronte di Sicilia)
- 50 gr bitter chocolate drops
* I apologize to those unfamiliar with grams. You can use the converter under cooking tools on the right side of the page.
Skin and seed the watermelon, process it through a sieve to obtain 1 liter (or more) of juice. Put it in a bowl with the sugar (or honey) and cornstarch. Bring to the boil at low heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and cool it down to room temperature, stirring occasionally. It should still be a bit fluid. Add the chocolate drops. Mix it and pour into a round pudding mold, moistened with water or any mold you like. ( I often use espresso coffee cups as they are a perfect small individual size). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or even better, overnight. Remove the Gelo from the mold (or in the case of individual small cups you can enjoy it straight from the original mold), sprinkle with grounded pistachios, garnish with chocolate drops and 1 or 2 whole pistachios before serving.
May 7, 2010
CARAMELLE DI NOCI E FRUTTA SECCA – DRIED FRUIT AND NUT ROLLED CANDIES
Soon our son will be turning 3 and I’m already planning with excitement his birthday party, which requires me to do lots of thinking about alternative solutions for a healthy kids menu and eco friendly party. This is the kind of person I am and not surprisingly I hang out with other ‘health freak moms’. We always worry about our kids eating too much sugar and other refined products. Of course when it comes to a party it’s almost impossible to avoid the sugar but at least we can control it by making our own cakes, sweets and treats.I found these caramelle a great idea to add to ‘Sasha’s birthday menu’. They really are just nut snack bars but rolled into a small ball shape. The way they are presented makes them more interesting and delicious in the kids eyes.
- 1 cup of mixed nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almond, sunflower seed and sesame seeds)
- 1 cup of dried fruit (cranberries, currants or raisins, apricots, dates)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil to help it to stick together
In a food processor mix the nuts, the dried fruit and the vegetable oil until you obtain a sort of crunchy sticky dough. Roll candies into small ball shapes or any other shape you would like to experiment with, although balls are the easiest shape as the dough could easily fall apart as the oil and the stickiness from the fruit are the only things that hold them together. Place each ball in a small baking paper cup. Chill for a couple of hours to help them to stick together. You can serve cold or at room temperature.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe is not suitable for people with nut allergies. Be sure to warn your guests.
April 29, 2010
BISCOTTI al LAMPONE – RASBERRY SCONES
There is a time for breakfast, a time for lunch and a time for dinner but let’s not underestimate a time for snacks! No matter how satisfying the meal I had at lunch I still need to have a little snack during the day and since I have a young child, snack time ‘la merenda’, is mandatory in our routine so I’m always looking for ideas and alternatives to prepackaged snacks and junk food. We usually eat lots of nuts and both fresh and dried fruit. I have managed to keep my son Sasha away from chocolates and candies so far and most refined products in general ( I know that it won’t last forever…) and I like to treat him once in a while with something special homemade while he is having his ‘merenda’.These raspberry scones are a perfect healthy snack idea and they are also quick to make ( I usually bake them while Sasha is having his nap). I got this recipe from the wonderful pastry shop ‘BabyCakes’ in NYC, which specializes in 100% vegan products.
- 2 cups flour ( I like to use spelt or whole wheat flour)
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1tbsp baking powder
- ½ tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup agave syrup (or brown sugar)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup hot water
Preheat the oven 350 F. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients and then add the oil, agave syrup and vanilla. Stir until a dry batter is formed. Pour the hot water in and mix it all together. Add the raspberry and gently fold in until you see them marbleized throughout the batter. On a baking sheet with parchment paper, scoop the batter spacing each scone 1 inch apart to allow them to spread. Bake the scones for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with agave syrup. Let them cool down for about 15 minutes and then transfer gently to a wire rack to cool completely.