Aug 22, 2012

Frosty Desserts

While summer is winding down and the Yomim Tovim are not far, we’re still serving cold desserts on warm Shabbos afternoons.  It’s wonderful to enjoy dessert after a leisurely meal, but no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen when the weather outside is inviting so our goal is to find tasty desserts that look like you slaved over them but actually took no time at all.

This pie uses a method for making meringue which cooks the eggs to a safe temperature before whipping so there’s no need to be concerned about using raw eggs.

For the crust:
32 chocolate cookies (graham crackers or other chocolate cookie) plus more for topping
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
For the filling:
3 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Whipped cream or Strawberries for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch glass pie pan lightly with canola oil.
To prepare crust:
Process chocolate cookies, confectioners' sugar, oil, and chocolate syrup in a food processor until finely ground. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan, creating an even, dense crust. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour, pressing any puffed parts of the crust back into the pan.
To prepare filling:
Meanwhile, puree strawberries, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract the juice; discard any solids.
Bring 1 inch of water to a slow simmer in a large saucepan. Combine egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a 3-quart stainless-steel bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Set the bowl over the simmering water and continue to beat on medium speed, moving the mixer around, until the mixture is glossy and thick, about 3 1/2 minutes. Increase the speed to high, and continue beating over the simmering water until very stiff and glossy, about 3 1/2 minutes more—the eggs will be at a safe temperature, 160°F, at this point. Remove from the heat; be careful to avoid any steam escaping and continue beating on medium speed until room temperature, 3 to 5 minutes.
Gently fold the raspberry puree into the meringue until combined. Pour the raspberry filling into the pie crust; crumble the remaining chocolate cookies over the top or garnish with strawberry slices. Place the pie in your freezer and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours. To serve, let the pie stand at room temperature until softened slightly, about 10 minutes, before slicing.

A granita is a rustic but sophisticated frozen dessert that does not require an ice cream maker.
5 cups cubed ripe melon like cantaloupe
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup fresh blueberries
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish, optional

Combine melon, apple juice and lemon juice in a blender; puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch glass or metal pan.
Place the pan on a level surface in your freezer. Freeze, stirring and scraping with a fork every 30 minutes, moving the frozen edges in toward the slushy center and crushing any lumps, until the granita is firm but not frozen solid, 3 to 4 hours.
Remove from the freezer; use a metal spatula or large spoon to break up the frozen ice into small slivers. Pack into an airtight plastic container and freeze for at least 1 hour more.
Remove from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving to soften slightly. Use a large fork to scrape the granita into shallow bowls. Sprinkle blueberries over each portion and garnish with mint leaves, if desired.

This recipe is perfect for Shalosh Seudas when you are having your favorite guests.
For the crust:
1/3 cup butter
8 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
For the cheesecake:
2 (8 ounce) containers whipped cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream or whipped topping, unwhipped
1/2 cup chocolate dessert sauce

Prepare the crust:
In a medium sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate. Remove from heat and gently stir in rice cereal until coated. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Chill 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling:
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in cream. Pour into prepared crust. Freeze 30 minutes or until slightly set.
Drizzle chocolate dessert sauce over pie and freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Keep in freezer until ready to serve, and return leftovers to the freezer as well.
Note: this recipe can be made pareve if you prefer, just switch to Tofutti “Cream Cheese.”

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