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January 2012 COTM: Essential Pepin: Fruit Desserts; Frozen Desserts

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters about fruit and frozen desserts.

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  1. Flambéed Bananas, page 479

    Surprisingly good! My teenage kids had seen this on a dessert menu, and so we decided to try out hands at it rather than order. Most of my family is not big on bananas (other than Mr. LL), and so I scaled down the recipe a bit. That was the start of my problems, because the key to this recipe is having a pan with sugar, butter, rum, etc, and I didn't want to compromise the sexy flame part. The flames caramelize the brown sugar and butter, and you are supposed to end with the caramel on the bananas. Mine looked great during the flame period, but I ended up with a lump of caramel on the bottom of the pan. We just put chunks of the caramel on the bananas, and even the most avid banana hater ended up enjoying this fine dish!

     
    1 Reply
    1. re: lazy_lurker

      Love the picture! I am not big on bananas either, but have a soft spot in my heart for Bananas Foster on vanilla ice cream.

    2. Calimyrna Figs in Spicy Port Sauce, p. 490.

      First off, the figs I generally buy would pass the 'dried in the Valley of the Kings test.' I found some Greek dried figs that looked up to the task.

      The recipe calls for a small amount of Campari, which I've not bought in my lifetime; but for this recipe, I spent $30 for a bottle to use only a few tablespoons in the recipe; plus a couple of nights' worth of port, reasonably good port, at least I like it. I had on hand Greek yogurt.

      The recipe in my mind held no great promise, but since I've always looked for a dried fig recipe that I could abide, this was it.

      It was edible, just as expected, no more nor less; and hopefully the figs sitting overnight in the port will liven them up for me, or they will be too strong. Jacques doesn't mention left-overs.

       
       
      14 Replies
      1. re: Rella

        Yes, the egg-looking presentation needs a mint leaf. I put one on a white plate, and it looked even more like an egg. LOL.

        I'm sure 3 on each plate would made a better presentation, but we just couldn't eat more than one.

        1. re: Rella

          Make yourself some Negronis with that leftover Campari!

          1. re: LulusMom

            Thanks for your suggestion. I was thinking about that. That's a lot of leftover Campari.

            1. re: Rella

              I'm also a big fan of the Americano, which is Campari with sweet vermouth and soda water, when I want something less strong than a negroni.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Campari mixed with orange or grapefruit juice is also great. I make myself a glassful if I think I'm coming down with a cold. (Strictly medicinal, of course!) But my favorite way to drink Campari is to simply mix it with sparkling water -- so refreshing.

                Someday I'll try the fig recipe, just out of curiosity, We do like figs, port, and Campari, so it holds some promise for our tastes.

                1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                  I love Campari with sparkling water, and maybe a slice of orange or lemon. Mmmm. I've seen it in eastern Europe bottled that way.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Would you consider Pellegrino a sparkling water in this case?
                    Thanks.

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I've been wondering about this since I always have lots of it.
                        Thanks,

                        1. re: Rella

                          Im not a boozer, so something like a negroni doesnt appeal. However, after spending some time in Italy with folks who always drank campari-soda as an aperitivo, I got to like it. You have to like bitter (think grapefruit, one of the mail flavorings) I usually add some orange juice to the campari-soda-ice mix. its quite a nice drink with the orange .

                          re the figs, we very much like fruit compotes like this (tho we havent made the recipe). cook at as long as you need to to get the figs to a tender well flavored state - the finished product will last indefinitely and in fact can improve with sitting.

                          1. re: jen kalb

                            I had a friend from Munich years ago who was in the restaurant business and I never saw him drink anything but campari & soda. I think I'll try it with some fresh orange juice today and pellegrino. Geez, these figs were so unappealing to me, and just couldn't throw them out, that I put them in very small mason jars, and into the freezer. Maybe they'll soften up - someday I'll find something to do with them :-)))

                            1. re: Rella

                              Ill look at the fig recipe. if they havent softened, they were not soaked/cooked long enuf

                              another great use for campari is in pink grapefruit ice. It enhances both the color and the non-sweet flavor. Heres a winning recipe from David Lebovitz for this.

                              http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/04/...

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                The grapefruit really looks good. I've not had any for years - I've heard that grapefruit can react to certain medications. I do miss those fabulous fruits. Reading again the EP p. 490, my fault, I know, for not soaking the figs.

                                But I did make a choice of choosing one of the two bags of figs that I had, and I used the one that looked plumper and less 'aged.' And he says nothing about soaking; just boiling.

                                I thought I'd probably be in good stead using his "boil method." They were just too chewy for me.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      I like Campari and soda, but I like Americanos better. I'd say the dash of sweet vermouth has a similar effect to adding a bit of orange, but it works for me, and I always have it and Campari on hand.