Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sangria’

IMG_5442

The one I ate after dinner.

I had to dash out for more eggs mid-recipe, my ladyfingers ended up looking like amoebas with a gland problem, but I’m happy to report this totally off-the-cuff recipe was still a rousing success. It started with me trying to think of other breakfasty/snacky/desserty ways to use my honeysuckle syrup. Many readers gave me some killer ideas—mix it in with white sangria, add it to barbecue sauce for ribs, drizzle it into fruit salad. (I still plan to make marzipan cake or pound cake and soak that sucker in it.)

Then I remembered Umbrian reader Letizia’s beautiful recipe for ladyfingers, the one she offered for part of my cooking project, and everything came together in my head on the drive home from the farm today: ladyfingers soaked in syrup and layered with tart yogurt.

At first I was thinking of including strawberries (not that I’m ruling it or any other fruits out down the road and now that I think about it, slightly unripe apricots would ROCK). Then I thought of how good the simplest European treats are, like crepes filled with just a thin layer of jam and dusted with powdered sugar, and decided to ease off. The ladyfinger batter calls for lemon, and that was going to be a good, kind friend to the honeysuckle. The tangy yogurt would be checks and balances to the sweetness.

Ladyfingers, those dense, spongy cookies made structurally sound with lots of egg, are used most famously in tiramisu. Here in the States people throw that name around so often with stacked dishes that you can hardly order a club sandwich these days without some whack chef calling it a turkey tiramisu. We Americans are an obsessive lot. Let’s call this dish a trifle. A little tiny one that you could make enormous if you wanted to, for a summer shower or other party.

Parenthetical comments are Letizia’s; mine are in brackets. Click the honeysuckle syrup link above for my recipe.

*
Ladyfingers

75 gr (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
75 gr (2/3 cup) 00 or pastry flour [I used all-purpose]
1 scant tablespoon plain yogurt or milk [I used goat’s milk–awesome]
2 tablespoon powdered sugar plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, mixed in a small bowl

Preheat oven at 150°C (300° F). Line a large baking sheet with buttered parchment paper. If you don’t butter the parchment paper you will have to eat it as it’s hardly possible to remove it from the cookies after baking. [Somehow I missed her note, twice, about greasing the parchment. Please heed her warning.]

Whisk or beat egg whites until firm. Cream the sugar and egg yolks, add lemon zest, vanilla extract, flour and milk or yogurt and keep whisking to obtain a very thick batter. Fold in egg whites using a metal spoon. Make sure to incorporate them lightly, with circular upward movements so to obtain an airy mixture that will not deflate while cooking.

At this point, using a pastry bag, you should pipe the batter into 10 cm (4 inch) long strips on the baking sheet. (I hate pastry bags, so I use a soup spoon making sure to keep the strips at least 3 cm (1 inch) apart. One spoon of batter is enough for one ladyfinger.) [My hat is off to Letizia. I was sad crap at this. Using a pastry bag next time.]

Now sprinkle half of the sugar mixture onto the strips. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden around the sides. Makes about 2 dozen.

Letizia Mattiacci
Umbria, Italy

incampagna.com

*

This is so simple, so delicious, it’s almost lyrical. Funny how a flower can do so much for a dish.

Grazie, Letizia!

IMG_5433

Whites beaten to stiff peaks can sparkle like snow. Kinda cool.

IMG_5435

Whites folded most of the way into batter.

IMG_5439

Amoebas baked to a golden brown and sprinkled with sugar.

IMG_5443

The one I’m having for breakfast. Layered with the yogurt and sitting in a happy pool of syrup.

Read Full Post »

IMG_4555

I had a be-in with a plum a few weeks ago. It was sweet. After that I canoodled with a muskmelon, some pickles, and more than a few heirloom tomatoes. I register my guilt here in this photo essay.

You can’t blame me, can you?

IMG_4565

IMG_4595

Softball-sized muskmelon. The innermost center tastes like honeydew, and the deeper you dig, the more it tastes like its cousin, the cucumber. The spoon is at the best part.

IMG_4460darker

Local, organic strawberries. The jelly jar is foreshadowing. But you probably guessed that.

IMG_4462

With organic vanilla yogurt—an unbeatable breakfast or teatime snack.

IMG_4549

Cupcake with homemade Nutella (guanduja), both in the batter and straight up as a topping.

IMG_4616

Morning glory, late summer.

IMG_4499

My cousin’s sangria, with raspberries, strawberries, lemons and limes.

IMG_4587

Surfers backlit by sunset.

IMG_4598

Cobblestones near train station, Hoboken.

IMG_4630

Fresh peach custard pie made with local eggs.

IMG_4582

Really ripe heirloom tomato.

IMG_4620

My summertime obsession again, here on a whole wheat bun, with local basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and salt. In short, breakfast.

IMG_4488

Tiny lemon square.

IMG_4568

Mulberries picked from a branch hanging by my balcony, simmered with sugar and some Petite Syrah.

IMG_4526

S’mores made for my friend Laura’s 5th of July party.

IMG_4645

A spoonful of late-summer flowers.

IMG_4671

Bread-and-butter pickles made from a 100-year-old or so recipe.

IMG_4665

Assemblage of toasty artisanal bliss, Porta National Park, Asbury Park, Labor Day.

IMG_4668

Nutella sandwiched happily between two thin discs of homemade pizza dough and doused in powdered sugar. The smears below showcase my brother-in-law’s determination to get every last bit. Porta National Park.

IMG_4687

And of course, the pan in which I shamelessly assassinated a quart of olive oil. The summer wasn’t all pretty.

Read Full Post »