Desserts With a Difference - Sweet or Savory Fruits
Less-Sweet, More Flavorful
Have you ever skipped dessert because what was served was too sticky sweet for your palate or your health? Occasionally, a less-sweet or even savory dessert is in order. Other times, cottage cheese with a fruit or fruit and vegetable mixed topping can double as a one-dish lunch and dessert. A little experimentation can bring you sublime pleasures of the palate in different ways.
The following recipes are easy to engineer in the kitchen and offer a less-sweet flavor for desserts and dessert beverages. Many desserts seem to be almost sickeningly sweet and you might want something not so loaded with sugar,
Spiced Apple - Sweet Potato Dessert
This is a dish that can be served as either a side dish or a dessert, with certain modifications . This recipe provides a delicious, healthier style of dessert for 4 to 6 hungry people
- 4 Delicious or Gala apples, washed and peeled
- 4 Mediumsized sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
- 1 1/4 Cups honey
- 1 Stick of unsalted butter, cut into slices
- 12 ounces hot water
- Rectangular glass baking dish, lightly coated with a good quality cooking spray.
- Cream for whipping or prepared whipped cream or whipped topping. You can substitute lo-cal lo-fat brands, or use Vanilla Yougurt or Frozen Yogurt instead.
- Powdered sugar for dusting (optional) - or use cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch thick slices.
- Core peeled apples and cut them into ½-inch thick slices.
- Beginning with a layer of sweet potato slices on the bottom of the baking dish, build alternating layers of potatoes and apples, until the dish is filled. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves lightly on top of each layer of this dish.
- Dribble the honey over the top layer of apples or potatoes.
- Distribute unsalted butter slices over the top layer of the dish.
- Carefully and evenly pour in the hot water.
- Bake this dish for 50 to 60 minutes and check for firmness indicating that it is done. If the top layer is browning too dark and the honey filling is still a bit too thin, use a foil tent over the top of the dish to prevent burning. If sweet potatoes are in the top layer well as the bottom layer, the faster-cooking, more delicate apples are protected from burning heat.
- Remove from oven, cool slightly, and serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon or powdered sugar or both.
Limey Pepper Pears & Yogurt
Makes a heaping Quart of pickled pears for a less-sweet dessert with yogurt; or for use as a chutney-style relish.
- 4 pounds of whole pears, peeled, stems removed, and coarsely chopped
- 2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Cups chopped sweet onions (Vidalia, Spanish)
- 1 Small red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 3/4 Cups white vinegar
- ¼ Cup lime juice and the zest of one lime
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 3/4 Cup granulated sugar
- 2 Cups thick plain yogurt (frozen yogurt may be substituted).
- Sauté the onions in olive oil until soft and golden brown, bringing out their sweet flavor.
- With the sauteed onions (drained), mix all ingredients in a sufficiently large pot on the stove top, stir, and bring the pot to the boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust sweetness, if needed.
- Cover the pot and turn off the heat, allowing flavors to meld and warm together for 5 minutes.
- Place ½ Cup of the thick plain yogurt into each of 4 dessert bowls and heap the pickled pear mixture on top. Sprinkle lime zest over the surface of each and serve. Store the remainder in the refrigerator.
A Dessert Beverage that Serves 4
- 1/2 Cup honey
- 1 Cup water (I like to use spring water)
- 1 Cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Cups cranberry juice , cran-apple juice cocktail, or a cranberry wine or sherry (or half juice, half wine)
- Grated peel of 1/2 lime
- Fresh lemon and lime slices for color and additional flavor
- In a small saucepan over medium heat setting, heat the water to a boil, and immediately add honey; quickly stir to melt and dissolve.
- Turn off the burner and stir in the honey, ensuring that the sweeteners are well mixed.
- Pour the sweetener base into a glass pitcher and pour in juice or wine or combination.
- Add lemon and lime slices
- Cover and chill about an hour. Remove from refrigerator, stir well and serve over ice.
Non-Alcoholic Dessert Sangria
8 to 10 Servings
- 4 Cups watermelon juice - Place watermelon chunks, seeds removed, into a blender, liquefy and strain. You might save the rinds for watermelon pickles.
- 1 Bottle red grape juice
- 1⁄3 Cup orange juice
- 1 lemon and 1 lime, each washed and cut into 1⁄4" slices
- 8 Cubes of fresh watermelon (without seeds), one for each serving glass
- Red grapes, washed and halved.
- Pour 1.5 to 2 Cups watermelon juice into one ice cube tray and freeze to make at least 8 cubes.
- Mix remaining watermelon juice with red grape juice, OJ, lemon and lime slices in a pitcher or other container, stir, and refrigerate 60 minutes or longer.
- Place a watermelon ice cube into each beverage glass.
- Stir the beverage and pour the ice.
- To each glass, adding a 2 or 3 slices of citrus.
- Pick the fresh watermelon cubes with fancy tooth picks or tiny umbrella picks and float in each glass.
- Add a few grape halves to each glass as well.