After a satisfying Italian lunch, you should definitely save room for dessert. Here you’ll find a collection of our most beloved dishes, from tried-and-true staples like tiramisu to creative takes on old favorites like ice box pie-flavored tiramisu.
1. Gelato with Strawberries
Jon Snyder, the proprietor of il laboratorio del gelato, recommends using cornstarch instead of eggs for thickening handmade gelato to provide a velvety texture and unadulterated taste. The end product is lighter in fat than ice cream, allowing the fruit’s natural sweetness to come through.
Jon Snyder recommends using cornstarch instead of eggs for thickening gelato to preserve the authentic texture and taste of handmade gelato. The end product is lighter than ice cream in terms of palate-coating fat, and it showcases the fruit beautifully.
- Add 2 tbsp. of cornstarch.
- The equivalent of three cups of half-and-half (divided).
- Sugar, granulated: 1 1/3 cups.
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries (approximately 8 cups hulled and quartered) (about 8 cups hulled and quartered).
- Make a slurry by mixing 1/4 cup half-and-half with cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Into a medium saucepan, add the sugar and the remaining 2 3/4 cups of half-and-half, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and add slurry while whisking constantly. For the next 8-10 minutes, while stirring constantly, bring the mixture back up to a boil on medium heat. Combine ingredients in a heat-safe bowl. Prepare an ice bath and let the food sit in it for around 25 minutes to cool fully.
- In the meanwhile, smash 3 cups worth of strawberries with a potato crusher until they are juicy and a puree forms. Stir strawberry puree into the cooled half-and-half mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours, or until cold.
- Then, following the manufacturer’s directions, transfer half of the strawberry mixture to the freezer bowl of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice cream maker.
- Transfer gelato to a freezer-safe container; place a layer of parchment paper on on top, and cover with an airtight lid. Put in the deep freeze. The leftover cold strawberry mixture should be used for another round of the operation. Freeze gelato at least 8 hours or overnight.
2. Mixed-Nut-Milk Panna Cotta
These light custards are perfect for showcasing the delicate nuttiness of handmade nut milk.
Quantified As A Whole:
The duration is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Gelatin, powdered, unflavored, 2 tablespoons
- In a blender, combine 3 cups of mixed nuts and 3 cups of milk.
- 13 cups of sugar
- Approximately 2 teaspoons of honey
- To taste, scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean
- Taking with a grain of salt
- Olive oil, for use in the toothbrush
- Hazelnuts, roasted and crushed, for garnish
- The serving recipe is 1/4 cup strawberry jam blended with 1 tablespoon of water.
- It only takes around 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften after being sprinkled over half a cup of almond milk in a small basin. Additional 2 1/2 cups nut milk, together with sugar, honey, vanilla seeds, and salt, should be combined in a medium pot. Over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the dissolved gelatin mixture, which has been allowed to soften.
- Prepare a baking sheet by laying out six ramekins, each holding half a cup of food. Carefully pour the panna cotta mixture into the ramekins and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days, until set.
- Invert each panna cotta onto a platter after running a knife along its edge. Crumbled hazelnuts go well on top and go well with the jam.
3. Pumpkin Butter
This pumpkin butter should be a staple in your pantry come autumn when pumpkins and squash are at their peak. This smooth preserve balances sweet and salty flavors beautifully: Try it melted with sage and brown butter for an autumnal pasta sauce, over toast with cream cheese, or in whipped cream.
Quantified As A Whole:
Amount Made: About 2 1/2 Cups
- 1 sugar pumpkin, cleaned, split lengthwise, and seeds (about 3 pounds)
- Approximately 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
- 14 cups of apple cider
- Sugar, Light Brown, 1/3 Cup
- Honey, 3 Tablespoons
- Vinegar from apple cider, 1 tsp.
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 12 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 12 teaspoons of kosher salt
- Fresh nutmeg, grated, one-fourth teaspoon
- Ground cloves, just a pinch
- Turn oven temperature up to 350 degrees F. Oil the exposed cut surfaces of the pumpkin halves. Place pumpkin halves cut side down, on a large rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. 50 minutes in a preheated oven should get you fork-tender meat. Take it out of the oven and set it aside to cool for approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove the flesh from the pumpkin after it has cooled, and place it in the food processor. Throw away the empty pumpkin. After adding the apple cider, continue processing for approximately 1 minute, pausing once to wipe down the bowl. In a food processor, combine the brown sugar, honey, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves; process until smooth, about 20 seconds, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides.
- Place pumpkin mixture in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching and to keep the sides of the pan clean, for about 25 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by a third and darkened slightly in color. Take off the heat and allow sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
4. Zabaglione with Strawberries
Here, we serve the zabaglione immediately after it has been prepared, but if you need to make it ahead of time, you may combine it with whipped cream and store it in the refrigerator as indicated in the first variant below.
- For 8 big egg yolks (at room temperature)
- a quarter cup of dried marsala
- half a cup of sugar
- Strawberries, one pint (sliced)
- An enormous stainless steel basin will do for mixing the egg yolks, marsala, and sugar. Place the bowl over the pan of water, which should be at a low simmer but not a full boil. Beat the egg-yolk mixture for 5 to 8 minutes with a whisk or hand-held electric mixer on low speed, or until the mixture is hot and forms a ribbon when the beaters are raised. Zabaglione will curdle if overcooked.
- The strawberries may be served in bowls or stemmed glasses. Serve immediately or chill for up to an hour in the refrigerator before topping with the hot zabaglione.
- For a zabaglione that keeps in the fridge for up to six hours, whipping cream is the way to go. Whip up a half cup of heavy cream to the point when it forms stiff peaks. Remove the dish from the heat and continue beating the zabaglione until it has cooled. Mix the chilled zabaglione into the whipped topping. Serve the zabaglione and strawberries cold in the fridge.
• Swap the strawberries with blueberries, raspberries, or sliced peaches.
Suggestion for a Test Kitchen
- To prepare zabaglione, you will essentially need a double boiler that is big enough to house an electric mixer. A heatproof dish placed over a pot is all that’s needed for this.
5. Cherries Poached in Red Wine with Mascarpone Cream
Poached cherries taste exquisite when topped with a rich mixture of mascarpone cheese and honey. The dessert is delicious whether served warm or cold. We find both interpretations to be equally satisfying.
- The equivalent of 2 and a quarter glasses of red wine
- 1/2 pound of sugar
- a 3-inch-long, 1-inch-wide strip of orange zest
- Cut and pit 2 pounds of delicious cherries
- A measure of mascarpone cheese, around a cup
- Two and a half teaspoons of honey
- Mix the wine, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan made of stainless steel. Place over moderate heat, and stir occasionally until it reaches a simmer. Bring back to a simmer and add the cherries. Take the heat down low and cook the cherries for approximately 5 minutes, slightly covered. So that the cherries don’t overcook, transfer them to a glass or stainless steel bowl.
- Honey should be stirred into the mascarpone in a small bowl. To prepare cherries without orange zest, remove the strip. Dollop generous amounts of the mascarpone cream on top of the heated cherries and syrup and serve in bowls or stemmed glasses.
Warm cherries and their poaching juice are delicious on their own, without the addition of mascarpone cream, or with whipped cream.
In place of the poached cherries, you may serve the mascarpone cream with chopped fresh fruit or a mixture of berries.
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