lemonmeringueparfait

2 Desserts for St. Valentine’s, that are not cake

Because not everyone loves Red Velvet! We’ve thought of hand picking 2 amazing recipes, as romantic as it gets, that are not cake. . . Blood Orange Panna Cotta and Lemon Parfait! The Panna Cotta is very much Italy while the Meringue Parfait brings up a French influence


Now, don’t think is such an easy way-out. These recipes are astonishing and the results are the quality of a fancy restaurant!

If you’re planning a nice dinner to impress someone, get down with one of these, and get ready with top quality ingredients. The golden rule says: the less ingredients the more quality you need from them.

You won’t regret it if you embark in this lovely sweet St Valentine’s dessert route, let’s get to it!

Blood Orange Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta with Granita on top, decorating with Pistachios

1/2 C blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
(about 2 to 3 oranges)

1/8 C sugar

1/2 C crème fraîche

1 C buttermilk
(preferably fresh and very sour)

1 oz powdered gelatin

Zest of 1/2 blood orange

Orange Granita

1 Stalk lemongrass

cleaned and roughly chopped

Strips of zest from 2 oranges

1/3 C sugar

1 1/3 C Water

3 C orange juice, fresh

Candied Pistachios

1 C Pistachios

2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar

1/8 C Water

1/8 C sugar

Pinch of salt

For Decoration

2 oranges
(large, supremed)

Procedure

For the Panna Cotta:
-Pour gelatin into a small bowl and moisten with 1 T cool water.

-Let bloom for 1 or 2 minutes. In a small saucepan, combine half of the blood orange juice with the sugar on medium heat, and bring just to a simmer. Add gelatin and the finely-grated zest.

-Remove from heat when gelatin fully dissolved. Set aside.

-In a medium bowl, combine remaining orange juice with creme fraiche and buttermilk. Strain hot juice-gelatin liquid into the bowl, and whisk gently to mix evenly.

-Portion into ramekins. Refrigerate and allow to set, about 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.

For the Granite:

-Pour orange juice into a large mixing bowl.

-Combine lemongrass, zest strips, sugar, and water in a saucepot and bring to boil.

-Remove from heat and strain into the orange juice. Stir. Pour into a large freezer-safe storage container, cover and refrigerate.

-When cool, freeze overnight. When solid, scrape with a fork into ice flakes.

-Serve or store in the freezer in a sealed container.

For the Pistachios:

-On a sheet pan, toss pistachios in just enough confectioners’ sugar to lightly coat.

-Combine water, sugar, and salt in heavy-bottomed skillet on high heat.

-Cook until sugar melts and lightly caramelizes to light brown (about 140 Celsius).

-Add the pistachios and mix vigorously to coat every nut with sugar mixture.

-Keep cooking and stirring until the nuts caramelize. Meanwhile, line the sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat.

-Spread nuts on the Silpat or parchment-lined sheet tray to cool.

Orange Supremes:

-With a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off each orange.

-Trim rind and skin from sides, following the contour of the orange. Cut orange into segments by making a vertical cut on either side of each segment’s white stripe.

-To serve, place 3 to 4 supreme slices on top of each panna cotta ramekin.

– Scrape 1 to 2 T of granite ice flakes from the block with a fork and add over supremes. Garnish with sea salt and a few caramelized pistachios.

Lemon Meringue Parfait

Graham Cracker Crust

2/3 C all-purpose flour

1/3 C cake flour

1/3 C whole wheat flour

1/3 tsp salt

1/3 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp cinnamon

2/3 C butter

1/4 C dark brown sugar

1/4 C sugar

1/2 tsp honey

Lemon Curd

1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
(from about 4 lemons)

2/3 C sugar

3 large eggs

1 C butter

Swiss Meringue

1/3 C egg whites
(from about 3 large eggs)

1/2 C sugar

Procedure

For the graham cracker crust:
-Weigh and mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl.

-In a stand mixer, cream the butter with both sugars and honey until thoroughly combined.

-Add to the butter/sugar mixture until just combined. Roll between two pieces of parchment paper to a ¼-inch thickness.

-Freeze 20 minutes. Note: Please refer to the written recipe for measurements as they’ve been adjusted from the video. 2Preheat oven to 325 F.

-Remove top sheet of parchment and bake 30 minutes until brown. When cool, break up pieces and pulse in a food processor until it resembles coarse crumbs.

-Set aside at room temperature.

For the lemon curd:
-In a saucepan whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice and slowly bring to a boil, stirring the whole time (to prevent the eggs from cooking).

-Place through a strainer with a ladle or a China cap into a blender and with the motor on, add butter, a little at a time until emulsified. Set aside.

For the Swiss meringue:
-Place egg whites and sugar in a bowl set over simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

-Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Set aside.

To assemble:
-Place graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a serving glass and layer lemon curd followed by more graham cracker crumbs 3 times. Top with a dollop of meringue. Run a kitchen torch across the top for a toasty finish.

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