I'm back with another cookbook review, this time 150 Best Desserts in a Jar. I knew as soon as I saw this book on the list to select from that I would choose it.
I have already served orzo salad, trifle and creme brulee in jars so I was hoping for lots of ways to expand on that.
And I was not disappointed, Andrea Jourdan (author) has developed a wonderful array of recipes that are fun to make - everything from puddings and cobblers to pies and cakes. To me, one of the more intriguing recipes is Christmas Pudding in a jar, it is sure to be on my Christmas baking list this year.
As California strawberries were in the store I decided to make Orange Strawberry Soup.It is similar to a recipe I already had from a cooking class from several years ago, but it is just as good. I can't wait for local strawberries to be in season so I can make it again. Although I do think I'll try it with frozen berries too, would be a perfect starter to a Mother's Day brunch.
My version, below, looks almost exactly like that in the book:
Cold Strawberry Orange Soup
This recipe is a real winner — quick, easy and delicious. As a summer dessert that virtually everyone (even those who are watching their waistlines) can enjoy, it is perfect. And it is so satisfying that no one will think it’s a “light” dessert.
Use a funnel to pour this soup neatly into the jars without making a mess.
If you like this soup as much as I do, make it all year long, using frozen strawberries.
• Six 8-ounce (250 mL) jars
• Food processor or blender
4 cups hulled fresh strawberries
1⁄2 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1 cup orange juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, divided
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1⁄4 cup plain yogurt
6 mint leaves
1. In food processor fitted with the metal blade, purée strawberries. Add confectioner’s sugar and process for 1 minute. Add orange juice and process for 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) mint and process for 1 minute. Transfer to jars, dividing equally, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. In a bowl, mix remaining mint, orange zest, granulated sugar and almonds. Add yogurt and mix well. Top each jar with a dollop (about 1 tbsp/15 mL) of the mixture, garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings
Then I decided to give the Cherry Berry Smoothie a try as one of Brittany's favourite things to make is a smoothie. And this one uses almond milk which I was interested in trying too. This smoothie is soooo good! I will for sure make it again!
My version,below, ended up being a little darker in colour from those in the book.
Cherry Berry Smoothie
This has to be the best creamy cherry dessert you’ll ever enjoy. Be aware, the yield will vary depending on the berries used. You may get three very generous servings or four that don’t quite reach the tops of the jars. I like to serve this in “drinking jars.”
Substitute an equal quantity of low-fat milk for the almond milk.
Ground almonds are often called “almond flour.” They are available in well-stocked supermarkets or natural foods stores.
• Four 12-ounce (375 mL) tall jars
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup frozen pitted cherries
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 cup cherry-flavored yogurt
1⁄2 cup almond milk (see Tips)
2 tbsp liquid honey
2 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp ground almonds (see Tips)
1. In blender, purée berries, cherries, banana, cherry yogurt, almond milk and honey. Blend at high speed for 2 minutes. Pour into jars, dividing equally.
2. In a bowl, mix plain yogurt and almonds. Top each jar with a dollop of the mixture and serve immediately.
Makes 3 to 4 servings
Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.