Category Archives: Desserts

Grilled Nectarines with Honey Lime Glaze

Warm nectarines with a honey lime glaze on top of Tahitian vanilla bean gelato.

Warm nectarines with a honey lime glaze on top of Tahitian vanilla bean gelato.

While we had the grill going…..

I decided to grill up some nectarines to serve over vanilla bean gelato for dessert.  In my mind I saw these perfect fresh nectarine slices lightly coated with honey and lime juice, tossed into a grill basket and coming out slightly charred and tender, with a bit of a caramelized finish.  In reality, it went a bit differently, but oh my, it was delicious! Here is how it went…

Ingredients:

3 fresh RIPE nectarines, washed (I was only making for two people, so you can adjust accordingly)

Honey (as typical for Ms. Creative Recipe, I did not measure – so I am guessing 2 to 3 tablespoons)

Juice from 1 fresh lime (thank goodness nothing to measure here)

Funny story – after I took the nectarines off the grill and was topping the gelato, I spooned up some of the glaze from the foil and said “oh my gosh, this is so good and even kind of crispy chewy, kind of like a candy apple. I hope I can make it again!”  Scott said, “did you write down your ingredients?”  I said “I only used honey and lime juice, but I didn’t measure, I just poured.”  He gave me the look.   My advice since I did not measure?  Add the honey to the lime juice 1 tablespoon at a time.  Taste the honey lime juice mixture.  If it’s too tart, add more honey.  Seriously, that’s a good creative recipe technique to know – taste as you go along!

Directions:

Slice the nectarines off the seed.  This is where I had another detour.  I sliced a nectarine in half around the seed, just like I do with peaches, and tried to twist the two halves apart.  It was so ripe that it mushed up in my hands and did not come off the seed either!  So I just kind of chopped it up in the bowl and captured all the juice.  For the other two nectarines, I sliced “wedges” off the seed, then scraped any remaining flesh in the bowl.  Mix the honey and lime juice in a small bowl and pour over the nectarines.  Stir to coat the nectarines.

Fresh, ripe nectarines with honey and lime juice.

Fresh, ripe nectarines with honey and lime juice.

Since I had all this juice going on, I had to scrub the idea of just tossing the fruit into a grill pan.  Instead, I placed a sheet of “release” foil in the grill pan to contain the juice, hoping the juice would reduce to a syrup.

Ready for the grill.

Ready for the grill.

The grill was already hot (medium heat), so I placed on the grill while the rest of our meal cooked, approximately 20 minutes.  I never stirred, shook or moved the fruit.  You can see the juices starting to simmer.

The juices are beginning to simmer.

The juices are beginning to simmer.

When we sat down to dinner, I turned the grill to low for maybe 15 minutes, then removed.  The fruit stayed warm and the juices continued to reduce.  End result?  The juices had reduced and we had a syrup, and the fruit was tender.  You know your grill best, so these time and temp combinations are only guidelines.

Ready for gelato, or ice cream, or forzen yogurt, or sorbet, or whipped cream, or wherever your creativity takes you!

Ready for gelato, or ice cream, or frozen yogurt, or sorbet, or whipped cream, or wherever your creativity takes you!

When I try this again, I will go for a bit firmer nectarine and try without the nectarine juice to see if my original perfect picture is possible.  Stay tuned for that.  That said, however, I was so happy with the syrup on this version that I would do this again, intentionally mushing up some nectarine for juice to reduce down with the honey and lime.

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Pumpkin Pie with Dark Chocolate

This year I am adding chocolate to everything it seems – I cannot get enough………  I even put it into pumpkin pie twice after Thanksgiving, once for  Scott and I and once for a ladies luncheon.  So here is another quickie post with no photo – pumpkin pie with dark chocolate.   I’m making this for Christmas, so maybe I’ll add a photo then.

I always use the pumpkin pie recipe on the Libby’s Pumpkin can (make sure you buy the plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling).  It’s a really good recipe.  I use the larger can (29 ounces) and it makes two pies.  I always tweak the spice blend a bit  and then of course this year I added chocolate.  The pumpkin custard filling is dense enough to suspend the chocolate, so it is evenly dispersed in the baked pie filling.  Also, I make sure to chop it small enough so it the pieces are light-weight and do not sink to the bottom of  the pie shell. 

Finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Here is my spice tweak and the chocolate addition:

2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1 cup dark chocolate chunks – finely chop them (I use the food processor) – I used Nestles semi-sweet dark chocolate chunks, but you could use any dark chocolate to suit your taste, though less bitter is probably better.

Simply substitute this spice mixture for the spices on the can and fold in the the chopped chocolate before pouring the filling into the pie shells.

Stir in the chopped chocolate

Bake as usual, per the recipe on the can

Ready for the oven

Oh, one more thing – there is nothing like real whipped cream on pumpkin pie – I like to buy heavy whipping cream and whip it just before serving the pie.  If you’ve never made it, it’s easy.  Chill your bowl and beater (or wire whisk).  Pour the cold cream into the cold bowl and whip or whisk just until peaks start to form.  Then add a little sugar and vanilla extract to taste and whip again to incorporate just until the cream is stiff enough to hold its shape when you “dollop” it on the pie (I love that word!).

Is this a healthier pie? 😉

Depending on my mood, I sometimes substitute lowfat or fat free evaporated milk  for the regular evaporated milk called for on the can recipe.  The flavor is just as good, the only difference I can detect when I substitute the lower fat milk is that the pie has a slightly (very slightly) less creamy feel in the mouth.  And I use Eggland’s Best eggs (lower in cholesterol, higher in vitamins and omega 3’s, etc.)  I am one of those strange persons who never eats the pie crust, so no fat/calorie worries there – AND when I add in the anti-oxidant rich dark chocolate, I practically feel like I am eating something really good for me!  Okay, it’s a stretch, but I do hope you enjoy the pie!


Grilled Pineapple Short Cake

The double plates are pretty in a picture - but imagine if the chocolate brown plate was instead a pool of chocolate sauce! Yum.

This is a great dessert whenever you have the grill hot.  It is a perfect finish to the Ginger Lime Sesame Pork entrée.  I’ll outline the basic ingredients below – and you can substitute and vary to your heart’s (and your pantry’s) delight.

Ingredient List:

Pound Cake, sliced – homemade (oh yeah!) or your favorite bakery brand – I’ve even used Sara Lee frozen

Fresh Pineapple – yep!  It needs to be fresh.  Peeled, cored and sliced.

Brown Sugar – ½ cup

Butter – 2 tablespoons, melted

Fresh Lemon Juice – ½ of one lemon – or to your taste

Ground Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon – optional

Fresh Fruit – your choice.  Berries, kiwi, star fruit – I go for the fruit with the brightest color and the ripest scent. 

Ice Cream or Whipped Cream – your choice.  Imagine coconut ice cream when you’re in a pina colada mood, or vanilla bean ice cream with fresh strawberries and shaved chocolate.

Garnish – if you like – shaved dark chocolate, drizzled chocolate sauce, toasted nuts, and so on…

Directions:

Mix the brown sugar, melted butter, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Brush over pineapple slices.  Place on hot grill and grill for approx 1 minute per side or until browned.  (Can’t use a grill?  I have done these on the stove in a “grill pan” which is a pan with a ridged bottom – it gives very nice “grill marks!”)

On each plate, place 1 slice of pound cake and top with a grilled pineapple slice.  Place a scoop or two of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on the side and garnish with fresh fruit, chocolate, nuts, etc.