I'm sure there are far worse place to get stuck for the winter than the Greek Isles, it is just too bad that it was only my blog that has been vacationing there. Although I have been on a few vacations and have a few recipes to share as a result, my blogging updates are FAR overdue!
To finish the winter-long Mediterranean cruise, let's grab some dessert and head back to the good, old USA!
We will finish the cruise on Mainland Greece with some EASY, home-made Ice Cream with Apricot Puree. Forms of "Ice Cream", using snow & fruit syrups, have been documented in Persia as early as 400 B.C. and using rice milks in China around 200 B.C. The use of dairy products in Ice Cream is attributed to the Ancient Greeks who would often flavor it with rosewater, fruits & fruit juices, and nuts.
Apricots are also a staple of Greece. Although it is widely thought that apricots are native to Armenia, they were brought to Greece by Alexander the Great in the last 100 years B.C. Apricots have been cultivated since antiquity and dried as an important commodity on ancient trade routes.
(Note: As always, Green text are Olivelle recipes that I will share. Green text within a recipe are ingredients that can be purchased from Olivelle locally or on the website http://www.olivelle.com/ )
(Chef Claudia Galofre-Krevat)
1 lb Dried, Pitted Apricots
2 Tbsp NOMU Sweet Rub
1/2 C Slivered Almonds
Additional NOMU Sweet Rub (to taste)
Place apricots in a bowl & fill with cold water to 2" above the top of the apricots. Cover and soak over night in the refrigerator. (It amazed me as to how beautifully the apricots re-hydrated.)
Transfer the apricots, with the water, to a large pot. Add the Sweet Rub and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Approx. 20 - 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool until warm. Blend with an immersion blender (or small amounts, in a regular blender, but DO NOT do this when they are hot!)
Stir in Almonds and more Sweet Rub to taste (if desired).
Serve over Ice Cream.
Easy Home-Made Ice Cream
(Chef Michelle Schaeffer)
1 1/2 Cups Whole Milk
3 Cups Heavy Cream
1 1/8 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Bean Sea Salt
Mix all ingredients and stir until sugar & salt are dissolved. (Can sit overnight in refrigerator.)
Pour into ice cream freezer mix until set (approx. 25 minutes).
Garnish with Fig Balsamic Glaze, "Envy" Basil & Sugar Blend, and sprig of Basil or Mint.
Well, as Jimmy Buffett would say, "It's been a lovely cruise!" and I will see you back home!