Elegant end to a meal? Seasonal fresh fruit
Q. Is there a simple dessert, relatively low in fat and calories, that I could serve to dinner guests without making them feel a bit slighted in the dessert department?
A. Using seasonally available fresh fruit is always an elegant way to end a meal.
For the fall, I love to bake apples and fill them with honey, cooked oatmeal, cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as rehydrated dried fruits. I then put the apples in a bath of cider and, after about 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven, they are tender and the house smells great.
During the winter, I tend to go tropical because it is easy to find pineapples, kiwis, star fruit and papayas in the supermarket. A fruit salad is always nice, maybe mixed with a bit of Grand Marnier.
In spring, there are tasty offerings at the local farmers’ market. Berries with a touch of whipped cream is an easy option. Or try a mixed melon salad marinated in a lively sauvignon blanc. In the summer, peaches, nectarines and plums always make a spectacular debut grilled and topped off with a bit of sweetened vanilla yogurt.
If you stick with what is fresh, you can’t go wrong. Personally, I think a perfect peach or a bowl full of berries is always a great way to end a meal, so guests aren’t overstuffed.
Q. Is there a difference between using salted or unsalted butter when baking? I am thinking that using salted butter will save a step in adding the salt routinely called for in recipes.
A. Salted butter contains more water than unsalted butter.
When you are making any pastry, what you want from butter is a high fat content. This is what makes your cookies chewy.
I can see why you would think that salted butter would save a step, but in this case, stick with unsalted butter and your baked goods will benefit.
If you have a question for Nancy Schneider, email her at email@example.com.
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Published at Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:00:00 +0000