Monday, March 22, 2010
Sometimes, I wonder what's wrong with me. (Okay, wait, I wonder that all the time.) Like the time my mom showed up at my house, bringing with her two beautiful Asian pears for me. The pears were so big I could hardly hold them both in my hands at once, and they had been part of a special gift box that someone had given her. But here's where I ask what's wrong with myself, because the first thing I thought when I saw the pears was... "Oh my god, those would make the most amazing Asian pear frozen yogurt."
So being the slightly deranged me, I chopped up those gorgeous pears in a food processor, adding a healthy kick of ginger (which seems to be becoming a definite trend, given my previous posts here and here), and folded them into thick and yummy Greek yogurt. The end result was delicious, so I suppose I can't complain too much about my insanity. What made the yogurt even more delicious was the addition of lemon ginger macaron shells.
These macarons are super gingery with a little kick of lemon zest to them, and they are the perfect complement to the Asian pear frozen yogurt. Together, the froyo and macaron shells make for a terrifically snappy, spicy, and refreshing dessert, perfect for the super warm (70+ degrees F) afternoons that we've been having in the Bay Area lately. Summer's coming way to fast, but it's okay. I'm armed with a tub of pear and ginger frozen yogurt, so bring it on.
(P.S. "Froyo" = frozen yogurt, which is an awesome example of something linguists call "Aggressive Reduplication," discussed at length in a terrific paper by Kie Zuraw, a linguist at UCLA. At Stanford, there is this incredible culture of super-aggressive aggressive reduplication. Those Stanford kids do the craziest things, and I don't think I've even learned all of them yet:
"Coho" = Coffee house
"FloMo" = Florence Moore dorm
"FroSoCo" = Freshman Sophomore College
At Berkeley, we were far more practical about our aggressive reduplicating. We really only had two that were commonly used, both of which pertained to frozen yogurt: "Froyo," which you know already, and "YoPo," referring to Yogurt Park, a famous froyo shop a block from campus that is particularly enjoyed and frequented by Berkeley female athletes and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman, amongst others.)
Read on for recipe...
Asian pear-Ginger Frozen Yogurt
1 lb. Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 lb. Greek yogurt, or strained yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
1. In a food processor, puree the Asian pear and fresh ginger until smooth and no chunks are left.
2. Fold the pear and ginger puree into the Greek yogurt and add the sugar. Mix thoroughly.
3. Chill the mixture thoroughly, and freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions.
Lemon Ginger Macarons
makes ~60-70 shells
roughly adapted from MyTartelette's macaron recipe
30 grams sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
110 grams slivered almonds
4 Tbspn dried lemon zest*
5 grams ground ginger
1/2 tspn yellow powder food coloring, optional
90 grams egg whites, at least two days old
(separate eggs in advance, put the whites in an air tight container for at least two days--I usually keep them for five days before use.)
freshly grated lemon zest
1. Have ready: pastry bag fitted with a round tip with about 1/2" opening and two baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, process the regular sugar for a few seconds. Remove and set aside.
3. Combine the powdered sugar, almonds, dried lemon zest, ground ginger, and food coloring in the food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Set aside.
4. Place the egg whites in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Begin whisking on low, until the egg whites start to foam.
5. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and beat the egg whites while gradually adding the regular sugar. Beat on medium high until you reach a glossy, soft-peak meringue.
6. At this point, remove the mixer bowl from the mixer and continue the rest of the way by hand, using a large balloon whisk. Pour (lightly!) the processed powdered sugar and almond mixture into the meringue. Fold to combine, quickly at first, and then slowly after the first few strokes. Make sure to always use deliberate strokes when folding. Mix only until combined, no more than fifty strokes. Usually, it only takes me fewer than thirty, if that. The batter is ready when the peaks will collapse on their own.
7. Immediately transfer the batter to the prepared pastry bag. On the silpat baking sheets, squeeze about 1 to 1.5" rounds. Top each shell with freshly grated lemon zest. Let the sheets sit for at least thirty minutes.
8. While the macarons rest, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake the macarons for 15-20 minutes, rotating after about 10. Macarons are done when the shells do not give when gently touched. Remove from the oven and let cool.
*To make dried lemon zest, zest lemons and leave the zest out on a piece of paper towel for 24 hours.