I can see you ..eyes wide open wondering if I have gone mad…Soup? On a dessert blog….Well, what if I whisper Sauternes Poached Peach a la Herme, Luscious Lemon Ice Cream via Lori Longbotham and Ricotta Lemon Beignets thanks to Richard Leach….would you keep on reading? I am going to take a chance and assume yes. What if I add that all these found the way to make a beautiful sweet dessert soup….do you think you would want to know more….?
The February I remember was cold, rainy, grey and magical. It was the perfect time of the year for hot chocolates, hearty stews and soups. My mom made sure that every meal during the winter started with a bowl of vegetable soup, a few croutons and a dash of cream were sometimes added to make it special. I remember my grandmother making me a weird concoction when I was sick: milk and alphabet pasta soup. Most of the time I’d only take a few spoonfulls and leave it aside, it was not that flavorful. All this ended the day my grandfather added a couple of spoons of sugar…and the medecine went down… A sweet creamy soup is the best when your throat kills you, your eyes are red and your nose is numb… That moment of my life was the inspiration behind this dessert and so were the three pastry shef mentionned above….what an eclectic cast!
Two of the components of this soup can be prepared ahead of time, over several days except of course for the beignets. By the way, I realized after making those that today was Mardi Gras, how appropriate! I guess that 30 something years of celebrating that day somehow has become part of my being (or is in my DNA).
The soup is served warm, not hot which provides a great contrast to the lemon ice cream. Use the beignets just like you would bread and soak up every bit of it.
Sauternes and Honey Poached Peaches, adapted from Pierre Herme:
Yields 2 cups
4 white peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey (I used fig syrup)
2 cup Sauternes
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the peaches are cooked through. Remove the fruits from the liquid and let cool. Remove the skin and puree in a food processor. Set aside until ready to use.
Lemon Ice Cream, adapted from Lori Longbotham
Yields 1 1/2 quarts
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups fat free half and half (picked up by mistake…not quite awake when I went shopping)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon zest
3/4 cup lemon juice
Bring the cream, half and half, sugar, honey and zesr just to a boil in a saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Slowly temper them by adding the hot cream in a slow stream. Add all of the cream to the yolks and stir until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Stir constantly. It is ready when the cream coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the cream to boil.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the lemon juice and stir until incorporated.
Refrigerate until completely cold and process in an ice cream maker. I did have my ice cream container ready so I poured the custard in a large bowl and froze it. I took it out after a couple of hours and give it a whirl in the Kitchen Aid. I did that twice and achieved a really nice, smooth and light texture.
Ricotta Beignets, adapted from Richard Leach:
1 egg white
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tb. baking powder
zest and juice of one lemon
confectioners sugar for dusting
vegetable oil for frying
Combine all the ingredients except the lemon juice, oil and confectioner’s suagr in an electric mixer and mix until well incorporated.
Heat oil to 325 degrees and deep fry the beignets using a small ice cream scoop, until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. With a spoon, drizzle some lemon juice over them and dust with confectioner’s sugar.
To assemble the dessert:
Heat up the peach soup until warm, scoop some ice cream on top and serve the beignets alongside.
I am not the only one to think February is Soup Month: head over Alanna’s A Veggie Venture and add your favorite recipe to the lot. I figured I could contribute a sweet one and trust me this one rocks!
I also would like to dedicate this post to Yvonne, my favorite Cream Puff, for making me a fabulous cake. You made my day!