Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
So I was thinking of trying to a test run of a dessert which I was planning for the holiday meal. As I had mentioned earlier, I thought a yogurt parfait in champagne glasses might be the perfect way to end the meal. Part of the idea came from Chef Adam’s comment about using the left over balsamic black pepper ‘syrup’ marinated fruit in greek yogurt. What I wanted to achieve was a dessert that had a ‘rainbow’ effect. The dessert would begin with dark hues of the black/blueberries on the bottom, a layer of white yogurt, then the middle layer of Ming Tsai’s Pineapple Salsa, another layer of yogurt and then red hues of the the strawberries/raspberries all topped off with some crunchy granola (thank you Chef Tsai – assembly idea originated from Simply Ming, Tropical Fruit Yogurt Parfait, p 266,267). So what I needed to do was scale down Chef Tsai’s Pineapple Salsa recipe (Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking (p. 246, 247)). The microbatch version would be:
1/2 c + 1/16 c (1 T) 1/4″ diced pineapple
2 1/2 t orange juice
1/16 t white pepper
3/4t pink peppercorns (garnish)
The recipe called for searing the pineapple in a medium non-stick saucepan on high heat (stirring) for about 1 minute; then
reducing heat to medium. It seemed to me I could also roast the diced pineapples for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees
(http://www.marthastewart.com/339705/roasted-pineapple) and then transfer the results to a normal pan. At that point, I
would have to add the orange juice and white pepper. To finish the salsa required cooking the entire mixture until the
pineapple is tender/firm (around 3-5 minutes). I then could reserve and keep the salsa warm until dessert assembly.
The other thought I had was to use 3 T of Chef Tsai’s Three Vinegar Syrup + 1 t black pepper + 1/4 c of the brown sugar to marinate a bowl of the dark berries and another bowl of the red berries. And now it was just a matter of assembling the dessert.
So into the bottom of the champagne glass went a bit of the marinated blueberry and blackberries. Then I spooned in a layer of the plain yogurt and then on top of that a layer of the pineapple salsa. To finish the assembly, I then added another layer of yogurt and then the marinated raspberries/strawberries garnished with a little granola.
As far as assembling the dessert goes, I think I will have to cut the blackberries so they are the same size as the blueberries. Similarly, I would have to cut strawberries so they match the size of the raspberries. In that way, it would be easier to construct uniform layers of fruit and yogurt. Upon tasting the dessert, my wife nodded in approval and we both agreed that the treated fruit matched the yogurt nicely. I think it’s also important to note that if we had completely ripe sweet fruit, the vinegars, white/black peppers would definitely help contrast the sweetness. Aside from possibly making a slightly larger batch of pineapple salsa, I think the only other thing I would do is to make sure the vinegar marinade was strained away from the fruit (reserving a little to garnish the dessert). All in all, I think I would definitely make this again. I’m now convinced I have my dessert offering for the Thanksgiving holidays.