Northwest NEWS

May 14, 2001

Home & Garden

*

Dining In: Just desserts

Sweetheart
   Berry Pie
   For the pie:
   2 c. fresh strawberries, plus 18 strawberries
   1/2 c. sugar
   3 Tbsp. cornstarch
   1/2 c. water
  
   2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
   1 prepared frozen 9-inch pie crust, thawed and baked in a tart pan according to package directions
   For the Decorations:
   3 oz. white chocolate morsels
   red food coloring
   orange peel
   Using a knife, carefully hull the strawberries, then slice them in half. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; mix well. Add 2 c. strawberries. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash strawberries coarsely.
   Add water and lemon juice. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely
   Remove cooled crust from tart pan and spoon berry mixture into crust. Arrange remaining strawberries in concentric circles over the filling.
   Making the Decorations:
   In the top of a double boiler set over simmering, not boiling, water. Melt chocolate. Pour onto a cookie sheet and smooth to an 1/8 inch thickness.
   Using a toothpick, apply dots of red food coloring over white chocolate, then swirl through chocolate to achieve a marbled effect.
   Let cool until chocolate is set, but not hard. Using a cookie cutter, press 3 heart shapes. Refrigerate until chocolate is hard. Remove hearts and place on top of pie. Garnish with orange peel.
  
   Apple Streusel Pie
   Filling:
   5 c. peeled apples, thinly sliced
   2 tsp. lemon juice
   1/4-1/3 c. sugar
   3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
   1 tsp. grated lemon rind
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/4 tsp. nutmeg
   1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
   Topping:
   1/4-1/3 c. packed brown sugar
   3 Tbsp. rolled oats (not quick or instant types)
   3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1 Tbsp. soft margarine
   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
   To prevent apple slices from darkening, toss with lemon juice as soon as they are cut.
   Combine sugar with lemon rind, flour and spices. Sprinkle over apples and stir until apples are well coated.
   Prepare topping by combining brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. With a fork and knife, cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly.
   Spoon apple filling into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle topping over filling. Bake about 60 minutes or until top is golden and apples are tender.
   Remove and cool on wire rack. Pie may be eaten while still warm or stored in refrigerator until ready to serve. Bring chilled pie to room temperature before serving.
   Makes 8 servings.
  
   One Bowl Double Lemon Squares
   1 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 c. cold butter, cut into pieces
   1/2 c. powdered sugar
   3 tsp. grated lemon peel, divided
   1/2 tsp. salt
   3/4 c. granulated sugar
   2 large eggs
   1/4 c. lemon juice
   Sifted powdered sugar (optional)
   Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, butter, powdered sugar, 1 tsp. of lemon peel and salt in bowl. Beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Pat evenly into 8-inch square baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until set.
   In same bowl, combine granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice and remaining 2 tsp. lemon peel; beat 30 seconds. Pour mixture evenly over warm crust. Return to oven; bake 20 minutes or until center is set and edges are golden brown. Remove pan to wire rack, cool completely. Cut into squares; sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
  
   Crunchy
   Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies
   1/2 c. egg whites, about 4 large
   1-3/4 c. sugar
   2 tsp. vanilla
   3/4 c. chocolate chips
   1-1/4 c. rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure that a deep bowl and mixing beaters used to whip egg whites are completely clean and dry. Using a hand mixer, beat whites until soft peaks form.
   Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating 10 minutes. Mixture will be like grainy marshmallow. Blend in vanilla. Mix in chocolate chips, then oats.
   Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Drop batter in heaping tsp. onto foil, leaving 1-1/2 inches between cookies.
   Bake 20 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and firm to the touch.
   Slip the aluminum foil with the cookies onto a rack and let stand until completely cool. Peel cookies gently from foil. Store in air-tight containers.
   Makes 10 servings.
  
   Quick Citrus Crisp
   1 c. orange juice
   1 Tbsp. cornstarch
   1/2 sp. ground cinnamon
   2 Tbsp. honey
   4 c. assorted oranges, grapefruit and tangerine sections, seeded
   1 c. frozen unsweetened, pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved
   1-1/2 c. low-fat granola (without raisins)
   Preheat oven to 375.
   In a small saucepan combine orange juice, cornstarch and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in the honey.
   Place citrus sections and cherries in a 2-quart square baking dish. Pour hot sauce over fruit. Sprinkle with granola. Bake for 10 minutes.
   Makes 6 servings.