Monday, January 30, 2023

By Gini Rainey

I might have mentioned recently that my husband and I took a lovely trip to Paris for our anniversary.  If you follow me on Facebook, you might also have seen a lot of the wonderful meals we ate while there. But if not, I’ll let you know right here and now that we found a little street a few blocks from our hotel that has limited vehicular traffic and is lined with sidewalk cafés galore!  One café in particular definitely caught our fancy, and we found ourselves gravitating to it more than once to enjoy their delicious food!  Sitting elbow to elbow with other people who were also dining there, we consumed an inordinate amount of crusty French bread, red wine, pasta, and tiramisu!

Let me tell you, their tiramisu is to die for!  Seriously!  And, lest you get it stuck in your head, as I did, that tiramisu can only be made with coffee, I’d like to introduce you to an amazing change of pace that uses raspberries.  You all know how much I love raspberries, don’t you?  Well, the tiramisu we were introduced to at Café Central in Paris was like one of the most airy and light parfaits I’ve ever put in my mouth and layered between the crunchies and the parfait was the most delightful raspberry sauce ever.  Just give this girl raspberry sauce and she’s happy!

Now that we are back in the good ol’ USA, I wanted to be sure I could figure out how to make this dessert because it’s too far to walk down the street to Café Central from our house!  For my version of this great dessert, I’m going to be using a recipe for the raspberry sauce out of “The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook” that was published in 2000 by The Martha Stewart Living Magazine and is a collection of 1,200 recipes, helpful hints and suggestions.

The Red Raspberry Sauce recipe will make about ¾ cup of sauce, so adjust accordingly if you want to make more.  This sauce will freeze nicely and would be a great thing to have on hand for unexpected company.  To make the sauce combine 1 pint of raspberries, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt in a small, nonreactive saucepan over low heat.  Cook until the berries release their juice and just start to break down – about 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to press the berries through a fine sieve and discard the solids.

Now, for the parfait, whisk 2 egg yolks with ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar.  Add 8 ounces of mascarpone and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and mix well.  In another bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the mascarpone mixture.  If you would like to layer your parfaits with lady fingers, brush 12 lady fingers with a mixture of 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then using small serving glasses, start with a layer of the lady fingers, a layer of the raspberry sauce, a layer of the mascarpone and repeat layers.  Garnish with raspberries and chill for a least 3 hours before serving.  What I think I will be doing is rolling a couple of biscotti cookies into crumbs and sprinkling the crumbs between layers and also as a garnish on top.  If you decide to use the biscotti instead of lady fingers, refrigerate the mascarpone mixture until just prior to serving and then assemble in layers to keep the biscotti crunchy.  This should make 6 servings of total yum!  Oh, and just one more thing, save some for me!

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