Friday, 19 August 2011

Cherry-Apricot Yogurt Sundaes with Maple Granola Brittle...

1/3 cup sugar 
1/2 cup water 
5 fresh bay leaves, halved lengthwise, or 2 large dried California bay leaves 
2 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh lemon zest 
2 (3- by 1-inch) strips fresh orange zest 
6 fresh apricots 
1 lb fresh cherries (preferably Royal Ann or Rainier) 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
2 cups plain yogurt (preferably Greek)

     Simmer sugar, water, bay leaves, and zests in a 1-quart heavy saucepan 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes. 
     While syrup steeps, halve apricots lengthwise and remove pits. Run a paring knife crosswise around each cherry, touching pit, then twist cherry halves to separate. Remove pits with tip of knife. 
     Toss apricots and cherries with lemon juice in a large shallow bowl. Return syrup to a boil, then pour over fruit, tossing to coat. Cover and let stand, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes. Put 1/3 cup yogurt on each of 6 plates and serve with fruit.

Maple granola brittle:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
1/2 cup whole almonds (2 1/2 oz) 
1/2 cup pecans (2 oz) 
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (2 oz) 
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (2 1/2 oz) 
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest 
1 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup pure maple syrup 
1/2 cup fresh orange juice 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, softened

     Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. 
     Spread oats, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds in an even layer in a large shallow baking pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until oats are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with pumpkin seeds and zest. 
     Line a baking sheet with nonstick liner. Cook brown sugar, syrup, juice, and salt in a 4- to 6-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon (be careful not to splash or splatter while stirring; mixture will become extremely hot), until it registers 290°F on thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in butter until melted (mixture will thicken and become opaque), then quickly add nut mixture and stir until coated well. Immediately pour onto liner, then cover mixture with a sheet of parchment paper. 
     Roll out brittle as thin as possible with a rolling pin. Carefully peel off parchment paper and discard (don’t worry if some caramel sticks to parchment). 
     Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Break brittle into large pieces.

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