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Monday, September 14, 2015

CREAMY PEAR/ORANGE SORBET AND EXPERIMENTS WITH FRUIT FOCACCIA

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This weekend I had to use up some ripe pears and plums that came our way, but I didn't want to make anything too rich and laden with fat and sugar.  

With the prune plums I had, I decided to make one of our favorite treats, which I mentioned on this blog before-- plum focaccia.  It does have sugar in it, but very little-- just a bit sprinkled on top of the fruit to bring out the juices as it bakes.

I made a HUGE focaccia one this time-- in  a 17" x 12" rimmed baking sheet.  I usually make fruit focaccia with my Crusty Artisan Bread dough from my book "World Vegan Feast", but I decided to try making a no-knead dough out of the Apulian Potato Focaccia recipe from that same book. This amounted to simply adding 1 1/3 cups more water to the dough, letting it rise for a few hours on the kitchen counter, then refrigerating it for a few more hours before using.



I spread the mass of dough over the oiled baking sheet to fit and then preheated the oven to 475 degrees F while I pitted and quartered the plums and arranged them in rows over the dough.  So the dough only rose for about 20 minutes before going into the hot oven.  I sprinkled organic unbleached granulated sugar liberally over the plums and baked it for about 30 minutes. 

Unfortunately, I think there was too much dough for the pan-- it rose well, but I found the focaccia too thick and not crispy enough around the edges.  I probably should have just made the kneaded version, or I could have divided the dough into two thinner focaccia in two smaller baking sheets. (Mind you, we have had no problem eating this delicious treat, even if it isn't perfection!)

In any case, if you want to try this, I have made it many times before using various no-knead pizza doughs and crusty bread doughs.  Next time, I am going to make it with one of my whole-grain flatbread doughs (see this post  [3/4 whole wheat] and this one [100% whole wheat])-- both make great pizza, so focaccia should be no problem! 



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With the ripe pears that needed to be used, I decided on a light sorbet, but it had to be a simple one because I didn't have any liqueur or cider, or even wine, in the house, which I like to add to fruit sorbets.

I used less sugar than I normally do because the pears were quite sweet, and I added some orange juice that I had in the freezer as part of the liquid.  The resulting sorbet has a clean, simple taste that we enjoyed, and I hope you will, too.



Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S SIMPLE, CREAMY ORANGE & PEAR SORBET
Servings: 10
Yield: 5 cups
This so easy and it's the perfect way to use up excess ripe pears without lots of calories and fat!
NOTE: You could use 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1/2 cup if you prefer sweeter, and you can achieve a more pronounced orange flavor if you use the optional orange zest and/or orange liqueur.

3 cups peeled, cored, diced ripe pears
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
1/2 cup light organic granulated sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp guar or xanthan gum
Optional:
1 Tbs grated orange zest
1 Tbs orange or pear liqueur

Puree all of the ingredients in a blender until very smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it according to directions for your machine.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving):
 80 calories, less than 1 calorie from fat,less than1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1.3mg sodium, 115.7mg potassium, 20.8g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 17g sugar, less than 1g protein.

Enjoy!


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