Lemon yogurt pot for one
Eton Mess is a glorious concoction of strawberries, whipped cream and meringues that tastes divine. Sylvia Tan provides a more healthful and low fat version of the recipe.
Only the English could have come up with this sweet idea. Take fresh strawberries, add whipped cream and break a whole lot of meringues over it. You then dunk your spoon into this mess to stir it up before you eat a mouthful of a sweet, tart and rich confection. And let me assure you, it tastes better than it sounds.
In fact, I have never forgotten my first taste of Eton Mess, as it is called, although I really do not like too much cream in anything.
Anyway, in my drive to find low-fat desserts, I decided to make Eton Mess less harmful.
So I substituted low-fat yogurt for the cream, added lemon curd for a lemony fragrance and tartness, some mandarin segments for freshness and finally, meringues to give a crunch to everything.
And it worked.
I got a light, aromatic yet richly-satisfying dessert, despite the low-fat options. Of course, the lemon curd, made with eggs, butter and sugar, is not low fat, but I use only a dribble of it.
Instead, you can gloat over the healthful yogurt that forms the bulk of this lemon pot and the fresh fruit that is added as well, adding not only colour and taste, but also fibre and vitamin C to it.
Yogurt, which dates back more than 4,000 years, is milk that has been fermented and curdled with the addition of 'friendly' bacteria. It is these bacteria that give yogurt its tartness and texture.
Thanks also to these friendly bacteria, especially acidophilus, yogurt is believed to reduce the risk of intestinal infection by harmful organisms such as salmonella and E coli and to improve digestion for those who are lactose-intolerant.
For these reasons alone, my yogurt-loving friends will eat a cup a day, and probably less for the fact that they are also downing 400mg of calcium in every cup, 8g of protein, as much potassium as a banana, as well as riboflavin (vitamin B?), phosphorus and magnesium.
While I am not as assiduous about my yogurt consumption, I like to use it as a substitute for cream or butter in recipes simply because it is healthier and yet has that wonderful creamy feel that so many of us love.
When cooking yogurt, just make sure that you treat it gently, heating it only over low heat. I like to just stir it in at the end of the recipe so that the healthy bacteria are not destroyed. Which reminds me, the best yogurt will have only live cultures and milk (full cream or skimmed) on the list of ingredients. The longer the list of ingredients, the more calories and fillers you get and the less of yogurt nutrition.
In this recipe, the only two less than healthful additions are meringues and lemon curd. Add more or less of each depending on how strict you are about your diet.
You should know, however, that meringues are made from beaten egg white and sugar. They can be made from scratch, of course, but can also be bought packed in boxes in gourmet supermarkets. You can also opt for macaroons (which add almonds to the mix) from local pastry shops, which sell them by the piece.
Ditto for the lemon curd. You could make it by breaking eggs, sugar, butter and lemon juice into a pot and stirring it over a pot of simmering water till it turns into a curd - or you could buy it.
Guess which option I chose?
Lemon yogurt pot for one
» Spoon out enough yogurt to fill a third of the glass. Add a swirl of lemon curd. Fill up with another layer of yogurt.
» Add orange segments, deseeded and, if preferred, cut into smaller pieces. Top with meringue, crumbled.
» Serve at once and instruct guests to mix everything together before plunging in with a spoon.
This is an easy dessert to prepare for a dinner party as it requires only assembly and is healthy (well, relatively) to boot.
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