April 16, 2010

Kiwi, Pistachio and Mint Trifle

Kiwi, Pistachio and Mint Trifle

This is probably one of the messiest and ill-formed recipes I've made in a while. It's a big pile of sticky, creamy, wet dessert. Sounds good, right?

For starters, I didn't have the right-sized pan (5x12-inch terrine mold - who has that?), but I thought my 9x5-inch loaf pan would be fine for the 9x3-inch version suggested. Secondly, the recipe doesn't say which kind of ladyfingers to use: apparently, and I never knew this, there are the "soft" kind and the "hard" kind. I've used the hard kind before when making tiramisu, but I could only find the soft, cakey kind in my local grocery store. I don't think this made much of a difference, since the point of the ladyfingers is to soak up the moisture in the recipe...but still. My third problem with this recipe was the fruit amounts: 3 "large" bananas and 8 kiwis are sliced. For some reason, I ended up with too few banana and too many kiwi slices. Finally, this thing barely fit in the pan I used (which makes me wonder how all of this was supposed to fit in a smaller pan. I had to improvise with the final layer, unless I wanted yogurt and fruit spilling everywhere.

I let this sit in the fridge overnight, hoping the ladyfingers would get soaked, thus condensing the size. But no, it was still sitting right up at the top of the pan, and even the top layer of ladyfingers seemed to be the same consistency. Slicing didn't work, of course; hence the fact that I had to scoop it out and eat it in a bowl.

Now the first semi-plus of this review: the taste was good. Not great. Just good. I think my kiwis may have been slightly underripe, but their firm tartness combined with the soft banana, cakey ladyfingers, and creamy vanilla yogurt was a nice contrast. Even the toasted pistachios (okay, mine were a little TOO toasty) added a nice unexpected savory crunch. The fruit was tossed with a mixture of lime juice and honey, and those two different sour and sweet elements were definitely present and heightened the flavor. The mint was a slightly odd combination with the yogurt...something about it just didn't pair well, but overall it wasn't a big deal.

Make again? Unfortunately, I'll probably be getting rid of most of this. I think it would be great for breakfast or a light dessert, but it's gonna need some work first. Good luck trying to build this!

Vegan variation: Use soy yogurt.

Kiwi, Pistachio and Mint Trifle
Vegetarian Times, March 2006

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