Stir Crazy: The dessert edition

Weekday dessert inspiration: Low-Cal Frozen Pumpkin Pie Mousse and more

Mon | Dessert on a stick

Make Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas by threading chunks of banana on bamboo skewers and freezing them until firm. Melt dark chocolate (not baking or semisweet) in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Dip the frozen bananas into the chocolate and then roll in festive sprinkles. Refreeze until chocolate is set.

Tues | Grilled fruit

Grilled Pineapple With Frozen Yogurt is a sweet ending that's good enough for company. Brush fresh pineapple rings with vegetable oil. Preheat grill to high. Place rings on grate and grill until tender, flipping halfway through cooking, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Place warm pineapple in bowl and top with frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with chopped, toasted pecans if you'd like.

Wed | The eggs come last

For the first time since this column started in 2008, you won't be getting a rotisserie chicken idea for Wednesday. The bird returns next week, and until then, think eggs, well, egg custard. Making it from scratch is more than most Stir Crazies can do on hump day so buy a container of Kozy Shack custard and plate with a drizzle of dulce de leche sauce.

Thurs | Early Thanksgiving

Okay, it's not Turkey Day, but make this Low-Cal Frozen Pumpkin Pie Mousse (recipe below) as a test-run for the holiday. Sort of nice to have a fall dessert, especially if it's a cold one, this time of year. The crust is made of gingersnaps, raisins and a wee bit of oil. The raisins take the place of melted butter in this pressed crust. Clever. Also, make sure you buy 100 percent pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.

Fri | A sweet toast

Boozy Berry Pound Cake is my fast go-to dessert for a busy weeknight. Clean, trim and slice strawberries and douse with Grand Marnier or Cointreau. (You can use orange juice instead.) If the berries aren't sweet enough for you, add a bit of sweetener — real sugar or a substitute. Let mixture meld in the refrigerator for about an hour so that the berries release liquid. Spoon boozy berries over slices of store-bought pound cake and whipped topping.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com and (727) 893-8586.

>>MODERATE

Low-Cal Frozen Pumpkin Pie Mousse

For the crust:

30 small gingersnap cookies, (about 7 ½ ounces)

2 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoon canola oil

For the filling:

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

cup packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened (see note)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.

To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.

Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Note: To soften ice cream quickly, microwave on medium-low for 30 to 60 seconds.

Nutritional information per serving: 230 calories, 5g fat, 42g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 2g fiber and 179mg sodium.

Source: EatingWell magazine

Weekday dessert inspiration: Low-Cal Frozen Pumpkin Pie Mousse and more 08/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 4:30am]

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