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ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER:Doing dessert is as easy as pie

In our (sadly) ongoing series of pandemic-inspired at-home activities, we’ve revealed how to mix a few famous international drinks as well as offering up some delightfully exotic dishes for dinner. Now its time for dessert. So, enjoy these recipes from far-away kitchens – we hope it continues to give you a taste of travel, even if the options to do so are still limited.

Florida sunshine

Key Lime Pie is a long-time favourite for visitors to Florida – and for good reason! However, while this pie can be found all over the State, the Florida Keys is where you’ll find the original recipe. To find out how to make one at home, Kermit Carpenter of the famed Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe, shows how in less than two minutes HERE.

Meanwhile, in Central Florida, home to seemingly endless orchards filled with oranges and grapefruits, it’s no surprise that a variety of creative dishes have emerged at local eateries, such as Grapefruit Pie – a staple at Taste of Florida Café, a family-run company that first opened its doors in 1951 in Haines City and is only open during citrus season (October-May).

Here is a recipe from the café, courtesy of Mary Lang:

Ingredients (serves 8)

• 1 (6 ounce) graham cracker crust
• 2 large or 3 medium red Lang grapefruit, sectioned
• 1 cup sugar3 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1-1/2 cups water1 (3 ounce) package strawberry-flavoured gelatin
• 1 (8 ounce) container frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

Preparation

• Arrange grapefruit sections in graham cracker crust. Set aside.
• In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch.
• Add water and cook over medium heat until thick and clear (15 minutes).
• Add gelatin and stir to dissolve. Let cool slightly.
• Pour gelatin over grapefruit sections in crust.
• Refrigerate until firm (10 minutes).
• Top with whipped topping and serve.

We scream for ice cream (Antigua and Barbuda)

Avocado ice cream

“If you love avocado, this dessert is for you. If you like avocado, this dessert is still for you. If you hate avocado, move on!” writes Wadalivity.com, a name referencing the local name for Antigua. Fortunately, we love avocados. This recipe is also diabetic friendly as it’s 100% sugar-free.

Ingredients (serves 2)

• 2½ cups avocado, frozen
• 1 cup banana, frozen
• 3 Tbsp unsweetened coconut cream
• 2 tsp fresh lime juice (optional)

Preparation

• Place frozen avocado and frozen banana in a blender. Start on a low setting, then gradually increase the speed. Blend until the mixture resembles a thick paste.
• Add coconut cream and lime juice and blend until smooth.
• Scoop and serve immediately.

A piece of cake (Wales)

This much-loved recipe comes straight from The Market Bakery at Abergavenny Market, so if you’re keen to bring a true taste of Wales into your home, look no further than traditional Welsh Cakes, also known as griddle cakes or bakestones. Whatever you care to call them, we suggest trying this recipe, courtesy of Visit Britain:

Ingredients (10-12 cakes)

• 225g (1-4/5 cups) self-raising flour
• 65g (just under 1/4 cup) caster sugar
• 115g (1 stick) margarine/butter
• 1-2 handfuls of sultanas
• 1-2 eggs (as required)

Preparation

• Start by sieving the flour into a bowl and mix together with the margarine or butter.
• Add the sugar and sultanas until combined. Next, add one of the eggs. If the mixture binds well, move on to the next stage. If not, add the second egg and mix until bound.
• Roll the mixture out on a floured board until it is circa 6 mm thick. Using a small round cookie cutter, cut 10-12 round cakes and bake on a greased pan until golden. This will take approximately four to five minutes on a medium heat. Once cooked, dust with caster sugar and enjoy!
• Top tip: The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the cakes – when ready the cakes should feel springy, not wet to the touch.

For other recipes take a look at the Visit Wales dedicated Welsh food page HERE.

Short cut (Scotland)

Lemon lavender shortbread, photo/ Lisa Grellmann

Shortbread is remarkably straight-forward to bake at home. Try this recipe for Lemon Lavender Shortbread, a rich and buttery Scottish biscuit with zesty lemon and a hint of spring.

Ingredients:

• 120g (1 cup) flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 60g (just over 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons lavender
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
• 110g (just under 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pure cane sugar for sprinkling

Preparation:

• Stir the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
• Lightly grind one tablespoon of sugar together with the lavender and lemon peel.
• Pour the lavender mixture, the remaining sugar and the butter into a large bowl and stir until smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
• Add the flour and salt into the mixture and stir until a paste is formed. Shape into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
• Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and put aside. Roll out the dough until it is around 5-6 mm thick. Cut into shapes and place on the prepared sheet.
• Sprinkle with a little cane sugar, then put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3.
• Bake the shortbread for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Let cool on the tray for five minutes. Your shortbread can then be kept in an airtight container for up to five days.

Gingerbread (Germany)

Printen is a special type of gingerbread from Aachen in North-Rhine Westphalia with some variations featuring nuts, almonds, chocolate, or glazed icing sugar on top. This recipe comes from the German tourist board’s Discover Germany from Home web page:

Ingredients (makes approx. 60 cakes)

• 400g golden syrup
• 30 ml water 85 g brown sugar
• 125g candied sugar
• 500g flour
• 15g candied orange peel
• 5g baking soda
• Gingerbread spices: 10g aniseed, 5g coriander and 5g cinnamon – all ground, 2 g allspice, 2 g cloves, 2g cardamom and 2g nutmeg – all ground)
• 5g potash

Preparation

• Heat the golden syrup in a saucepan with 20 ml of water.
• Remove the pan from the heat and add the brown sugar, candied sugar, flour, candied orange peel, baking soda and the gingerbread spices and knead together.
• Finely crush the potash and dissolve in the remaining water to add to the dough.
• Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until approx. 5 mm thick.
• Cut into shapes and place in a greased baking tin that has been sprayed with water.
• Bake the gingerbread in a preheated oven at 180°C for approx. 18 minutes.
• Tip: Decorate the gingerbread cakes with almonds, other nuts or halved candied cherries before baking. Alternatively, cover with dark chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa content) once cool.
• Tip 2: A mature Beerenauslese with aromas of dried mango, fig, honey and spices is the perfect wine accompaniment

A sticky situation (North Carolina)

Pecan Sticky Bun

Thanks to Chef Scott Rowe, co-owner of the The Folkestone Inn in Bryson City, North Carolina, for this decadent family recipe for old-fashioned pecan sticky buns. “They do take a little time to make, but are simple to put together. The reward is definitely worth the effort!” he assures.

Ingredients (one dozen)

• 1 pk (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
• 3/4 cup warm water (110-115°F)
• ¾ cup warm milk (110-115°F)
• ¼ cup sugar
• 3 TBSP vegetable oil
• 2 tsp salt
• 3-¾ – 4-¼ cups all-purpose flour

Filling:

• ¼ cup soft butter
• ¼ cup sugar
• 3 tsp ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup packed brown sugar
• ½ cup heavy whipping cream
• 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preparation

• In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
• Add milk, sugar, oil, salt and 1-¼ cups of the flour.
• Beat on medium speed until smooth.
• Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.
• Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.
• Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an 18” by 12” rectangle.
• Spread butter to within ½ inch of the edges.
• Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter.
• Roll long side of the dough up jelly roll style and pinch to seal. Cut into 12 equal slices.
• Combine brown sugar and cream. Pour into a greased 13”x 9”x 2” baking pan. Sprinkle with pecans.
• Place rolls cut side down over pecans. Cover and let rise until doubled about 1 hour.
• Bake at 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes until well browned. Cool for 2 minutes and then invert entire pan onto a serving plate.

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First published at Travel Industry Today

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