I like to play this game whenever I go out to restaurants with my friends. As soon as we get the dessert menu, we each have to guess what the others would get. That’s the end of the game. It doesn’t sound like much of a game, really, but it really is! It is about how well you know each other, what kinds of tastes you prefer, and most of all, once the desserts have been ordered, who was right about picking the best one! (That’s my favorite part of the game).
Actually, winning is my favorite part. It happens so rarely that I really like to make the win last as long as possible. The last time I won was at one of my favorite restaurants, and I knew exactly what I wanted for dessert. It was a fancy yogurt mousse decorated with different kinds of cooked apricots. It sounded absolutely delicious: creamy, and fruity and light and just lovely. That’s all I wanted.
The looks I got from my friends when they realized that the yogurt dessert would have to take up space at our table were not pleasant. But it was by far the favorite choice (I won!). It was everything that a summer dessert should be. We ordered extras.
I have been trying out recipes that resemble that dessert ever since, and this is the closest I’ve gotten. Go run out and make this while apricots are still in season! And then make this yogurt mousse with every other fruit until the end of summer, and then with honey and walnuts in the fall, and cranberries in the winter, because, this is the winning dessert, my friends. Did I mention that?
Cardamom Yogurt Mousse with Apricots (adapted from Serious Eats)
So, in full disclosure, this wasn’t exactly the texture I would have liked for it to be. But this isn’t the recipe’s fault. It’s my own. I couldn’t find any (vegetarian) gelatin out there, so had to go for the (vegetarian) pectin instead. And alas, I ended up with lumps rather than the smooth, luscious mousse I was hoping for. I have no doubt that gelatin will work very well. So find that, will you? Another point: I liked the cardamom in this, it’s true. But I think that vanilla would just be a cleaner flavor and let the yogurt and apricot flavors shine through more. Next time, I will go with that. You should add any spice or flavoring as you please. Also, how about some toasted pistachios or pecans on top?! Food for thought.
2 tsp. powdered gelatin
1/3 cup honey
2 egg whites
3/4 cup cream
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (2% or whole milk yogurt)
1/2 tsp. cardamom
pinch of salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. flour
pinch of cardamom
For the apricots: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare fruit by placing in an 8×8 square baking dish, or 9 inch round pan. In the dish, stir in sugar, flour and pinch of nutmeg, until everything is well-distribuited. Bake for about 25 minutes until apricots are soft and jam like. Put aside to cool.
For the mousse: Pour 1/4 cup water in a small pot and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Set aside for five minutes. Put the pot over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves. Whisk in the honey and continue whisking until the honey is thinned and the whole mixture is pourable.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until they are stiff. Scrape the meringue out to a separate bowl. In the same bowl, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Mix in the yogurt. Beat in the cardamom and the salt. Then slowly drizzle in the honey mixture until everything is well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula.
Place a spoonful of the apricots in 6 serving cups until all of the apricots have been used. Spread the mousse on top and chill completely, about 1-2 hours.