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Crappy Little Kitchen?

Published: March 24, 2010

“Just because you cook in a crappy little kitchen does not justify a crappy meal!” In a new cookbook, Chef Jennifer Schaertl tackles the myths about gourmet cooking and shows home cooks how to make fun and delectable meals despite the lack of counter space and high-tech, expensive appliances. Try this no-bake dessert—no trendy gadgets required.

Fig and Lavender Honey Yogurt Pie

Fig and Lavender Honey Yogurt Pie

Recipe from Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens by Jennifer Schaertl
(HCI Books; April 2010; Trade paperback/$18.95)

Serves 10 to 12

  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 cup lavender honey
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 12 purple mission figs, quartered lengthwise

<em>Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens</em> by Jennifer Schaertl.  Available now from HCI Books.

Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens by Jennifer Schaertl. Available now from HCI Books.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, oats, brown sugar, and salt until moistened. Press into bottom of 6-inch spring form pan and half way up sides (or press crumb mixture into 9-inch pie pan), packing tightly with your fingertips so it is even and compacted.

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small sauté pan and let soften for 2 minutes. Whisk together yogurt and honey in medium-size bowl. Set small sauté pan over the lowest flame possible while stirring constantly, just until it melts. Whisk melted gelatin into yogurt mixture until smooth.

Whip heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold half of whipped cream into yogurt mixture, taking care not to deflate cream. Now fold last of whipped cream into yogurt mixture. Gently spoon mixture into prepared spring form pan, then cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely set, at least 6 hours and up to one day.

Hold small knife under hot tap water, and then run it along sides of pie to help release it from pan. Open the spring and slice pie into wedges. Serve each slice on dessert plate. Place 2 pieces of fig on top of each slice, and scatter a few fig pieces on plate. Serve ice cold.

Swap It:
You can substitute low-fat “Greek-style” yogurt in this recipe with fantastic results. It has a thicker, creamier consistency than regular yogurt because it has been strained to remove the excess liquid.

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