Apricot Tart with Rose Geranium Yogurt Mousse

In June, when we find plenty of lovely local apricots, we buy quite a lot and after eating the more ripe ones, we usually halve, pit and roast the rest, then freeze them to have at hand and make tarts, or top a flat bread, complementing them with spicy smoked cheese.

 

Make the mousse a day ahead, or even a couple of days before. When you are about to serve the dessert, assemble the pre-baked puff pastry and serve the mousse on the side.  

 

Serves 6-8   (more…)

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Flooded with Intensely Aromatic Roses

This year we are flooded with intoxicatingly aromatic roses, as Costas managed to multiply the first Rosa Damascena we transplanted from a late neighbor’s garden.

Now we have three thriving plants, and lots of roses to make Rose Petal Jam and the light rose-scented Yogurt Mousse flavored with it. Later when our guests come, we will offer them my refreshing Pomegranate and Rose Petal Granita everyone loves. 

 

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I also dry the fragrant petals –spread on clean towels all over the house– to use later in my herbal teas and in home-made Eastern Mediterranean spice mixes.

 

2a-roses-bowl2-small5-rose-petals-jam-plate-small2-rose-petal-jar1-small (more…)

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Moustokouloura: Grape must cookies

Much like Orange Koulourakia Cookies, you can get moustokouloura (grape must cookies) in the bakeries and in many homes all over Greece all year-round these days. They are made from grape must, the juice of grapes that is used to make house wine, something that used to be done in most parts of the country.

The cookies are deep-flavored and delicious. The grape must is boiled down to become thick petimezi (grape molasses) an pantry item in most traditional homes. Syrupy petimezi is diluted with an equal amount of water to make the cookies.

 

Grape must cookies, right, and Orange Koulourakia, left. 

 

The sweetness of the petimezi determines their taste, as moustokouloura have no additional sugar.  Commercial moustokouloura are usually large, but the homemade ones are smaller.

See also the Ginger and Grape Molasses cookies, my variation of the Ginger Snap ones.

To get 2 1/2 cups traditional petimezi (grape molasses) you need to simmer for about 1 hour or more 2 ½ kilos (5 pounds) grape juice. But to achieve the taste of my favorite island moustokouloura, made in August with the local fresh grape must, or with thinned down petimezi (grape molasses), I boil ordinary grape juice with sultanas and/or currents, and the result is great (see Note).

 

Makes about 3 dozen large cookies (more…)

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