Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dairy-free pineapple mousse in a phyllo pastry shell

When I have friends over for dinner and one of them is allergic to some particular food, I always feel uncomfortable. I guess I’m just scared that something I prepare might make them sick. So, anyway, a couple of days ago I had to cook dinner without dairy products as a friend of mine is allergic. It is normally no problem, there are plenty of things that do not require milk or other dairy products. When it comes to dessert, however, it always a little bit of a challenge and I don’t like to make the same dessert twice and I like to try out new things. Luckily, my friend is understanding and when the new things I prepare turn out to be total disasters, he does not complain. This is what I came up with.

Pineapple mousse in a phyllo pastry shell

Phyllo dough, thawed
400 g fresh pineapple flesh
200 g Italian meringue (see below for recipe)
1 vanilla pod
rice oil

Cut the pineapple into small pieces and put them in a pan. Cover with water, a little rum, the scrapings from a vanilla pod and a little honey – I am not writing quantities as they depend on how ripe your pineapple is, I added about 2 tablespoons. Bring to the boil and let everything dry out. Let cool.

In the meantime, prepare the Italian meringue: put 150 g sugar and 40 g water into a small pan and bring to 121°C/250°F. Meanwhile, in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, start beating 80 g egg whites on a low/medium speed (I normally start beating when the thermometer reads 109°C/228°F). With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup onto the egg whites and beat on a high speed until the mixture has cooled. Do not overbeat. You’ll need 200 g, so you’ll have a little left over.

Prepare the phyllo shells: Grease the inside of 6 muffin tins with some rice oil. Take out 2 phyllo dough leaves for each muffin tin. Work one tin at a time, leaving the rest of the dough covered in plastic wrap as phyllo dough dries out quickly. Brush each layer with rice oil and put them in the muffin tin, shaping the dough in the same form as the tin itself. When all of the tins are ready, bake them at 190°C/374°F until golden brown. Let cool.

Finish the pineapple mousse: Transfer the pineapple mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve for a nicer texture as pineapple tends to be fibrous and thready. Carefully, fold in Italian meringue.

Assemble everything: Spoon mousse inside the cold phyllo pastry shells and serve not immediately, but soon – phyllo pastry does not tolerate humidity well.


Kate / Kajal said...

this is a wonderful idea. Love the phyllo cups, can use it for almost anything.Also cooking for people with allergies can be tough. I get nervous too :)

BetsyDrake said...

Thanks, Kate. I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling nervous on these occasions... Other people I know are so cool about it, I really don't know how they do it :)
I'll go take a peek at your blog now :) Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!