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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TASTE
Use those avocados, lemons, figs


By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Food Editor

Here's a whip-together spread you can make at the last minute when company drops by. The following two recipes are from "Hawaii Cooks from the Garden" by Maili Yardley (Mutual Publishing, 1997).

AVOCADO SPREAD

• 4 avocados, mashed with a fork or pureed

• 1 (1‹ ounces) envelope dried onion soup

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1/4 cup sour cream

Combine all; mix together. Cover and chill. Makes 3 1/4 cups. Serve with crackers, bagel chips or toasted baguettes.

Per serving (about 2 tablespoons): 50 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

This rich and unusual treatment for avocados could be a starter, a dessert served with cookies or wafers, or even a between-course treat for a light meal. Use a variety of avocado that is smooth, not stringy.

AVOCADO CREAM

• 1 ripe avocado (about 8 ounces after being peeled and seeded; you may need to use 2 if they're small)

• Juice of 1/4 lime or lemon

• 3 teaspoons superfine sugar (bakers' sugar)

• 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Process avocado until it's smooth. Add citrus and sugar. Add cream and pour into serving cups and chill at least one hour. Makes 2-4 servings.

Per serving: 115 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 27 g sugar, 4 g protein, 15 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugar

This is a composite of two recipes from different cookbooks also by Yardley. It can be made with regular lemons or Meyer lemons; the puddinglike mixture somehow turns itself into two layers cake and a creamy layer.

MEYER LEMON CAKE TOP PUDDING

• 1 tablespoon melted butter

• 1/2 cup sugar

• Pinch of salt

• 2 tablespoons flour

• 2 well-beaten egg yolks

• 3/4 cup lemon juice

• 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

• 1 cup scalded milk

• 2 stiffly beaten egg whites

• Garnish: confectioners' sugar or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 1 1/4-quart casserole. Place it in a large, deep pan. In a separate saucepan, put some water on to simmer.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, sugar, salt and flour. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel and milk. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole. Place the casserole in the large pan. Pour warm water around the casserole and place in 325-degree oven for 35 minutes to an hour, until fully set (the time can vary). Serve warm, not hot. Top with confectioners sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

Variation: You can pour the batter into buttered ramekins for individual servings. You still need to place these in a bain marie (hot water bath).

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 210 calories, 19 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 190 calories, 7 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol

If you're lucky enough to get your hands on some fresh figs, try this simple, unusual preparation, which can either serve as a starter or a dessert. Cut the figs in half lengthwise, sprinkle lightly with brown sugar, place them in an oil-sprayed baking pan and broil for 3-4 minutes. Then top each with a dollop of soft ricotta cheese that's been drizzled with a little honey (taste to be sure it's neither too sweet or too bland) and a few drops of vanilla extract. Garnish with fresh mint and serve. (See my blog, http://www.myislandplate.honadvblogs .com, for more on how to make a fig garnish for meats or fish.)