May 22, 2011

Layered Meyer lemon yoghurt dessert

There is something so irresistible in citrus desserts. Alongside with berries, they are my favourite choice for a sweet treat. Knowing this, you probably understand how excited I was when during one of my recent visits to the countryside I was given a big bag full of gorgeously yellow Meyer lemons - picked straight from the tree.

Meyer lemons are sweeter than other lemon varieties and they have a thinner skin with a rounded fruit. The skin is smooth and vibrantly yellow and can be used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. I am a real lemon lover and can eat them on their own or as a hot drink with water and a big dollop of manuka honey. Filled with vitamin C, lemons are also great for alkalising your body.

I got this dessert idea when I was watching Jamie's 30-minute meals the other day. I'm a huge fan of Jamie, as I'm sure many of you are as well. I think what he's been doing in the world of food, especially with kids and school lunches, is just something so inspirational. I also think his food philosophy and approach to cooking is very down to earth and sensible and makes him easy to love and admire.

This dessert is easy to adapt to a gluten-free or dairy-free diet. You could use rolled rice or coconut flakes and replace the yoghurt with silken tofu or dairy-free yoghurt. You could even use oranges instead of Meyer lemons and sweeten the yoghurt with maple syrup or raw honey. This had a perfect sweetness for my taste and it was a delicious treat on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Layered Meyer lemon yoghurt dessert
(serves 2)


1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup rolled spelt
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs
1 tablespoon raw natural vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 pitted dates
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil

::Meyer lemon yoghurt::

500g natural, pot-set, yoghurt
zest of 2 Meyer lemons, grated
juice of 1/4 Meyer lemon
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Manuka honey

grated zest of 1/2 Meyer lemon, extra, for serving
fresh mint, for serving

1. Place the yoghurt in a sieve lined with muslin, placed on top of a bowl, and leave to drain for 1-2 hours.

2. Place the rolled oats, spelt, almonds, cacao nibs, vanilla sugar and cinnamon in a large frying pan and toast for a few minutes or until browned. (Be careful not to burn it!)

3. Pour the mixture into a  bowl of a food processor and ground until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the dates and the coconut oil and continue to ground until the mixture starts to come together. Spoon the mixture into serving glasses or jars and flatten the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

4. Flavour the drained yoghurt with the zest and the juice of Meyer lemons (or oranges), vanilla and honey. Spoon the mixture on top of the chilled bases (which should have hardened in the fridge). Serve with extra grated lemon zest and fresh mint.