Rains are here and so is the delicious, heart-shaped and juicy Litchi. Litchi season roughly stretches from mid-May to June-end. It has a very short shelf life of just four days after plucking if not stored in refrigerated conditions. So litchi lovers are in for a good time. The heart-shaped fruit is not only rich in taste, but also possesses high levels of vitamins B, C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and several other minerals. It has anti-ageing properties too. Here I share a few mouth-watering litchi recipes.
- Litchi Pudding
- Milkmaid – ½ tin
- Milk – 400 ml
- Lychee – 1 can
- Fresh cream – 200 ml
- Gelatin – 5 tsp
- Drain the lychees from the can. This will be about 1 1/2 cups of lychees.
- Crush the lychees in the mixer.
- Beat the milkmaid, milk and fresh cream using egg beater. Mix in the lychees.
- Soak the gelatine in 5tbsp water. Leave it for 5 min for the gelatine to bloom. Add 5 tbsp warm water and stir with a fork till the gelatine completely dissolves
- Add the gelatine to the milk mixture
- Pour in a bowl or individual cups and refrigerate for 4- 5 hrs. Serve cold.
- Litchi Cheesecake
- 30 ounces of canned peeled litchis, drained and juice reserved (see Note)
- 1/2 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar, divided use
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided use
- 8 sheets phyllo dough
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 12 ounces (1-1/2 large blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Fresh litchis and sliced kiwifruit for garnish
- Prepare Litchi Sauce:
In a small saucepan, boil the reserved litchi juice, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 3/4 cup. In a food processor or blender, puree the drained canned lichis. Combine lichi puree with 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate sauce.
- Make Cheesecake Flowers:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 12 (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.
Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or freezer paper. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with three more layers, buttering each layer, until the phyllo stack is 4 layers deep. Set aside and repeat process with remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough.
To prepare filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add egg, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until combined. (You may also use a food processor or blender for this process.) Divide filling evenly amongst the phyllo-lined muffin cups. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Carefully remove cheesecake flowers to a tray to cool.
To serve, spoon litchi sauce onto the bottom of individual dessert plates. Top with cheesecake flowers. Place two kiwifruit slices in sauce on either side of each cheesecake flower to form leaves. Top cheesecakes with fresh litchis.
3. Litchi Soup
- 2 cups lychee juice
- 1 cup fresh lychees
- ¼ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 lychee black tea bags (optional)
- In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the juice to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tea bags and berries cover and steep for 5 minutes, then discard tea bags.
- Cool slightly and pour into a blender or food processor. Add buttermilk and blend until smooth.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours
- Litchi Custard Tart
- 6 sheets phyllo dough
- nonstick spray
- 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups lychees
- 2 Tbsp lychee (or berry) jam
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In an 8″ pie plate, layer the sheets of phyllo one at a time, misting each with the non-stick spray. Fold under the overlapping phyllo edges to form a rim; crimp the phyllo as you would a piecrust. Set Aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, egg substitute, sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the phyllo crust. Bake until crust is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Arrange the lychees over the top of the tart.
- In a small saucepan, warm the jam over low heat until it is melted. (Or microwave on MED-LOW for 30 seconds.) Using a pastry brush, brush the litchis with the jam.
5. Litchi Orange Doughnuts.
- 3 oranges for zest
- Orange Sugar coating
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 quarts vegetable oil (approx)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 2 ounces litchi syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Pulse sugar and zest in food processor until blended, about 5 – 7 pulses. Transfer to medium bowl.
- Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in 4-quart saucepan until temperature reasches 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Whisk eggs, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl. Whisk in lychee syrup, then butter, until well blended. Stir in the flour mixture until evenly moistened.
- Using two dinner teaspoons, carefully drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Fry, maintaining temperature between 325 and 350 degrees, until doughnuts are crisp and deeply browned on all sides, 3 to 6 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain for 5 minutes. Add doughnuts to the bowl with orange sugar and toss until well coated.
- Place on a serving plate and repeat with the remaining batter, regulating oil temperature as necessary. Doughnuts are best served warm.
– Tanvi Shah
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