Soon,it´s back to school,back to work,all the carnivals and partying will be over.Summer has always ended for me unofficially on the last weekend in August.When I lived in London it was the Notting Hill Carnival that bade adieu to balmy evenings, and since I moved to Portugal It is Dias Medievais - the last big event of the Algarvian summer calendar.When the festival is over, strangely, even though the weather is still hot I feel ready to move into another mode.But before I do that sampling this refreshing dessert is a perfect way to say goodbye to summer and help me bookmark the memory of sunny days and happy nights. It has to be served in the evening, ideally after a tagine has tantalized the taste buds and the palate is in need of coolness. What could be a more perfect combination than the sweetness of vegetables and ice cream.In my dreams it transported me to the fragrance of beautiful nights in Marrakech.I have never actually been to Morocco so I hope they do have fragrant nights otherwise my allusion is somewhat prosaic.
Carrots are the stars here.Presented like this in a dessert,their best qualities are highlighted.Sweetness, colour and freshness.Lemon further brings out their sweetness with its sharp acidity, which is always welcome after a dinner laced with warm spices.
Cinnamon too plays an important role in this recipe because it is the only spice. Cinnamon should be carefully measured because it is very strong and slighly spicy when too much of it is used.Its flavour should come through subtly in desserts to the same extent as in main dishes.You can have great fun accenting the dish with fresh sprigs of mint leaves and I haven´t tried it,but you could really rock the Berber boat with a bisteeya fillled with this compote and cool ice cream.Roll the pastry quickly fry it in hot oil,dust it with icing sugar and cinnamon and whoa hey you have an irreverant stab at that old fashioned classic Baked Alaska.If the pudding won't come to Muhammad.....
4 egg yolks
500ml/2 cups milk
4 small cinnamon sticks
60ml orange juice
3 tbsp confectioners sugar
2 tsp orange juice
mint leaves for garnish
Beat the egg yolks and sugar till light.Bring the milk and cinnamon sticks almost to a boil,then set aside with a lid on to infuse for 10 minutes.Remove the cinnamon.Beat the milk into the egg and make a custard over a low heat for about 10 minutes,stirring constantly.Add the orange juice and beat again.allow to cool before freezing.
Meanwhile grate the carrots very finely.Squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon and pour it over the carrots.Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar and blend well.In a pot make a syrup from a little water and the rest of the sugar.Boil for 3 minutes.Remove the syrup from the heat and stir it into the carrot mix.Add the extra orange juice and blend.