Blueberry-olive oil friand, lemon curd, mascarpone sorbet

This recipe is a tweak on a dish I have been making for years. Blueberry, olive oil, and lemon have found themselves in several of my cakes ever since I found out that olive oil cake is a thing. This particular rendition came about when I was cooking with my friend Carolyn, and we wanted to do a savory dish, and a dessert. Fun fact: for the savory dish, we took on a savory attempt at a cheesecake, using pretzels and Old Bay spice for the crust, the ingredients you would find in a remoulade in the cheesecake, and crab as a garnish with a slaw. It was actually pretty awesome, although I don’t plan to post the recipe for that, mostly because that was Carolyn’s recipe, not mine.

For this dessert, I wanted to do something light and summery. The mascarpone sorbet came up because there needed to be something light and refreshing. I had blueberries in my fridge (thanks, mom, for buying those), and lemons pair well with blueberries. Olive oil cake is dense, moist, and decadent, almost having the texture of a brownie without any of the chocolate. Using the lemon and blueberries to lighten the olive oil makes perfect sense in this case, while the rustic flavor of the olive oil pairs beautifully with the lemon and the mascarpone.

Friands are basically small muffins, typically served with tea. They’re very refreshing and delicate, and given that it’s the summer, I wanted to bake friands for this dessert. I baked blueberries into the muffins, while at the same time, I garnished it with fresh blueberries, just to give two different textures of the same fruit.

For my lemon curd, I thickened it with olive oil and tapioca starch effectively making the curd vegan, just not the rest of the dish, whoops, because I was too lazy to use more eggs and butter, just to give the curd a lighter texture and finish, while tying in the usage of the olive oil into another component of the dessert.

Mascarpone sorbet:
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Blend ingredients together. Put into an ice cream machine and churn for 20 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and freeze for another 1-2 hours until completely solid. Alternatively, you can freeze the blended ice cream base solid, and churn in a food processor. Re-freeze for another 2 hours after blending. I highly recommend making the sorbet first, since it’s the most temperamental and needs the most time it’s the attention whore of this dessert.

Olive oil-blueberry friand:
Makes 8 friands
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup fresh blueberries

Whisk together the egg, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and olive oil until the mixture doubles in volume. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture with water. Finally, fold in the blueberries. Distribute the batter into a muffin tin or a silicone bar mold and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Allow the friands to cool completely before removing.

Lemon curd:
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whisk together the tapioca, lemon juice, sugar, and zest in a pot until lumps are removed. Put over medium-high heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens substantially. Take off heat and whisk in the oil, vanilla, and salt. Strain and chill down until it solidifies.

Start with the lemon curd, making streaks along a plate. Place two of the friands on a plate, brushing the tops with more of the curd, and garnish with fresh blueberries. Finish with a quenelle of the sorbet and eat immediately.

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