December 28, 2009

RÖTE GRÜTZE - German Berry Dessert

Röte grütze translates as "red grits". Which does nothing, really, to describe the dessert. It's a kind of loose, fruit pudding which can be made with berries, cherries, plums or a combination. This is a dessert often served in summer, when berries are ripe. But it's also served in winter time, using bottled or frozen berries. In either season, this is a bright ending to a dinner due to its slight tartness and fruit base. It is traditionally served cold, with heavy cream poured on top. Or, you can use whipped cream or nothing at all. A similar Scandinavian dessert is called rodgrod. Some recipes strain the mixture so it's smooth. I prefer fruit pieces and I don't mind the seeds. If you want to strain, go for it.
This year, my hubby requested it for dessert on Christmas and I may make it again for New Year's Day dinner.
My recipe here uses frozen fruit, for winter desserts.

16 oz. pkg. frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
16 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. rum
8 oz. loose frozen raspberries, thawed
1 c. cream

In large saucepan, combine both types of thawed berries in syrup with cornstarch and whisk together until completely smooth. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Raspberries will break up as you go. The mixture will turn from milky to clear and start to thicken (5 - 7 minutes). When mixture is completely clear, remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and rum. Then gently fold the whole raspberries in. Pour into 4 dessert bowls and refrigerate several hours until set. The consistency should be of a loose pudding. Serve with a pitcher of cream for each person to pour on top, as they like.


I played with this recipe for years before hitting on what I wanted it to be. Then, just as I thought it was perfect, I stumbled upon a variation I like just as well. Tonight I had to make a dish for a potluck, so these meatballs were my choice. But, I forgot to get some feta! Instead, I used pecorino ... and I love it! So, I guess it's an either / or choice that you can make. Instead of frying the meatballs, I bake them. Much easier and they turn out more tender. But if you prefer to fry, go for it. Enjoy them!

1 lb. ground lamb
1.5 lbs. ground beef (85/15 is good)
3 slices substantial white or wheat bread, crusts removed
Approx. 1/2 c. milk
1/4 lb. feta OR pecorino cheese, crumbled or shredded
1 c. kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Olive oil for pan

Dipping Sauce:

8 oz. plain yogurt, preferably Greek strained style
1/4 c. finely chopped Italian parsley
3 cloves roasted garlic

Soak the crustless bread slices in milk; gently squeeze them out and crumble them into a large bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix with your hands, gently but thoroughly. Don't over mix or the meatballs will be pasty. Heat the oven to 350 F. Oil a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Oil your hands and form the mixture into meatballs of a size a bit bigger than a golf ball. You should end up with about 36-40 meatballs. Place them on the cookie sheet in rows about a half inch apart.

Bake for 45 minutes until medium brown, but still tender. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving bowl. Meatballs can be served hot or at room temperature, with dipping sauce alongside.

For Dipping Sauce:

Mash roasted garlic cloves with the chopped parsley. Add yogurt and stir well to combine. Keep cold until ready to serve with meatballs.


When I was in Utah, I made my pilgrimage to the King's English bookstore, which is truly one of my favorite places on the planet. I've written in detail about it in a previous blog. As usual, books seem to just present themselves to me when I'm there. This time was no exception. I came away with several, one of which I went specifically to buy there ~ Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams. I thought maybe they'd have a signed copy and they did. Terry is a Utah native and strongly connected to the desert landscape. She is an amazing woman and a writer of great depth. Her books explore the natural world and our connection to it and within it. She approaches these spaces and inner spirit with prose that captures both the simple and the sacred. I have had the pleasure of meeting with her a few times, and heard her read and speak. Her passion is conveyed in the unique way she has of reading her own words and in the conviction in her voice as she speaks of the need to preserve wildness, bring it into our lives and learn more about ourselves by being in it.

So, I look forward to savoring this book, reading slowly and thoughtfully. It'll keep me cozy this winter.


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Aspenglow / Buttered Lips by Gayle Nabrotzky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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