Sunday 3 May 2009

A delight from the Greek islands: Kythera-style Yoghurt with Stewed Sweet Grapes

I never, ever, ever, ever, ever eat pudding, but I darn well ate this. Here is a most unctuous and intriguing dessert: sweet, late-season grapes, stewed in a light syrup, and served with a combination of thick, creamy Greek yoghurt and mascarpone.

 Stewed Grapes with Mascarpone & Yoghurt.
This unusual recipe comes from my dear friends Michael and Michele Karamanof, a Johannesburg couple who are superlative cooks.

Mike and Michele first tasted this dish on the island of Kythera, in Greece, this year. 'It's a distinctive dish of this island,' says Michele. 'The recipe uses the very last grapes of the season, which are very sweet, and just beginning to shrivel.'

She adds that the original recipe she and Mike tasted used only thick Greek yoghurt: 'But the yoghurt you get on Kythera is sweeter and richer than South African Greek-style yoghurt, which tends to be slightly sour. So I added a little mascarpone to the recipe.'

Kythera-style Yoghurt with Stewed Sweet Grapes

3 bunches of late-season sweet seedless grapes, such as Sultana grapes
2 cups (500 ml) water
300 ml white sugar
2 cloves
one x 2-cm-long stick of cinnamon
2 cups (500 ml) thick, full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
1/2 cup (125 ml) mascarpone

Pull the grapes from their stalks, rinse well in cold water, and drain. Heat the water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to the boil, tip in all the grapes, and turn down the heat. Cook, uncovered, at a low simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the syrup has reduced by a third. Remove from the heat, set aside at room temperature, and allow to cool completely.

Just before serving, whisk together the yoghurt and the mascarpone. Pile the mixture in a big billowing mound into the centre of a large flat serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, arrange the stewed grapes around the edges of the platter. Pour some of the syrup over the grapes, and splash some of it over the yoghurt mound.

You could dish this into individual pudding bowls, but I think you should do as Mike and Michele did, which was to pass it round the table, with some small teaspoons.

Serves 4-6.

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Jeanne said...

Oh my.... isn't that an inspirational idea?? So simple yet so fabulous. I am definitely bookmarking this!

Chivonne said...

Hi Jane, I made this yesterday after a heavy pot roast lunch. It was delicous - so light and aromatic - perfect after a heavy meal. The boyfriend said it tasted like Christmas and there was the added bonus that my house smelled incredible too. Great Recipe