Last week I had the chance to meet the author of Desserts in Jars at a book release event hosted by the publisher. Lately, it seems as though there’s been a plethora of “in jars”-themed books and recipes: salad in jars, meals in jars, gifts you can give in jars, craft projects in jars, toys in jars. O.K., I might be making a few of those up. After I thumbed through Shaina Olmanson‘s spiral-bound volume, however, I discovered that she had created some mouth-watering dessert ideas and unique ways of making portable sweets that would work for dinner parties as well as outdoor excursions.
I decided to test-drive one of the recipes that looked easy enough to scale down: the White Chocolate-Lime Puddings. It also turned out that I had all of the key ingredients for these already in my kitchen so that was another factor in choosing to make this. Instead of using jars, I actually put the puddings in wide-mouthed cocktail glasses, which I think worked just as well for this purpose. Many of the recipes in this book look as though they could be served in jars or not, making these sweet treats possible menu options for casual as well as more formal dining situations.
This dessert is simple and quick to make. The longest part of the process is waiting the two hours for it to set, spoon at the ready to dig in the minute the clock hits the 120-minute mark. I might have taste-tested this batch just a few minutes before it was completely finished, but that didn’t take away from the flavor of the pudding. The refreshing tartness of the lime zest cuts through the richness of the white chocolate so that it doesn’t hang too densely on your tongue. These are definitely best served in small portions as they are rather sweet.
My only tiny quibble with the editors and recipe testers is that I found that when I strained the pudding mixture as instructed, just before pouring the liquid into the glasses, I lost almost all of the lime zest in the sieve. I ended up scraping it out and then adding it back into the puddings before letting them set. This is a recipe that you might also want to dress up a bit before serving it, maybe with the addition of some extra lime zest on top. I could see adding some type of burnt-sugar cookie or tuile to the plate for balance of textures and tastes as well. Hmm…this book is starting to get me thinking about other options for Desserts in Jars that might be good entertaining ideas.