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GOOD COOKING

Low and Frozen

June 27, 1996|ABBY MANDEL

Nothing beats ice cream for ending a summer meal. It's easy to make, refreshing and, unfortunately, fattening.

Low-fat and nonfat ice creams and frozen yogurts do not compare with their rich counterparts, but they have improved in texture and flavor in recent years. They work extremely well with fresh summer fruits, which offset the excessive sweetness common in low-fat frozen desserts (you can also add a little lemon juice).

The following desserts make great presentations. The easiest is the ice cream biscuit tortoni, which involves no baking. Although baking is required for the frozen deep-dish peach yogurt pie and the lemon sorbet roll, it can be done in steps and way ahead of time.

These frozen desserts become rock hard in the freezer. Be sure to let them sit at room temperature until they begin to soften before serving them to guests. The fruit toppings taste best when served at room temperature.

FROZEN LEMON SORBET ROLL WITH WARM BLUEBERRY SAUCE

WARM BLUEBERRY SAUCE

2 1/2 cups blueberries

3 tablespoons lemon juice

4 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 to 1 1/4 cups water

Simmer blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and 2/3 cup water in 1-quart non-aluminum saucepan over medium heat until 1/2 blueberries have burst and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days. Before using, gently reheat and add remaining water as needed if mixture is too thick.)

LEMON SORBET ROLL

3/4 cup cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1/2 tablespoon grated orange peel

6 egg whites, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

2 pints lemon sorbet, softened, not melted, for filling

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Sift flour 2 times. Sift sugar 2 times. Set aside on separate pieces of wax paper.

Beat egg yolks and lemon and orange peels in electric mixer until thick and light colored, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Use clean beaters to whip egg whites in clean, grease-free bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until egg whites are thick and hold their shape but are still soft and moist.

Use rubber spatula to gently fold sifted sugar, in 3 batches, into whites. Fold in beaten egg yolks and lemon extract. Gently fold in sifted flour. Spread batter evenly in 15x10-inch jellyroll pan that has been lined with foil and greased and floured.

Bake at 350 degrees until just lightly golden on surface, 11 to 12 minutes. Place pan on wire rack and use tip of small knife to release sides of cake sticking to foil. Cover cake with large sheet of foil (to help later in rolling it up) and invert it. Remove jellyroll pan and peel off baking foil, carefully avoiding tearing cake. Cool completely.

Put sorbet in bowl. Use wooden spoon to mix until smooth (refreeze briefly if too runny). Spread on cake, leaving 1/4-inch border. Starting at short end, use foil to gently roll cake as compactly as possible (it's OK if some cracks appear as cake rolls). Wrap securely and freeze. When frozen, double-wrap and freeze up to 1 month.

To serve, place seam-side down on serving platter. Let rest at room temperature until slightly softened. Sprinkle top of cake with powdered sugar pressed through fine sieve. Use serrated knife to cut cake into diagonal slices. Serve with Warm Blueberry Sauce.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Each of 8 servings contains about:

300 calories; 129 mg sodium; 102 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 67 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 1.61 gram fiber.

FROZEN DEEP-DISH PEACH YOGURT PIE

The meringue topping is extremely festive on this dessert, replacing a fat-laden whipped cream topping. The recipe, based loosely on baked Alaska, allows the meringue to brown without causing the ice cream to melt. Serve with lightly sweetened sliced peaches.

COOKIE CRUST

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 egg white

1 quart frozen nonfat peach yogurt, softened but not melted

Combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon in food processor fitted with metal blade. Scatter butter and egg white over crumbs. Pulse on/off until mixture is moistened and beginning to clump. Transfer to greased 9-inch glass pie plate. Spread evenly. Use back of soup spoon to press crumbs up sides of plate and to compact bottom.

Bake at 350 degrees until browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

Beat frozen yogurt with wooden spoon until smooth (refreeze briefly if too runny). Transfer to cooled crust. Use spatula to spread, mounding slightly in center. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours or as long as a week, covered airtight.

MERINGUE

4 egg whites, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

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