Christmas foods 'Fresh From Florida'

PAM GRIFFIN 654-8444 | @DestinLogPam
Florida Strawberry Tiramisu

Although the winter weather in Florida is unpredictable, the quality of the fresh produce is not. Florida is the source of most of the fresh produce in the country during this season. Gather with family and friends and enjoy a sample of Winter Warmers from "Fresh From Florida."

Sunshine Sweet Potatoes

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/3 cup Florida honey

1/4 cup Florida orange juice

1 Tbsp. grated Florida orange zest

1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp. white pepper

Streusel topping

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped Florida pecans, toasted

1/4 cup margarine, melted

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to form a streusel. Set aside.

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain sweet potatoes and cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Transfer sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash sweet potatoes until smooth.

In a small saucepan, combine honey, orange juice, orange zest, lemon zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to melt the honey. Remove from heat. Stir honey mixture into sweet potatoes.

Spoon mixture into a 1-quart casserole and smooth down the top. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake until heated through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Florida Strawberry Tiramisu

1 1/2 lbs. Florida strawberries

1 1/4 cups Florida strawberry preserves

1/3 cup plus 4 Tbsp. orange liqueur

1/3 cup Florida orange juice

1 lb. Italian mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup natural sugar

1 tsp. natural vanilla extract

52 each ladyfingers

Whisk preserves, 1/3 cup orange liqueur and orange juice.

Place mascarpone cheese and 2 tablespoons orange liqueur in large bowl; fold just to blend.

Using a whisk, beat cream, sugar, vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons orange liqueur in another large bowl to soft peaks. Stir 1/4 of whipped cream mixture into mascarpone mixture to lighten.

Fold in remaining whipped cream a small amount at a time.

Slice half of the strawberries. Spread 1/2 cup preserves mixture over the bottom of a 3-quart serving dish or a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange enough ladyfingers over strawberry mixture to cover bottom of dish. Spoon 3/4 cup preserves mixture over ladyfingers, then spread 2 1/2 cups mascarpone mixture on top. Arrange 2 cups sliced strawberries over mascarpone mixture.

Repeat layering with remaining lady fingers, preserves mixture and mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

Slice remaining strawberries. Arrange over tiramisu and serve. Makes 8 servings.