Rivulets of vanilla cream balance the tartness of sour cherries in this stunning dessert. The cream is dotted on top before the gelee has completely set and is then artfully disarranged.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 6
Photography: Jonathan Lovekin
Source: Martha Stewart Living, August 2012
- 2 1/4 pounds pitted fresh or thawed frozen sour cherries (7 cups, or 3 1/4 pounds if buying fresh and pitting)
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 2 cups water
- Large pinch of salt
- 5 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin, divided
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
- 1/4 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Bring cherries, 1 cup sugar, the water, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer until liquid is reduced by about half, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing very firmly on solids to release as much juice as possible (you should have 4 cups). Refrigerate until cooled completely, about 1 hour.
Place 1 1/2 cups cherry liquid in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle 4 1/2 teaspoons gelatin over liquid, and let soften, about 8 minutes. Heat mixture over medium heat until gelatin dissolves completely and mixture is about to simmer, about 4 minutes (do not let boil). Turn off heat, and gradually stir in remaining 2 1/2 cups cherry liquid; pour cherry-gelatin mixture back into bowl. Place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water, and refrigerate until softly set, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring once halfway through with a rubber spatula.
Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons cream, the remaining sugar, and the vanilla in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with remaining gelatin, and let soften, about 8 minutes. Heat mixture over medium heat until gelatin dissolves and mixture is about to simmer, about 2 minutes (do not let boil). Whisk in remaining cream until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Refrigerate until thickened, about 15 minutes. (Both mixtures should be approximately the same consistency.)
Whisk cream mixture, and strain through a fine sieve. Spoon cream mixture into a small disposable pastry bag, and snip off tip. Whisk gelee until thick but pourable. Divide gelee among 6 bowls, and shake to settle. Working with 1 gelee at a time, pipe 6 to 8 cream dots of varying sizes onto top, then draw a wooden skewer through them to create a swirled pattern. Refrigerate gelees until just set, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.