Blueberries and Fresh Cream
By Chef John Ash
This is an elegantly simple dessert recipe. If good blueberries are not available, then use whatever fruit is best in the market.
Difficulty Level Easy
2 pints Fresh blueberries
3/4 C Sugar
2 tsp Grated lemon zest, divided
1 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1 whole star anise
1/4 C Dry red wine
1 tsp Minced fresh mint
1 1/2 tsp Unflavored gelatin
1 C Heavy cream
1 C Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Garnish Fresh mint sprigs and Almond-Orange Biscotti
3 Large Eggs separated
1 1/2 C Sugar
1/3 C Melted Butter, cooled
1 C Lightly toasted, coarsely chopped almonds
2 tbs Orange liqueur
3 1/2 C All-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Place one pint blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, cinnamon stick and red wine in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until mixture is syrupy. Off heat and cool and stir in remaining fresh blueberries and mint. Remove and discard cinnamon stick or star anise. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
For the cream: Combine the gelatin, cream and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over moderate heat. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir until sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, place the sour cream, vanilla and remaining lemon zest. Gradually add the hot cream mixture stirring just until the mixture is smooth.
Rinse a 2-1/2 cup metal mold with cold water (or use individual ramekins). Shake out but do not dry. Pour the cream mixture into the wet mold. Refrigerate for 4 hours or longer until mixture is set and firm.
To serve: Unmold the cream by placing mold in a warm water bath for a few seconds to loosen cream. Turn over onto a cutting board. Slice cream into serving pieces and with a spatula place on chilled plates. Spoon blueberries around and garnish with mint sprigs and an Almond-Orange Biscotti, if desired.
Almond-Orange Biscotti Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until light and sugar is dissolved. Stir in the melted butter, nuts, liqueur and candied orange. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they just begin to form peeks and gradually beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar until whites form stiff peaks.
Sift flour and baking powder together and alternately fold 1/3 of flour and egg white mixtures into yolks until well combined. Dough will be firm and slightly sticky. If dough is too soft, add more flour. With floured hands, divide dough into two logs approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
Arrange logs on a buttered or parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until logs are lightly brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let logs cool on baking pan on a rack for 10 minutes. On a cutting board, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2 inch widths.
Arrange biscotti cut side down on baking pan and bake for 5-7 minutes on each side or until biscotti are very lightly browned and crisp. Cool on racks and store air-tight.