Red Currant Gelee with Diced Saturn Peaches, Whipped Cream, and Ollalieberries.
I’ve made a few casual fruit desserts in the past month that I haven’t written about, so I thought I’d just run through them and take stock of the madness. All of the fruit was bought at Los Angeles farmer’s markets — either the Saturday or Wednesday Santa Monica market or the Sunday Hollywood market; the majority is either organic or spray-free.
The dessert above was made this past weekend, based on Lindsey Shere’s recipe here. I’m always so excited to see rare fruits for sale that I invariably rush to buy them (unless they look bad, and then sadly there’s just no use trying to resuscitate them). The red currants sold by Pudwill Farms this past Saturday looked fresh and sparkly (as opposed to some scraggly wild blueberries that I didn’t think could be coaxed into goodness), but I knew that red currants can be a little unpleasant to eat plain b/c of their large seeds and tartness. Shere’s recipe ameliorates these traits by cooking them with water and a little sugar before straining them and adding gelatin in order to make a gelee (which I fanatically wish I could just call jello).
The gelee lasts for a few days (though the gelatin will progressively firm up a little), so when you want to eat it, you can just whip up some cream and cut some fruit, if you want. The Saturn peaches, with white flesh and thin skins, have been juicy and tasty at the market so far (and their pits are a dream to remove).
I have to thank Suzy at la.foodblogging for mentioning the availability of ollalieberries in her market report last week. They were sold at a stand that has an extensive potato selection, and I never would have guessed that they would have them (and boysenberries, as well, which I found sweeter).
The gelee above was chilled in a glass that I saved from a pudding I bought from Miette in SF (makers of the cupcake in my profile pic), and I also put some in an emotion glass that I saved from Pierre Herme. For this one, I crushed some berries with a fork and strained it to get juice that I mixed into the whipped cream w/ a little sugar. It gave a nice lavender color that didn’t really show up in the pic. If I were to do it again, I’d maybe try to put a lot more juice into the cream to get a stronger flavor to make it worth it and mix it less beforehand (it had been at soft, droopy peaks to begin) and afterwards b/c it was on the brink of graininess by the time I finished. But really, I think it’s perfect to just plop the berries on top instead.
I also made a White Nectarine, Saturn Peach, and Ollalieberry Cobbler this past weekend.
Noyau not used, the pit just happened to halve.
The fruit was great and I was surprised by how well the ollalieberries colored the juices and the Saturn peaches, but I used a cobbler topping from a CIA recipe that didn’t rise all that much and was too fatty for me. Many cobbler recipes are similar, and I think it’s a matter of personal preference to adjust the butter and/or cream to your liking. In all honesty, though, I think I prefer crisps — b/c of their livelier flavor and texture — and maybe b/c I grew up with mighty fine apple crisp memories. Here, I generally uprooted the biscuits and ate the compote part plain, or spooned it over my morning oatmeal.
The filling thickener was tapioca, based on Claudia Fleming’s ratios, but I didn’t like the texture too much — silken in an uncomfortable way. It bubbled up to nearly the sides of the pie dish while baking, but settled down considerably when cool.
I also discovered a love for nectarines through all of this. They’re like easygoing peaches, and I can’t wait to experiment with them a lot this summer. I was concerned that mine felt a bit firm in my hand, but they had a respectable juice and were very flavorful.
More after the jump…