Thursday, May 28, 2009

152. Prosecco and Summer Fruit Terrine (p. 811)

When I first flipped through The Book, I spotted this recipe and decided that it would be a perfect Mother's Day dessert, so I filed it away in my memory bank. Well, this Mother's Day, we had a party for my son's dedication ceremony, and this fruit terrine fit in just right with the lunch buffet, and it was a nice alternative to the cake that we got from the bakery down the street.

First, I arranged four cups of mixed fruit in a 1 1/2 quart glass loaf pan. The Book suggests berries, peaches and grapes. I planned on using blueberries, peaches and white seedless grapes. It used to be that you could only get fresh "summer fruit" in, well ... summer. But, these days, you can get pretty much anything at pretty much any time. For the past few weeks, I've seen fresh peaches at my usual grocery store. But, of course, when I did my shopping for this recipe ... you guessed it, no peaches. (And, wouldn't you know it, the next week, they had hundreds of fresh peaches! Go figure.) So, with no fresh peaches, I had to improvise. I scanned the produce section to try to find a combination of fresh fruit that would go well together with each other and the prosecco. I wasn't really happy with any of the options, so I decided to go with canned peaches. I also decided to use some canned pears, too.

Next, I sprinkled some unflavored gelatin over some prosecco and let it stand for a little while in a small bowl. Then I boiled some more of the prosecco with some sugar and mixed it until the sugar is dissolved. I took it off the heat and added the gelatin mixture and stirred until dissolved. I added yet some more prosecco and some lemon juice and transferred the whole thing to a metal bowl set over a larger bowl full of ice. I allowed the mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring every now and then. This sounds like a lot of steps, but it was really easy and only took a few minutes.

I carefully poured the prosecco/gelatin/sugar mixture over the fruit, covered it with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator overnight to set (The Book says that it needs at least six hours to set). The next day, just before serving, I unmolded the terrine by dipping the glass loaf pan in a larger pan of hot water to loosen it. It took a few tries, but eventually, the terrine slid out of the pan and onto the serving plate.

This dessert makes a stunning presentation. It is a colorful, mosiac of jewel-like fruit. Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed with the serving and eating. First, there was so much fruit in the terrine and not enough of the prosecco gelatin that it didn't really keep its structural integrity when sliced. It wasn't a matter of the gelating not setting, it's just that there wasn't enough of it to hold the slices together. But worse, the flavor was only ho-hum. I had such great expectations for this dessert, and it didn't really live up.

Date Cooked: May 9, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: B+

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