Thursday, December 24, 2009

Crimson Devonshire Cream

Woohoo! Told you I'd post a different dessert every day till Christmas. This one I just now finished, and it happens to be...


There are so many good desserts, including a bunch I've yet to blog, but none can match this one for tasting good, looking good, and making me happy. (The happy part is probably related to the fact that I make it on Christmas.) I like fruit desserts, and I'm wild about CREAM, especially sweetened with sugar, which, come to think of it, is probably why I drink so much tea. But anyway, this dessert is a happy combination of those two loves and so it wins my devotion. Now then...

Crimson Devonshire Cream

* 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
* 3/4 cup cold water
* 1 cup heavy whipping cream
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

* 2-1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, divided
* 1-1/3 cups water
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 4 teaspoons grated orange peel
* 3/4 cup sugar


* In a saucepan, soften gelatin in water; heat over low until gelatin dissolves. Cool. In a bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Combine the gelatin mixture and sour cream; mix well. Gently whisk into the cream mixture. Pour into small bowls or parfait glasses. Chill until set, about 1 hour.

* For sauce, combine 1-1/2 cups cranberries, water, orange juice and peel in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Sieve sauce, discarding skins. Return sauce to pan; add sugar and remaining cranberries. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 5 minutes. Chill until cold. Spoon over each serving of cream. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Facts: omitted. You're welcome.

All right, I like to do the cranberry part first, since it takes a while to cool down. So you grate some orange zest, squeeze some orange juice, and throw that in a pot with water and cranberries like so:

Hey, check this out! My camera's flash and the reflection in the metal created a funky starburst effect.

After you cook all that for a while it looks like cranberry sauce.

But then you strain out the solid so you're left with thick unsweetened orange-cranberry syrup.

Put that back in the pan and add sugar and fresh cranberries.

Mix it up and cook some more.

If you click this picture below for the closeup, you'll see that most of the berries have just begun to split open from the heat. They've got to split so the bitter sour cranberry essence seeps out and sugar seeps in. But don't cook them any longer after that, because then they'll lose their shape and the dessert won't look as nice. It's like microwave popcorn: if you wait for the very last kernel to pop, most of the bag will be overdone.

So then you dissolve gelatin in water. I can't tell by sight when it's dissolved, so I just bring it to a simmer and then turn off the heat.


Vanilla for added deliciousness!

And of course, some sugar!

Mix it up...

Till it's whipped.

MANDATORY STEP: lick off the beaters.

Whisk together the sour cream and gelatin.

Then you have a sour cream mix and a heavy cream mix...

Whisk them together...

...for one big delicious cream mix!

Transfer the cream mix to a pitcher for pouring.

MANDATORY STEP: lick out the bowl.

Now get some pretty parfait glasses.

Pour in the cream, trying not to get any on the sides of the glasses.

MANDATORY STEP: lick out the pitcher.

OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED STEP: have Mom make you a delicious cup of coffee with foamy cream and sugar on top, and relax with the internet for a while.

(Can you tell I'm having a nice Christmas Eve?)

After the cranberries and the cream are both well chilled... and not before!... you can pour the one on the other.

First I like to distribute the cranberries evenly with a spoon.

Then I pour out the topping slowly, trying not to splash it on the sides of the glasses.

Like so. Yum!

And that, folks, is what I'll be savoring tomorrow night. :)

I hope you're all having a merry Christmas!

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