2 tsp. gelatin
2½ cups cream
½ cup milk
½ cup granulated sugar
1T vanilla paste, 1 vanilla bean split open, or 1T vanilla extract ,
2 cups fresh fruit: peaches, figs, or berries
3T granulated sugar
3T Cointreau or Amaretto liquor.
1. Place eight ¾ cup ramekins on a tray. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, place the 3 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let sit for 5 minutes until it becomes “jelled”. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, add the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Cook over low heat just until small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, about 5-7 minutes. Do not boil.
4. Remove from the heat. Run a spatula around the edge of the jelled gelatin and stir in the gelatin. Mix until dissolved. Remove bean if using a whole bean.
5. Pour the mixture into each ramekin.
6. Place ramekins in the refrigerator. Chill 5 hours or overnight.
7. Clean, peel and slice the fruit.
8. Toss the fruit with the 3 tablespoons of sugar and liquor. Let sit at least 30 minutes to allow the juices to release.
9. To serve, run a butter knife around the edge of the ramekins.
10. Fill a shallow dish with hot water. Carefully place the bottom of the ramekin in the water, for 1-2 minutes to help loosen the custard from the dish.
11. Unmold the ramekin on to a serving dish.
12. Spoon the fruit on to the plate and serve.
TIPS & TRICKS
• To get the most intense vanilla flavor, use the vanilla paste or the whole bean. The paste is an easy way to get the inside of the vanilla bean; all those flavorful black speaks with no work.
• To peel peaches: place a small saucepan full of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and submerge the peach for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Let slightly cool. The skin should just peel off effortlessly.
• I pour the warm cream into a measuring cup for easy pouring into the ramekins.
• Adding the sugar and liquor to the fruit allow the fruit to “marinate” and bring out its natural juices. The term is called macerating. You can change the liqueur as you change the fruits. Cointreau and Amaretto work well with most summer fruits. You could use Chambord liquor for berries, or a little pear brandy for pear. The longer it sits the more the fruit breaks down and gets “ juicy”. I like to let my fruit sit for this recipe no longer than a 1½ hours. If you don’t do alcohol, you can substitute fruit juice, like cranberry.
• You can make this dish all year long by just changing the fruit. For the spring and summer use apricots, berries, peaches, or figs. For fall and winter, use pears or persimmons.