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A really souperb desert

March 24, 2010

People always talk about being able to throw a few things together in minutes and have a great meal.  I have never believed this.  I’m the type who spends at least a week planning the menu if I’m going to have guests.  I can obsess at great length about every aspect of the meal and I work myself into a special frenzy over the desert, knowing I’m going to make something too rich but really wanting an excuse to create something decadent.

Last night I realized that those people with their throwaway comments about just pulling together a meal in moments might actually be right.  It just takes a good pantry and the right recipe.

In this case my pantry included a few jars of Cherries in Wine that I put up last summer.  I guess I put in my time then because I remember an awfully long time spent pitting the damn things.  I used a recipe from Eugenia Bone’s Well Preserved.  One thing I love about this book is that for each main recipe for a preserved food, there are three recipes for using what you have just put up.

And so in two easy steps I made a fancy desert: Cherry soup with Mascarpone.  The soup is basically just a can of the cherries in wine sauce pureed in the blender, strained and served with a dollop of mascarpone topping (1 cup mascarpone, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp almond extract).  I saved a few of the whole cherries to use as a garnish which looked really pretty.  The wine soup is very winey, a totally sophisticated taste, and I was glad to have the sweet creamy balance of the mascarpone to top it off.  I was also glad to have the tiny red cups and saucers to serve it in!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 10:41 am

    These do look great, I love Eugena’s book too. I actually canned whole cherries, but left the pits in them, I saved the pitting for the tart cherry jam. And another use for mascarpone! Great job!

    • March 25, 2010 10:42 am

      tart cherry jam sounds great… i want to spread it on good bread with the mascarpone/sugar/almond mix… what recipe do you use for the jam?
      i figure this year i might buy a cherry pitter and see how that goes. if not, i think pits in is the way to do it!

  2. March 25, 2010 11:07 am

    I planned to make those cherries myself, but never managed to find the sour cherries (and due to last summer’s weather and my schedule, the PYO didn’t work out). That looks so delicious. I love compotes or jam on greek yogurt, so this is a great twist on that. I’m more hopeful for this summer’s PYOs!

    • March 25, 2010 11:08 am

      I hardly ever get to a PYO… maybe this year (I’ll have the excuse of needing to write about it for added incentive!) Lets hope there is lots of good produce this year. I’m especially hoping it’ll be a better year for tomatoes!

  3. March 25, 2010 12:19 pm

    The best part is that you get to enjoy cherries year-round when you preserve them in wine like that. What a great, easy, carefree dessert that looks like you spent hours putting it together.

    • March 25, 2010 12:24 pm

      So true: its really great to have the tastes of summer when its all snowy outside. Viva la canvolution! And even better to be able to make something impressive with almost no effort!

  4. March 25, 2010 5:49 pm

    I think some great meals can be made by “throwing together” a bunch of ingredients — as long as the ingredients are good, and they are “thrown together” correctly. Many Indian curries are made this way. But like you, I can spend weeks planning menus too, especially when the guests are very important to me. This dessert sounds so elegant yet simple.

    • March 26, 2010 5:26 pm

      you are right about the cookin: its just i get a bit crazy i guess when i think about making food for people! just had a look at some of your curries, will have to try them!

  5. March 27, 2010 6:51 am

    And exactly the point to canning! Having wonderful food already to go. This dessert is so elegant and impressive. And, I imagine, delicious! Nice work.

    • March 27, 2010 7:04 am

      I wish I could think of more recipes to make with pickles! Not that I don’t love pickles plate with cheese and crackers!

  6. March 28, 2010 7:25 pm

    Your tiny red cups are cute and fits the dessert you made. I love cherries, they give this addicting taste for me. I am going to definitely try your recipe. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • March 28, 2010 7:30 pm

      Thanks Kathy! I agree, cherries are so good! I’m glad you like the little cups, I’ve had them for a while and hardly ever use them so I was glad they were so perfect for this!

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