A really souperb desert
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!