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Citrus is king in February. Many varieties of citrus fruits are in season and at the markets: lemons, limes, grapefruit, kumquats, blood oranges, tangelos, tangerines, and clementines. Sweet-sour to your heart's content.
Email Newsletter Recipe:
The addition of brandy cuts down
on the sweetness, and makes it a good base for many fruit dessert
4 yolks, large
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon peel
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 envelope plain gelatin
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups heavy whipping cream
For the yolk
part: mix yolks, chopped lemon peel, lemon juice and sugar in
a large stainless steel mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering
water. Using a stainless steel whisk, beat until thickened; mixture will be very hot and thick. Place in the bowl of
a stand up mixer and using a whip attachment, whip using medium
speed until cool, thickened and lightened.
For the gelatin
mixture: sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the brandy in
a small glass dish. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Place the glass dish
over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from
the water and allow to cool until warm; not hot.
For the Mousse:
Transfer the yolk mixture from the mixer bowl to a large mixing
bowl. Rinse and dry the mixer bowl (or use a second mixer bowl
if available) and add in the whipping cream. Using the whip attachment,
beat the cream until soft peaks appear; do not overwhip. Reserve.
In the large
mixing bowl add in the yolk mixture and whisk in the gelatin mixture, then fold in the whipped
cream. Pour or spoon this into individual dessert glasses, or
transfer this mousse into a container in the cooler or refrigerator, covered,
until set up. This mousse can be spooned into quenelles, or scooped as needed.
This is also a great mousse to be used in a mousse cake as it
sets up well.
Season: Now is the time to look for these fruit and vegetables
in season. This list may differ
from what you have locally available:
- citrus fruits (oranges, tangelos, limes, lemons, etc.)
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"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." Ernestine
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you
must first create the universe."
favorite hobby of mine is to collect historic and out of print
pastry cookbooks. From my collection, here is another entry all about ratafias.
Two orginal recipes:
"Ratafia d'Œillets. --The petals of clove pinks, with the white parts pulled off, four pounds, cinnamon and clovesproof spirit one gallon, sugar three pounds. Infuse for a month, filter, and bottle."
"Vespetro. --Coriander seed one ounce, angelica seed two ounces, fennel and anise-seed of each two drachms, two lemons, two oranges, the zest of two citrons, two quarts of rectified spirit and two pounds of sugar, caraway seeds, yellow rind of the lemons and oranges, and squeeze the juice and sugar in a pint of water. Infuse the whole together for fourteen days. Strain, filter, and bottle."
Read here for more old-style recipes for ratafias.
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