I was watching a cooking program yesterday featuring the famous French patissier, Eric Lanlard. I have had the good fortune of seeing him live at the annual Taste Abu Dhabi festival. He is a very charming and down to earth person and needless to say an amazing chef. In the program titled “Glamour Puds” Eric showed many complex works of art that were desserts but he also shared a recipe that was very simple and visually attractive, a summer berries terrine. It looked so easy that I decided to give it a try myself.
I had to make some modifications to the chef’s original recipe to give it my own twist and to make it halal for our consumption. Firstly, Eric used alcohol in his recipe and I did not, as it is not halal for Muslims to consume alcohol. Secondly he used gelatine leaves to set his dessert. I have, so far, been unsuccessful in finding gelatine leaves anywhere in Abu Dhabi so I used regular jell-o in strawberry flavour, Mazhar and my favourite. Thirdly, Eric used different type of berries in his dessert, strawberries, raspberries, red currants and if I remember correctly some blueberries as well. I only had strawberries and peaches at home. I was trying this out as an experiment to make sure that the recipe on TV wasn’t just deceptively easy and in fact difficult to achieve in reality. So I went ahead with what was hand. Alhamdulillah the experiment was a success, visually and taste-wise, which made me and Mazhar very happy. Lastly, Eric set his jelly in a terrine mold which looked quite stunning when turned out. Since I was making a small serving I used a large round ramekin as my mold. Also before I started the recipe I tested how much water would fill up my loaf tin to make a beautiful terrine and it was three times the quantity I was preparing at the moment. So I decided to stick with the ramekin.
Now that the results are in, I know just how many berries and jello I need to make a stunning dessert to wow all my future dinner guests. How do you think my berries delight turned out?
Above the dessert is in the mold I used to set the jelly. I made sure to place the fruit with the cut side facing top so that when the jello was turned over the fruits would look beautiful as you can see in the picture below.
There really isn’t a recipe here per say. Just an assembly of ingredients that turns out to be something special with quite minimal effort if I do say so! But just for you I’m listing down the steps below.
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 1 cup peaches, sliced
- 1 packet strawberry Jell-O
- 400ml water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Prepare the jelly as per the instructions on the packet. I used Rafhan strawberry jelly for which I boiled 400ml of water and added the jelly powder in the boiling water. I mixed the granules till they had completely dissolved and then took it off the heat. Mix in a little vanilla essence to amp up the flavour profile of the jelly but this is an optional step.
- In my mold, I arranged the fruit quite tightly to ensure that once I ladled the liquid jelly into the mold, the fruit wouldn’t start to float around. As mentioned earlier take care to place the fruit cut side facing the top so that when the dessert is unmolded it shows off the pretty berries.
- Now ladle in the slightly cooled jelly into the mold on top of the fruit. Let the jelly set in room temperature for 30 minutes then place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Once you are ready to serve take out the mold and run a knife carefully along the edges of the mold to loosen the jelly. Place your serving platter on top of the mold then carefully and quickly turn it over. Give it a slight jerk and you should hear one very beautiful thud sound announcing the release of the jelly from its mold.