Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plum and Cinnamon Mousse With a Knockout Taste


I'm not a great lover of fresh plums, but once cooked they take on a whole new texture and have an intensely delicious taste.
Actually, to be totally honest, my plum mousse recipe came about by accident. I was out shopping in my local supermarket the other week when some bright red plums caught my eye. The trouble was they didn't taste anywhere near as good as they looked. Biting into the flesh was a dismal experience. I expected a mouthful of lush, juicy fruit, but what I got was bland, tasteless mush. So I left them to ripen for a week and tried again. Still no improvement and to make matters worse they looked tired and unappetizing and therefore unlikely to get eaten. There was nothing for it but to stew them.
I don't know why, but something good happens when you cook plums.
Even those wrinkly skinned plums lurking in the bottom of the fruit bowl will transform into intense juicy pieces of flesh.It has to be said that a generous slug of sloe gin during cooking, greatly adds to the flavour too. Failing that a drop of port or even orange juice will do.
What's good about this recipe is that you're really getting two for the price of one. Leave out the cream and egg whites and you've got yourself a deliciously fruity conserve. Wonderful spread on croissants, toast and scones and if refrigerated in an airtight jar will keep for a month.
So, if you have some poor old plums no one wants to eat, don't throw them out, here's what to do with them...the end result it a pretty pink delicate mousse with a truly knockout taste.
Serves: 2 generous
Effort Level: Easy
Shelf Life: Eat same day
250g tart dark plums
60ml sloe gin (otherwise use port)
50g caster sugar
75ml heavy cream
2 egg whites
2 heaped tsp powdered gelatine
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Small saucepan
2 small mixing bowls
Blender stick, liquidiser or food processor
Whisk or electric beater
2 large ramekins or 4 small
N.B: Concentrate on blitzing the plums only and not the juice, as I've found the gelatine doesn't set so well otherwise.
Here's What You Do:
Wash the plums and place in a small saucepan with the sugar and sloe gin. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently over a low heat for 10 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks and put aside.
Repeat with egg whites, beating them until they're glossy white and resemble shaving foam.
Now take the plums off the heat, scoop them onto a plate and leave to cool.
Next, sprinkle the gelatine over the hot plum liquid and stir until dissolved. If necessary return the pan to a very low heat stirring constantly.
Once the plums are cool enough to handle remove their stones and return them to the saucepan. Add ¼ tsp cinnamon and concentrate on blending just the fruit then mix with the juice (bottle them at this stage if making plum jam).
Next, reserve 2 tbsps of the plum puree (you'll need it for decoration later), then fold the cream into the remaining puree.
Now fold in the egg white, the resulting mixture should be pale pinky in colour (don't worry if it's a little on the sloppy side, it will set).
Divide between the ramekins then swirl the reserved pureed plum over the top of each and chill in the freezer for 1 hour or the fridge for 3 before serving.
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