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Fromage Frais Creams with Red Fruit Compote

Previously, I have made these with mascarpone, but this low-fat alternative is, I feel, every bit as good as the rich version and the perfect accompaniment to any fruit compote. I like this best made with leaf gelatine, but I've also included instructions for powdered gelatine.

 Fromage Frais Creams with Red Fruit Compote

  Serves 6

 1 lb 12 oz (800 g) 8 per cent fat fromage frais
 3 sheets leaf gelatine
 5 fl oz (150 ml) semi-skimmed milk
 3 oz (75 g) golden caster sugar
 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
For the compote:
 8 oz (225 g) fresh plums
 8 oz (225 g) fresh cherries
 8 oz (225 g) fresh blueberries
 8 oz (225 g) fresh strawberries
 8 oz (225 g) fresh raspberries
 2 oz (50 g) golden caster sugar
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).
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You will also need 6 x 6 fl oz (175 ml) mini pudding basins, lightly oiled with a flavourless oil, and an ovenproof baking dish measuring 9 inches (23 cm) square and 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two


If you are using leaf gelatine, simply place the sheets in a bowl and cover with cold water, then leave them to soak for about 5 minutes, till softened.

Meanwhile, place the milk in a saucepan with the sugar and vanilla pod and heat gently for 5 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Then take the pan off the heat and all you do now is squeeze the leaf gelatine in your hands to remove any excess water, then add it to the hot milk.

Give it all a thorough whisking and leave to cool.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, whisk the fromage frais until smooth, then add the cooled gelatine and milk mixture, removing the vanilla pod, and whisk again really well.

Now divide the mixture between the pudding basins, filling them to within ½ inch (1 cm) of the rims.

Finally, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

To make the compote, begin by preparing the plums: cut them round their natural line into halves, remove the stones, then cut each half into 4 and place in the ovenproof dish, along with the whole cherries and blueberries.

Now sprinkle in the sugar, then place the dish on the centre shelf of the oven without covering and leave it there for 15 minutes. Next stir in the strawberries, halved if large, and return the dish to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruits are tender and the juices have run out of them.

Finally, remove them from the oven and stir the raspberries into the hot juices, then allow it to cool, cover with clingfilm and chill.

To serve the creams, gently ease each one away from the edge of the basin using your little finger, then invert them on to serving dishes and serve with the compote spooned all around.

Note: If you'd prefer to use powdered gelatine instead of leaf, place 3 tablespoons of the milk in a small bowl, then sprinkle the contents of an 11 g sachet over the milk and leave it to stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the milk in a small saucepan, along with the vanilla pod and sugar, until the sugar has dissolved, then remove it from the heat and whisk in the soaked gelatine mixture.

Allow to cool, then just whisk into the fromage frais and continue as for the main recipe.


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