Mascarpone Creams with Summer Fruit Puree
Rich, luscious mascarpone, lightened by yoghurt, makes these velvety creams cool and soothing after a rich main course. You can use any combination of soft summer fruits in season. I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, which made a thick, dark, delicious sauce.
This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (July 1995) Serves 6
First prepare the little pots by lining them with clingfilm; this will make turning the creams out later no problem. The easiest way to do this is as follows: using a piece of kitchen paper dabbed in a flavourless oil, lightly oil the inside of each pot. Then take some clingfilm, about 10 inches (25.5 cm) for each one, and push it inside the pot. Then, using a clean pastry brush, push the clingfilm into the sides and base, making sure it overlaps at the rim.
After that you can make the filling. First measure 3 tablespoons of cream into a small dish and sprinkle the gelatine into this. Stir it round and leave for 10 minutes until the gelatine has soaked into the cream. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining cream and sugar, very gently, until all the sugar crystals have dissolved (you can see this quite clearly if you coat the back of a wooden spoon).
Now add the gelatine to the pan, remove from the heat and whisk until all the gelatine has melted. Leave to cool slightly. Next spoon the mascarpone into a large bowl and whisk it down to soften it, then add the yoghurt and vanilla. Whisk again, and when everything is smooth, add the cream and gelatine mixture through a sieve. Then mix once more. Pour the mixture into the pots, filling them to within ½ inch (1 cm) of the top. Cover each with a little extra clingfilm, place them on a tray and leave in the fridge until well chilled and set – at least 3 hours.
While the creams are setting, make the summer fruit purée: First reserve approximately 1 oz (25 g) each of the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries to use for decoration. Then place the rest of the fruits in a saucepan, sprinkle in the sugar and gently bring up to simmering point. Let them cook very gently for 2-4 minutes only; the juices will start to run out but the fruit will not disintegrate. Stay around, because it's very important not to overcook the fruit. After that, pour the fruit and their juices into a processor. Whiz to a purée, and then pass the whole lot through a nylon sieve to extract the pips. The purée will be very thick, but this is how it should be.
Remove the creams from the fridge about half an hour before serving. Remove the top layer of clingfilm, turn out each pot on to individual serving plates and gently pull the edges of the clingfilm. The creams will then flip out, so peel away the remaining film. Spoon some fruit purée round the edges and garnish with the reserved whole fruits and sprigs of fresh mint.