Sagaponack cookbook author Hillary Davis shares this recipe for those of you who are forever looking for yet another way to enjoy wine. These sublime options appear in Davis’s recently released French Desserts.
Photograph by Steven Rothfeld from French Desserts by Hillary Davis, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
Sweet Wine Jelly, Wine Whipped Cream and Grapes on the Vine
Gelée au Vin Doux, Chantilly au Vin, Petites Grappes de Raisins
I make this with Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, the sweet dessert wine from the Rhône Valley in France, but any good sweet dessert wine works. You can also easily substitute red or rosé for the white wine. If you do, taste as you go because you will need to add more sugar. During the holidays, try flavoring it with mulled wine spices.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT 6 (8-OUNCE) VERRINES; ELECTRIC HAND MIXER
6 cups plus 7 tablespoons sweet dessert wine, divided
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 3⁄4 packets powdered gelatin
1 1⁄2 cups whipping cream, chilled
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 small branches seedless red or green grapes on the vine, plus
12 individual grapes
Bring 5 cups plus 6 tablespoons wine and the granulated sugar to a boil.
Pour 1 cup of the remaining wine into a large shallow bowl and sprinkle all of the gelatin over the top, mixing once with a fork so it is all coated. Leave the gelatin to absorb the liquid for 2 minutes.
Add the dissolved gelatin to the boiling wine and whisk; cook for 1 minute, until the gelatin is melted. Pour into a large heatproof bowl for the mixture to cool down enough to pour into the glasses. Then divide between the glasses. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours, until firm.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1 tablespoon wine and beat again until the cream regains shape and is mounding in soft peaks.
Place 2 grapes on the center of each jelly. Spoon the whipped cream in gentle mounds over the top of the grapes to hide them and either hang a branch of fresh grapes on the rim of each glass or serve them on the side on a plate.
Tip: You can chill the jelly in one large shaped mold instead of the individual verrines. If you do, pour a little vegetable oil on a paper towel and lightly grease the interior to make it easy for the jelly to slip out.
Learn how to home can jams and jellies from Dan’s Papers’ own “Hamptons Epicure” columnist Stacy Dermont on Wednesday, December 14 at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton. Call 631-283-0774, ext. 523 to reserve. This event will sell out.