This is a poetic version of the traditional Chinese almond milk gelatin dessert.  Whipping the milk gives the top layer of this dessert the appearance of snow.  Fat-free (skim) milk will create the most foam.  The gelatin can be chilled up to 2 days ahead (cover after 45 minutes).  Cherries in Port can be chilled (without the bowl of ice water), covered, up to 1 week.

For the almond snow gelatin:

vegetable oil for greasing the baking dish

2-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from a ¼ ounce envelope)

½ cup cold water

1 cup 1% skim milk

1/3 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon almond extract

For the cherries in Port:

1/3 cup dried cherries (2 ounces)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup Ruby Port

  1. Make almond snow gelatin. Lightly oil an 8 inch square glass baking dish with vegetable oil, wiping out any excess with a paper towel.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a large heatproof bowl to soften 1 minute.
  1. Bring milk and sugar to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and whisk into gelatin mixture.  Add almond extract and whisk briskly until milk is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  1. Pour into baking dish and freeze 15 minutes (to set foam), then chill, uncovered, in refrigerator until firm, at least 45 minutes.
  1. Make cherries in port. Simmer cherries, sugar and Port in cleaned 1 quart saucepan,uncovered, until reduced to about ½ cup, about 10 minutes.  Set pan in a bowl of ice and cold water and chill in the refrigerator until syrupy, about 15 minutes.
  1. Assemble desserts. Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut gelatin into 1-inch squares.  Remove squares from dish with a spatula and divide, frothy sides up, among 6 chilled plates.  Spoon cherries in Port over squares.

from Gourmet Magazine, February, 2004


SERVE WITH:  Almond coconut wafers


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