Special Baking Assignment :: Part One

So this weekend I was lucky enough to bake for my dear friend Liz's baby shower. It was hosted at Terrain, one of my all time faves as you already know. When Liz's sister asked me to make a dessert I asked if she wanted one singular piece, or if I should go all Amy Atlas. She was all for a table, but we both agreed given the customer and the location, I'd go far less cutesy and a bit more rustic.

This week I'm going to share some tips and recipes with you, because this is easy for anyone, and so much fun for all events ! For today, I want to talk about the Terrine above (Terrine for Terrain !). I've long admired these desserts because of how beautiful the fruit looks suspended. I love the idea that you can use any fruit, and any mold, making it appropriate for all times of year. And while blood orange + grapefruit would be beautiful in January, it's especially appropriate for this time of year. Hot hot hot, means no hot desserts please. I kept most everything fruit based because of this (with a little chocolate for chocoholics -- I know they would riot if there were a dessert table with no chocolate and there is at least one in every crowd.

Anyway -- Berries are gorgeous right now. I even bought most from at the Union Square Farmer's Market. And while doing a little research after the shower I found that Terrine's are originally meat -- like pate types (no thank you) -- they now come in all forms. I'm excited to make more of these cause this guy got a great response (conversation piece !), and he couldn't have been easier. I think people are impressed with the look, and its a healthy fun alternative to fruit salad or kabobs. I found this one from yours truly, Ms Martha. Here is the recipe ::

** My personal notes first -- Believe it or not, this traveled well. We put it on some ice for the 45 minute drive, and just a bit of hot water at the shower, and it slid right out of the loaf pan we were using. Also, it sat for a very long time and did not melt ! We had air conditioning, but the sun was shining on it, and it held its shape for a couple of hours, so don't think it has to be refrigerated until the last second.

Serves 8

  • 2 envelopes (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups (about 2 pounds) mixed fresh berries, such as strawberries (hulled and halved), raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup grape juice; let soften 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat sugar with another 1/4 cup grape juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in softened gelatin until dissolved, then stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups grape juice.
  3. Place berries in a 4-by-8-inch (6-cup-capacity) loaf pan; pour gelatin mixture over, pressing berries gently to submerge completely (remove a few berries if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
  4. To unmold, dip bottom of pan in hot water about 5 seconds. Invert onto a serving platter, and shake firmly to release. Slice to serve.
[Top photo borrowed from Linda & Harriett !]

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