A wonderful seasonal dessert, inspired by the cherries from the trees in Maman Blanc’s garden.
Freezing time: Overnight
Standing time: 30 minutes
Level of difficulty: Easy
Special equipment: 4 x 1.5 cm rings
Planning ahead: The iced parfait can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the freezer.
For the sabayon and iced parfait
4 egg yolks (see note 1)
125 ml muscat or sweet dessert wine
50 g caster sugar
150 ml cream, whipped to soft peaks
juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 pinches cayenne pepper
For the macerated cherries (see note 2)
600 g cherries, stones removed
20 ml kirsch
20 g white sugar
juice of ¼ lemon
To cook cherries
30 ml water
20 g white sugar
40 g unsalted butter, diced
2 pinches black pepper
40 ml kirsch
1 g arrowroot, diluted in a little cold water
For the garnish (optional)
15 g pistachios
10 g almond flakes
15 g bread, diced
15 g icing sugar
40 g confit lemon zest
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. To make iced parfait, in a large bowl whisk egg yolks, muscat and sugar for 1 minute. Set bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (see note 3) and whisk for 7–8 minutes (see note 4), until mixture is 78°C (see note 5), resulting in a light fluffy sabayon. Remove from heat and whisk over crushed ice to chill. When sabayon is cold, fold in whipped cream, lemon juice and zest and cayenne pepper (see note 6). Reserve 150 ml of sabayon in fridge to gratinate. Fill moulds with remaining sabayon and freeze overnight.
2. To macerate cherries, combine all ingredients and stand for 30 minutes.
3. To cook cherries, add water to a medium frying pan. Evenly spoon over sugar and stand for 1-2 minutes, until absorbed. Heat on medium-high, until syrup is a pale blond caramel (see note 7). Stir in butter, to emulsify. Add macerated cherries and cook for 1 minute (see note 8). Add pepper and kirsch, and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in diluted arrowroot and pour into a clean bowl. Stand at room temperature to cool. Refrigerate until needed.
4. To make garnish, preheat oven to 170°C. Combine all ingredients and spread over a baking tray. Toast in oven for 8–10 minutes.
5. Place a disc of parfait on each serving plate and spoon cooked cherries and jus around plate. Spoon reserved sabayon over each plate and using a blowtorch, lightly gratinate sabayon till golden. Garnish with sugared nuts and bread. Serve.
1. Buy organic or free-range eggs. They follow good husbandry practices and good ethical standards. The best-before date sets the shelf life of the egg, which is 21 days after it has been laid. Try to use fresh eggs.
2. Maceration is derived from the Latin word for softening. Sprinkling the berries with sugar will macerate them, releasing their juices and greatly increase their flavour.
3. If you cook the sabayon over a roaring boil you are in danger of scrambling the eggs, as the protein of the egg yolk will start cooking.
4. By whisking the sabayon mixture, you will be homogenising and increasing the volume, resulting in a lighter, more aerated sabayon.
5. Here the egg yolk is demonstrating its incredible abilities. A number of things are happening. By whisking, you are introducing billions of air bubble to the sabayon, doubling its size in a few seconds. Yet at this stage the sabayon is not cooked. The second stage is to partly cook the egg yolk around the bubbles of air, so your sabayon is fluffy and stable. I found that 78°C is the perfect temperature to barley cook the sabayon.
6. Ensure the sabayon is cold. Even slightly warm it will cause the fats in the cream to melt and the sabayon will split. There is no tip to save it at this stage, you will have to start again.
7. Only cook the sugar to a very pale blond caramel, too much more and it will overpower the fruit. When the caramel reaches this stage, add the butter, which will stop the cooking of the caramel and also create an emulsion, at this stage add your fruits and chosen alcohol, but I think kirsch is best!
8. Don’t cook the fruits too much as they are delicate and will break down to form a mush, lacking texture and freshness.
SBS Cook’s Notes
This recipe has been reproduced with minor SBS recipe style changes. | Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20°C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55–60 g, unless specified.