Melt In Your Mouth

We are talking about a dessert that is elegant, exploding with taste and “melt in your mouth” smooth. It is Gelee. This is simply a French word for jelly, or a little deeper-flavored gelatin to be precise. I have always enjoyed both preparing and devouring Gelee, especially when they are made with fresh fruit and sparkling wine. Of course now that I mention both ingredients, I need to give you BOTH recipes. These desserts fully compliment the heavy, savory dinner everyone has enjoyed during your Holiday feast. Perfect for a formal gathering as well as informal.

Christmas Blueberry-Cranberry Gelee
This dessert is made festive by the addition of a while chocolate candy cane sprinkled with the colors of the Holiday.

2 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh cranberries
5 cups water, divided
1 cup sugar
6 ounces while chocolate, melted
Multi-colored sprinkles
Creme Fraiche, if desired

Place blueberries in a blender or food processor with 1 1/2 cups water. Pulse until blueberries are as smooth as possible, this may take 15-20 seconds. Remove and pour through a fine sieve into a large saucepan. Place cranberries in a separate saucepan with 3 cups water and the sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 3-3 1/2 minutes, or until cranberries pop and are soft, stirring often.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water and let sit 5 minutes or until softened. Remove cranberries from heat, let cool for 10 minutes. Pour cranberries and liquid, along with the softened gelatin with water, in a food processor or blender until as smooth as possible. Remove and strain through fine sieve into saucepan containing blueberry juice. Heat on medium until scalding; remove from heat. Let cool for 15 minutes, stir and divide into 6 serving glasses, each with about 3/4 cups Gelee. Cover the rims with film wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Melt chocolate in microwaveable bowl until melted, about 2 minutes. Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. I use Christmas cookie cutter but you can use whatever shape you like. Place a cookie cutter onto the waxed paper and drizzle in the melted chocolate. Top with sprinkles and let firm in the refrigerator until needed.
To serve, simple dollop some Creme Fraiche(use whipped cream or plain yogurt if desired as well) and grab your chocolate candy cane to lay on top of each serving.

Serves about 6

Cranberry-Champagne Gelee with Lemon Cream
If you desire a richer flavor, substitute Port wine or your favorite red wine in place of Champagne.

2 envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
4 cups Champagne
1/2 cup sugar
Lemon Cream, recipe below*

Sprinkle gelatin over water and let soften for 5 minutes. In the meantime, add the cranberries, Champagne and sugar into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice. Cook cranberries for about 3 minutes, or until they have popped and are softened. Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes. In batches, pulse cranberry/Champagne mixture until as smooth as possible in a food processor or blender. In one of the batches, add the softened gelatin and water mixture. Strain everything through a fine sieve into 6 serving glasses, each about 3/4 full. Cover loosely with film wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Dollop Lemon Cream on top before serving.

Lemon Cream

5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chilled butter or margarine

Beat eggs and sugar until pale and creamy with a hand-held mixer or table top, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon rind and juice and beat until well incorporated. Scrape into a double boiler or saucepan(being careful to stir constantly) over medium-high heat. If not using double boiler, lower the heat to medium. Whisk  almost constantly and when hot, add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly now, until thick and creamy. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Cover with film wrap and let chill until cold.

*You may substitute ready-made Lemon Curd if desired, simply whip until smooth before serving over Gelee.

Serves about 6