Added by twinky | Wed 29 Jul 2009 @ 12:27
This recipe is inspired by the abundance of Prickly pears or (fico d\'India) around the island of Sicily, where I live. The beautiful flowers are followed by the very perfumed and very spikey fruits which are usually eaten raw but the coolness of the jelly and soft texture of the vanilla mascarpone really complements each other in this end of summer recipe.
250g (8oz) prickly pears (usually about 4)
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs Sicilian (millefiori) honey
15g (1/2oz) gelatine soaked in 3 tablespoons water
250g (8oz) tub mascarpone
1 vanilla pod
1/2 tbs icing sugar
Firstly , wearing some protective gloves, burn off the spikes of the fruit over a gas flame. Peel and then chop the fruit into chunks and place in a saucepan and add 150ml water. Cook very slowly over a low heat until the fruit is soft.
Place the fruit pulp and water, lemon juice and honey in a blender and blitz until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve. Add enough water to make pulp up to 750ml.
Heat the soaked gelatine over a pan of just simmering water and stir until dissolved. Stir gently into the prickly pear mixture.
Rinse out and with cold water and drain 6 individual moulds and carefully ladle in the jelly. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 4 hours or until set.
Meanwhile split the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds and gently fold into the mascarpone along with the icing sugar.
Turn out the moulds onto individual plates and decorate with violet flowers and a quenelle of vanilla mascarpone.
Note: for a clear jelly leave the blitzed puree to pass through a fine muslin cloth hung overnight over a bowl.