Late one night after a theater performance in New York City, we went to an Italian bakery for dessert and coffee. The woman behind the counter was definitely bleary-eyed. We asked for a couple of cannoli, as well as a slice of vanilla cake with a warm cherry sauce ladled on top. She poured the sauce over the cannoli. We never looked back. Because the cannoli shell got soft under the sauce, we morphed the duo into an American cobbler—Italian ice-cream fandango. Consider it sweetened ricotta and mascarpone with biscuits and a cherry sauce. Consider it ridiculous.
Excerpted from À LA MODE: 120 Recipes in 60 Pairings : Pies, Tarts, Cakes, Crisps, and More Topped with Ice Cream, Gelato, Frozen Custard, and More by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Copyright © 2016 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin. Photo Copyright © 2016 by Eric Medsker.
Listen to Mark describe this recipe on The Faith Middleton Food Schmooze®.
|1 Nine-inch square cobbler|
Cobblers have biscuit toppings—but not always true biscuits. This batter is more like a wet dough, like a super-thick waffle batter. We find that its wetter texture becomes cakier on top of the cobbler, a better fit for the fruit. And to that end, let's say that sour cherry season is very short, just a few weeks in midsummer. If you spot sour cherries at the market, snap them up, pit them, and freeze them in sealed plastic bags to make this combo later in the year. Or use purchased frozen pitted sour cherries. Thaw frozen sour cherries in a bowl in the refrigerator for a day or two, then measure the cherries with their liquid for this recipe. In a real dessert emergency, use canned pitted sour cherries although the flavor will be drastically muted, without the zing of fresh fruit.
- 2-1/4 lbs. sour cherries pitted (about 6 cups)
- 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons instant tapioca
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds finely ground
- 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled, plus additional for greasing
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup finely chopped citron or candied citrus peel
- OVEN RACK: center - OVEN TEMPERATURE: 350°F - PREP: Lightly butter the inside of a 9-inch square baking pan.
- TO MAKE THE FILLING: Mix the sour cherries, sugar, tapioca, ﬂour, and salt in a large bowl until the cherries are evenly coated. Pour into the prepared pan and set aside for 10 minutes.
- TO MAKE THE TOPPING: Wash and dry the bowl. Add the ﬂour, ground almonds, sugar, baking soda, and salt; stir until uniform.
- In a second bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, and almond extract until smooth. Stir this mixture into the ﬂour mixture just until you have a wet, soft batter that somewhat holds its shape but is still a bit runny. Dollop by heaping tablespoonfuls across the sour cherry mixture. The more rustic, the better! They will spread out a lot as they bake, many fusing together.
- TO FINISH THE COBBLER: Bake the cobbler until the biscuit topping is browned and the fruit ﬁlling is bubbling underneath, about 45 minutes. Cool the cobbler on a wire rack for 15 minutes or to room temperature before serving by the bowlful. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 1 day.
- TO START THE CANNOLI CREAM ICE CREAM: Put the cream, ricotta, sugar, mascarpone, milk, and vanilla extract in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth, scraping down the inside of the canister at least once. Set the covered canister in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
- TO FREEZE THE CANNOLI CREAM ICE CREAM: Prepare an ice cream machine. Stir the cold cream mixture and freeze in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions just until moundable.
- Sprinkle the chopped citron into the machine and let the dasher churn it into the ice cream during the last couple of minutes. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Instructions for each component refer to the specific ingredient list for that component. Example: The cobbler filling's instructions call for you to "mix the sour cherries, sugar, tapioca, flour, and salt in a large bowl." The instructions are referring to the sugar (2/3 cup) in the filling's ingredient list (not to be confused with the sugar listed in the Cannoli Cream Ice Cream's ingredient list). The cobbler and the ice cream are distinct recipes.
PRO TIP: To grind almonds, put them in a food processor, cover, and whir away until they're the consistency of fine, dry sand. Or look for ground almonds at high-end supermarkets and health-food stores.
A LA MODE IT: Serve the pair in bowls. The ice cream is pretty soft, even when stored in the freezer, so there's no need to set it out at room temperature before serving.
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