Technically, it’s still winter, but more and more are the days starting to feel spring-like. This is the time of year I lose my winter penchant for hot drinks and hardy desserts and start to crave something lighter, like the fresh cherries I put up late last summer. It’s the perfect time to whip up a Cherry Eton Mess, a delicious, light, airy dessert reminiscent of the taste of summer. Cherry Mess is made by creating alternating layers of cherry compote, freshly whipped cream mixed with chunks of homemade meringue, and toasted sliced almonds. Prepare to swoon: one spoon of this beautiful mess is transcendent.
This recipe is adapted from an excellent recipe by pastry chef David Lebovitz. And like his Red Wine Poached Pear Tart,his French Pear & Almond Tart is an incredibly delicious dessert—arguably my current all time favourite dessert ever. If you love the flavour of vanilla, pears and sweet almond (with notes of kirsch-soaked sour cherries popping in here and there), one bite of this tart and you’ll be transported into a heavenly realm, leaving you in a pleasantly speechless stupor.
Warning: An overload of pleasure neurons firing simultaneously in the brain may cause some guests to swoon or faint after sampling this dessert. It is advisable to keep smelling salts on hand when serving.
Be further advised that some guests may refuse to leave your home, or may appear camped out on your doorstep the next morning, begging for more.
This dessert is arguably right up there in my all-time top five favourite desserts. It’s a spin on the classic French tarte Tatin I made from a recipe by David Lebovitz. The poaching liquid is ambrosial—the beautiful fresh Bosc pears are poached in an entire bottle of a fruity organic Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, a cinnamon stick, several fresh slices of lemon, a few Tellicherry black peppercorns, honey and a quarter cup of my tantalizing homemade raspberry sauce. You’ll have to stop yourself from drinking the poaching liquid after you’ve poached your pears. And the poaching liquid only hints at the incredibly complex flavours of the finished reduction sauce. Sound incredibly delicious? It is.