Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Red Grapefruit Cava Terrine

The most important part of this refreshing New Year's Day terrine is that you make it a day ahead so it is ready no matter what time you get up. 

Cool on the tongue and not too sweet, the terrine consists of closely placed layers of red grapfruit and orange slices held together with a nearly transparent gelatin made from the  residual juice from the fruit and a little sparkling wine.  We used Cava,  Spain's contribution to the genre, which is a great value among the sparklers.  You could also use Proseco or even ginger ale.

This is technically a jello mold but because the cirus fruit is packed so closely, you may not be aware of anything but the bright citrus flavor in an easy to eat form. Answer the call of retro with the abstract appeal of this Red Grapefruit Cava Terrine.

If you do not have a small terrine, pick up small disposable foil loaf pans at the supermarket.  They are sold in packs of 3-4 and can be reused for mini-meat loaves.   You can also make this recipe in several 1/2 cup ramekins for individual servings. 

How to Supreme Citrus
This recipe calls for 'supreming' the oranges and grapefruit which is a fancy way of saying cut away the bitter mebrane of citrus slices. This technique allows you to have slices of citrus without the bitterness that comes form the membrane and pith.  It also gathers the juice of the fruit.  If you have never supremed, check out a video to see the technique in action.  It is easier than it looks and you will get the hang of it with one or two tries.  Don't worry if your slices are not perfect.  This is a very forgiving recipe and your slices will still look great in the terrine.

To supreme fruit, use a sharp knife to cut away the pith and peel of fruit.  Over a wide bowl, hold the fruit in your non-dominant hand and carefully cut away a slice along the membrane.  The fruit will come away from the membrane quite easily.  Go all the way around the fruit until all the slices are removed.  Squeeze the remaining membrane into a bowl to collect the juice. Discard the membrane.

Red Grapefruit Cava Terrine
Yield: One 6-8 inch terrine (serves 4-6)

3 red grapfruits
2 oranges
1/3 cup citrus juice (reserved from sliced fruit)
1 1/2 teaspoons plain gelatin (powdered)
1/3 cup cava
optional: 1 tablespoon orange liquor, like Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons sugar
optinal: garnish: chopped cranberries, fresh mont leaves, thin citrus slices

  1. Supreme the citrus fruit, reserving juice.You should have 1 1/2 cups fruit and 1/3 cup or more of juice.  
  2. In a small cup, combine gelatin with 2 tablespoons of juice and set aside for five minutes while you heat the remaining liquids plus the sugar in a small pot over medium heat.  
  3. When the Cava mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to simmer and stir in the gelatin mixture which should be a loose solid by now.  Stir until the gelatin completely dissolves, them remove it from the heat.  
  4. Lay a few slices of citrus on the bottom of the terrine.  You can add decorations at this point, remembering that the bottom layer will form the top of the terrine.  We used some finely chopped cranberries on out terrine.  Other ideas include fresh mint leaves, edible flowers or thin slices of orange or tangerine.
  5. Pour some Cava gelatin on the fruit, just up to the level of the fruit.  Place another layer of citrus on top of the first and pour more Cava gelatin to the level of the fruit.  Repeat this process until you use all your fruit or come to the rim of the terrine.  We had a little extra and made grapefruit-gelatin cups in small ramekins.  
  6. Make sure the gelatin is evenly distriuted by gently pressing on the top of the terinne in a few spots.  Place the terrine on a plate or rimmed pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at leat 6 hours.
  7. When you are ready to serve the terrine. place the mold in a vessel with hot water for about 30 seconds to help loosen the sides.  Slide a butter knife along the inside to release the gelatin from the mold.  Place a platter on top of the terrine and flip it over.  The mold should cooperate and slide out neatly.  If it does not, place the mold back in hot water for another 15-20 seconds and give it another try. 
The terrine can be sliced with a serrated knife or scooped out with a wide spoon. 

Happy New Year!