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Helene Dujardin

Helene Dujardin
(Senior Editor)

Rainier Cherries

We are currently at the part of the year I love the most. When Fall is just tiptoeing at the front door and Summer decided to linger on. Cooler mornings, crisp evening and yet bright sunshine and balmy temperatures during the day. The market displays the de rigueur squash and pumpkin while the last of the tomatoes, peaches and cherries are still going strong. I am afraid I am on the last batch of cherries I had pitted and frozen this summer, devising one last treat before apples, pears and pomegranate come around full force.

Red Wine Cherries & Ice Cream

I cooked the first braised dish of the season tonight and really it was because Bill was pushing me a tad. He is less and less traveling back and forth to Charleston and we are well adjusting to being a unit again. Next week will mark one year I have moved to Birmingham. Seems like it was yesterday. Seems like I have been here longer too. Seems like I was in Charleston just days ago. Seems like it was an eternity ago. I am here and there.

Red Wine Cherries & Goat Cheese Mousse

Everyday I learn more about myself and people. About what it means to photograph for a huge publishing house, with great talents and great projects. With big dreams too.
There are issues, there is a little drama here and there but overall there is this intense desire to create beautiful imagery. At the end of a really hard day, I still wake the next morning and say “Man! I love my job”. I am looking forward to what the next year will bring at work. And home now that Bill will be here more often.

Red Wine Cherries & Goat Cheese Mousse 2

Adjusting to each other is the easy part for us. We really dig each other…that helps! We have our quiet times. Our about town times. All punctuated by little indulgences here and there. Like Wine Soaked Cherries With Vanilla Ice Cream or Goat Cheese & Mascarpone Mousse. The cherries are divine on their own but flatter the most simple vanilla ice cream with gusto. They play a quieter part with soft and unctuous goat cheese and mascarpone mousse.

Red Wine Cherries & Goat Cheese Mousse 3

Red Wine Cherries With Goat Cheese & Mascarpone Mousse:

Note: feel free to use any type of cherries you have available. I am not listing the recipe for the version with ice cream, simply pair the red wine cherries with your favorite flavor. Vanilla, coconut, buttermilk, lemon…anything goes!

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup red wine (use pomegranate or cherry juice for an alcohol free version)

1 cup sugar, divided

3 cups pitted cherries

3 oz plain goat cheese, softened

3 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Prepare the cherries: (6 hours up to the day before)

Place the cherries in a large non reactive bowl and reserve.

In a medium saucepan, heat the red wine and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat, until the wine is hot and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the wine over the cherries. Let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Prepare the mousse:

In a large bowl, whip until smooth the softened goat cheese and mascarpone cheese. Set aside. In another large bowl, whisk the heavy whipping cream with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until medium soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture.

Divide evenly among ramekins or bowls, along with the red wine cherries.

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