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Concord Grape Mousse
from "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 ½ pounds white or blue Concord grapes
- 1 ½ packages unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch sea salt
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 egg whites
1- Rinse the grapes well. Pluck them from their stems and put them in a heavy saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan, and cook over high heat until the skins have separated from the pulp and the grapes are soft, about 5 minutes. Press down on them with a potato masher to break them up and to ascertain their tenderness. If they’re resistant, cook them a few minutes more. Pass the grapes through a food mill to separate the skins and seeds. You should have at least 2 cups of juice. If not, add water to bring it up to the volume.
2- Sprinkle the gelatin into ¼ cup water and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the 2/3 cup sugar and the grape juice and heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the salt and lemon juice to taste.
3- Add the softened gelatin to the grape juice and stir over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and refrigerate until partially thickened, about 3 hours.
4- Beat the cream in a mixer with the remaining teaspoon of sugar until it forms soft peaks, then scrape it into a bowl. Without washing the bowl, add the grape mixture and egg whites and beat on high until thick, about 5 minutes. Return to the refrigerator for it to set.
5- You can serve the mousse three ways. One: layer it into wine-glasses, alternating with layers of whipped cream and ending with cream and a garnish of mint. Two: fold the cream into the grape mixture, leaving streaks of grape and cream. Three: pile it into a graham-cracker crust and cover it with the whipped cream.