Winter is a time for cooking comfort food. Things are warm, spicy, and, usually, on the thick, rich, and heavy side.
Why not try something a little different? How about winter flavours with a lighter twist?
We served these gelled desserts after Christmas dinner, but they would be a great finish to any winter meal. I don’t have too many pictures of the process, because, well, it was Christmas and I was busy doing other things. But it’s a simple idea. It comes from the Holiday 2011 issue of LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine.
In a small pot, pour 1/4 cup apple cider and sprinkle it with 1 envelope unflavoured gelatin. Cook that over low heat, stirring all the while, until the gelatin has completely liquefied. Set that aside for a spell, and don’t fret if the gelatin starts to set while it’s waiting.
In a larger pot, stir together 2 3/4 cups apple cider, a cinnamon stick, one 1/4″ thick slice of fresh ginger, 10 black peppercorns, and 1/2 teaspoon corriander seeds. Bring that mixture to a boil, then turn it down to medium and simmer it for 10 minutes or so, until the mixture is spiced and reduced down to 2 cups.
Pour the spiced cider mixture through a sieve into the pot with the gelatin and stir until it’s all combined. Pour into four little cups (we used some demitasses we had in the basement), and stick a cinnamon stick into each one. Chill for 2 hours, or until set.
To serve, garnish with whipped cream mixed with maple syrup and a dash of ground cardamom or garam masala.