When it’s hotter than a furnace outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. So when I offered to bring a dessert as my contribution to a recent meal with friends, I thought of the refrigerator instead. This apricot-raspberry trifle doesn’t have a custard base as a traditional trifle does. It’s really just a mousse – fancied up with a layering of cookies and raspberries and some splashes of Cointreau – an orange flavored liqueur. It may seem like a long recipe, but don’t let that stop you from making it – it’s not at all difficult. The hardest part is refraining from diving into the mousse while you’re assembling the whole thing. But hey, it’s your kitchen. Who’s to know if you leave a little bit extra on the bowl and spatula?
I used something called “milk cookies,” a package that I’d never seen before but recently found at a local farmer’s market. Savoiardi cookies would work well here too, but not the soft American-type ladyfingers. You need something that’s hard and crisp that will soften in the mousse but not disintegrate.
After you’ve made the mousse, start by breaking up the cookies in the bottom of a large glass bowl if you have one. It would look pretty in individual receptacles too, such as a martini or champagne glass.
After you’ve put in the cookies, sprinkle some Cointreau or other liqueur over the cookies. Apricot schnaps would be perfect here, but even rum or just plain old whiskey is fine.
Add a layer of the mousse, then half of the raspberries and the soaking liquid of Cointreau, sugar and lemon. If you want, you could also add some cut-up apricots here too.
Next, add another layer of cookies, another sprinkling of Cointreau, then more mousse, and more berries.
Finish it with a layer of mousse, then decorate with sliced apricots and berries. Oh yea, and a sprig of mint too.
Oh dear, decisions, decisions. What to dive into first? The dessert or the pool?
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-12 ounces dried apricots
-1 envelope unflavored gelatin
-1/4 cup cold water
-3 eggs, separated
-3/4 c. sugar
-3 T. Cointreau, or other liqueur
-3 cups heavy cream
-2 small containers of raspberries (leave some aside to decorate)
-juice of one lemon
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup Cointreau
-Savoiardi biscuits, or other similar plain, hard cookies - how many depends on what size the cookies are- I used about 9 or 10.
-more Cointreau for splashing on biscuits
-about 6 to 8 fresh apricots to use for decoration on top
1. Put the apricots in a saucepan covered with about an inch of water. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes until softened.
2. Place the gelatin and cold water in a bowl; stir with a spoon to dissolve gelatin.
3. Put the hot apricots with the cooking water and the gelatin in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside to cool.
4. Mix the raspberries, the lemon juice, the Cointreau and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
5. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and liqueur in a bowl and transfer to the top of a double boiler. Whisk over gently simmering water until lightly thickened. Cool to room temperature.
6. Mix together the cooled egg yolk mixture and the apricot mixture.
7. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
8. Whip the cream until stiff.
9. Fold the egg whites into the apricot mixture, then fold in the whipped cream.
11.In a large glass bowl place some broken Savoiardi biscuits, splash with more Cointreau, then add 1/3 of the apricot mixture. Sprinkle with half of the raspberries and half of the marinating mix. (If you want, you could add some sliced apricots here.) Repeat with more cookies, liqueur, apricot mixture and the remaining raspberries and raspberry marinating mixture. Finish with the apricot mixture.
12. Decorate the top with raspberries and sliced apricots. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.