23 December 2009

Frozen Holiday Terrine


Simplicity.

That word has a special meaning at this time of year. As Christmas Day approaches simplicity is something I seem to physically crave.

It's not that I don't enjoy complexity. December often begins that way with boxes of decorations to be rediscovered and arranged, a calender bursting with obligations and opportunities, and recipes that are long and challenging.

Eager to plunge into the magic of the season I often begin the month with energy and resolve determined to bring order and meaning to all of these threads, and even hoping to weave them into something brilliant.

By mid-December, however, my enthusiasm is often in need of rehabilitation, and by Christmas I have often pared things down to the essentials. After a month of navigating complex relationships as I try to balance hopes and desires with real needs I find myself craving the simple things: a breath of fresh air, the joy of brightly colored lights, the familiar melody of Silent Night and the knowing smiles of my dearest friends.

In this season of complex tastes it is nice to be able to turn to something simple and fresh, something that sings in clear unwavering tones. This dessert does that beautifully. It is based on simple notes: Tart, cold, bright, pretty. Easy to make and to enjoy this Frozen Holiday Terrine is a breath of fresh air and a perfect finish to a festive holiday meal.


Frozen Holiday Terrine

1 pint raspberry sherbet or sorbet
1 pint lime sherbet or sorbet
1 pint strawberry sherbet or sorbet
whole fresh cranberries, for garnish
mint leaves, for garnish

Set out the containers of sherbet until soft enough to work with.

Meanwhile, line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving at least 3 inches of overhang on all sides.

Spoon the raspberry sherbet into the bottom of the pan, smoothing it to fill the pan evenly. Use only enough to fill no more than the bottom 1/3 of the pan. Return any unused raspberry sherbet to the freezer.

Repeat with the next two layers, evenly smoothing the lime sherbet over the raspberry to cover it and fill the next 1/3 of the pan, and then smoothing the strawberry sherbet over all.

Cover the top of the pan with the ends of the plastic wrap, adding another piece if needed. Place the loaf pan in the freezer for several hours to freeze solid.

To serve:

Remove from the freezer. Peel back the plastic wrap from the top and invert the pan so that the terrine rests on a cutting board.

Using a sharp thin bladed knife, carefully cut ¾ - 1 inch slices of the molded sherbet. (It may help to warm the knife under hot water, then wipe dry with a paper towel, before cutting.)

Place the sliced sherbet on a serving plate. Garnish with fresh whole cranberries (rolled in a little sugar if you like) and a mint leaf or sprig. Serve as is or with small cookies.

Note: To soften slightly and add a little sparkle, splash with a tablespoon of champagne just before serving.

Enjoy!

8 comments:

My Carolina Kitchen said...

This I've got to try. Sounds so easy too and it's drop-dead gorgeous. You must get a lot of oohs and ahs.
Happy holidays.
Sam

Susan said...

Wonderful, beautiful and easy! Thanks.

Pam said...

Don't you just love it when something so pretty, turns out to be easy!

Grace said...

excellent idea, lisa! putting this together would definitely restore some culinary confidence and it'd also be pretty rewarding to devour. :)

theUngourmet said...

Your terrine is so pretty! I love the sugared cranberries on top!

Merry Christmas! :D

Deeba PAB said...

This terrine looks & sounds gorgeous! Wonderful!
marry Christmas & wishes for a magical New Year!

Cindy said...

Beautiful! I'm with ya on simplicity after a hectic holiday. I even started a blog called Simplicity in hopes of finding some this season. Now I've got to get out and shoot more photos for it.

The American Homemaker said...

That looks very pretty :)