Chilled Plum Soup with Green Grape Sorbet, Horchata Gelée, and Crispy Rice Clusters
At the 2010 Aureole dinner, pastry chefs from the East and West Coast locations prepared dueling desserts. This chilled plum soup was Jennifer Yee’s contribution.
- 4 1/4 cups water
- 1 pound chopped red plums
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 cups water, divided
- 1 packet powdered gelatin
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound green seedless grapes
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup short grain rice, cooked
- Canola oil for frying
- Red and yellow plums, diced, for garnish
To make the plum soup, bring the water, plums, and sugar to a boil in a large pot. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the liquid into a bowl that’s resting in an ice bath. After the soup has cooled, put it in the refrigerator to chill.
To make the horchata gelée, put the rice, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and cardamom in a food processor. Grind until the rice is broken up. Transfer the rice mixture to a medium bowl, add 2 1/2 cups of water, and let stand overnight.
Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the horchata into a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of water and let stand for 5 minutes. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of water to a boil, then add to the bowl that’s holding the water with the bloomed gelatin. Stir the combined waters into the horchata, then pour the mixture into a plastic wrap–lined 9 x 9-inch pan. Chill until set. Once the gelée has formed, remove from the pan and cut into small cubes. Reserve the gelée cubes in the refrigerator.
To make the sorbet, put the sugar and water in a sauce pot and bring to a boil to make a simple syrup. Once boiling, remove from the heat. Purée the grapes and lemon juice in a food processor until very smooth, then add 1 1/2 cups of simple syrup. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Reserve in the freezer.
To make the crispy rice clusters, preheat the oven to 250ºF. Spread the cooked rice onto a Silpat and dry in the oven until the rice is completely dry and pulls away from the Silpat, about 20 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, break the sheet of rice into small pieces. Heat the oil to 400ºF in a tall heavy-bottomed pot. Fry the rice clusters until the rice puffs. Transfer fried clusters to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain.
Place a small spoonful of diced red and yellow plums in the bottom of a soup bowl, then top with a scoop of the sorbet. Top the sorbet with a rice cluster. Scatter cubes of horchata gelée around the bottom of the bowl, then pour in some chilled plum soup.