Bananas, Strawberries, Lemon Gelatin, and Coconut Foam (Estofado de Platano a la Frambuesa, Gelatina de Limon a la Pimienta)
Chef Ferran Adria’s foams are at the culinary cutting edge. This beautiful dessert of caramelized bananas, little wild strawberries, topped with from-scratch lemon gelatin sprinkled with a few crushed pink peppercorns, is covered with coconut foam. To make foams you will need a whipped cream maker equipped with CO2 cartridges, available at most kitchen supply stores for between $45 to $70. Chef Adria makes his own coconut milk by soaking coconut. Canned coconut milk is a shortcut for the home cook. Do not confuse coconut milk with coconut cream (which has sugar and thickeners added). He also uses gelatin sheets, which have a different strength than granulated gelatin for home use. Four sheets of gelatin are roughly equal to one 1/4-ounce envelope of granulated gelatin. The wild strawberries of France, or fraises du bois, bear no resemblance to our cultivated strawberries. Fraises du bois are tiny and incredibly, intensely sweet. If you don’t have your own patch of wild strawberries, choose the finest cultivated strawberries you can find at the market. The pink peppercorns are not real peppercorns (piper nigrum), rather they are dried berries from a rose plant grown in Madagascar.
- Coconut Foam
- Coconut Milk - 1 cup, canned
- Water - 1/4 cup
- Unflavored Granulated Gelatin - 1 teaspoon
- Lemon Gelatin
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice - 1/4 cup, strained
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Water - 1/4 cup
- uUnflavored granulated gelatin - 1 teaspoon
- Banana - 1, large, firm, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Seedless raspberry preserves - 1 tablespoon, thinned with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Wild Strawberries - 40 to 50, or fresh ripe strawberries, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Good Balsamic Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
- Pink Peppercorns - 1 teaspoon, crushed
To make the foam: Open a 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk and strain it through a fine-meshed strainer. Measure 1 cup and reserve.
In a small saucepan, place 1/4 cup of water, and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of gelatin over the water. Let soften. When gelatin has softened, add the coconut milk and, stirring constantly, cook until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat and cool in an ice water bath.
Using a funnel and fine-meshed sieve, strain the cooled coconut milk-gelatin mixture into a whipped cream maker. Following manufacturer's directions, screw the top on tightly and refrigerate. The mixture must be well-chilled.
To make the gelatin: In a small saucepan combine the lemon juice and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of gelatin over the surface and let soften. When gelatin has softened, cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin has completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat and cool in an ice water bath. Transfer gelatin to a bowl or non-reactive container and refrigerate, covered.
To caramelize the bananas: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar in a saute pan over medium-high heat and, when sugar begins to caramelize, add diced bananas, stirring with a spatula to coat. When bananas are caramelized, deglaze pan with raspberry preserves that have been thinned with lemon juice. Remove pan from heat and transfer bananas to a flat bowl.
To serve: In four stemmed dessert glasses, divide bananas and spoon in. Divide strawberries and spoon onto bananas. Remove lemon gelatin from the refrigerator and stir with a spoon to soften. Divide among the four glasses and spoon in on top of the strawberries. Sprinkle a pinch of crushed pink peppercorns over the gelatin.
Remove the coconut milk-filled cream maker from the refrigerator. Following the manufacturer's directions, fit the CO2 cartridge into the holder. Shake the cream maker vigorously at least 10 times. Holding it above the dessert glasses, top each glass with a crown of coconut foam. Serve immediately.