Bohemian Pancakes with Plum Gelee and Poppy Seed Parfait
Lovely pancakes leavened with yeast and beaten egg white sit next to slices of frozen poppy seed parfaits, garnished with nuts, strawberries, and whipped cream. The chef gives a recipe to make 12 servings of the parfait, noting that making less does not work properly. The extra may be kept frozen and served with a drizzle of raspberry puree as another dessert. The recipes call for “vanilla sugar:” this is simply granulated sugar in which a split vanilla bean is stored. The parfait must freeze for at least 12 hours; begin a day ahead.
- Poppy Seed Parfait )Makes 12 servings)
- Egg yolks - 3
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
- Vanilla Sugar - 2 teaspoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Poppy Seeds - 3 tablespoons, ground
- Brandy - 1 tablespoon
- Amaretto or other almond liqueur - 1 tablespoon
- Milk - 3/4 cup
- Egg - 1, separated
- Active Dry Yeast - 1/2 packet
- Sifted Flour - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 tablespoons, melted
- Salt to taste
- Vanilla Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Rum - 2 tablespoons
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Plum jelly (gelee) - 1/3 cup
- Vegetable oil or clarified butter - 1/4 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup, beaten to firm peaks
- Whole strawberries - 8, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
- Almonds - 1 cup, chopped, sliced, toasted
- Mint sprigs - 8
To make the parfait: Line a terrine with plastic wrap, leaving extra hanging over the long sides of the terrine. Place the yolks, sugar, and vanilla sugar in a stainless steel or glass bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with very warm water. Whisk until frothy and slightly thickened, then cover with plastic wrap and chill. When the mixture is cold, beat the whipped cream until it stands in soft peaks. Take the yolk-sugar mixture out of the refrigerator and stir in the poppy seeds, brandy, and Amaretto. Stir a large spoonful of whipped cream into the yolk-sugar mixture, then gently fold in the remaining cream. Pour into the terrine and enclose with the flaps of plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 12 hours.
To make the pancakes: Warm the milk over low heat until about room temperature. In a large bowl, blend the milk, egg yolk, and yeast. Let stand in a warm place for 3 - 5 minutes, until slightly foamy. Add the flour and melted butter, stirring to blend into a batter. Then add the salt, sugar, zest, and 1 tablespoon of the rum. Beat the egg white with the 3 tablespoons of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold 1 large spoonful of egg white into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining egg white.
Place a griddle or large skillet over medium-high heat and brush with vegetable oil or clarified butter. Drop a large spoonful of batter on the griddle and cook until it puffs and small bubbles form and break on the surface. Turn with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden. Repeat to form a total of 8 pancakes.
Stir the remaining tablespoon of rum into the plum jelly and brush four pancakes with the mixture. Stack the pancakes and cover loosely with foil; keep warm. Repeat with remaining four pancakes.
To serve: Place a warm pancake on each dessert plate. Unmold the parfait and cut 8 slices. Refreeze the remainder for another dessert. Place one slice of parfait next to each pancake. Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large fluted tip and pipe a rosette of whipped cream next to each pancake and parfait. Place strawberry slices next to the whipped cream rosettes and sprinkle circumference of the plates with chopped almonds. Garnish each with a mint sprig.