Fruit Croquant with Mango Jelly
Crispy packets of rum-glazed tropical fruit are garnished with mango jelly, actually a sort of aspic made with mango juice. The aspic is cut into decorative crescents; the recipe should make enough for a few “oops!” cuts and the option of serving 2 or 3 crescents per person. The chef uses large sheets of unleavened bread for the packets, tearing it into 12-inch squares; here we suggest using phyllo dough, which makes a good substitute.
- Mango Jelly
- Mango Juice - 2 cups
- Powdered Gelatin - 2 tablespoons, unflavored
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Mangoes - 2, skinned, pitted, and cut into large dice
- Guavas - 3, skinned and cut into large dice
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Light Rum - 1 tablespoon
- Phyllo Dough - Eight, 12-inch squares, thawed
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted
- Chocolate Sauce - 1-1/2 cups, warmed
- Mint sprigs - 8
To prepare the jelly: Whisk the mango juice, gelatin, and sugar together in a pan and place over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly but gently until the gelatin and sugar have dissolved; do not boil. Pour into a large baking pan or similar container so that the jelly mixture is about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch deep. Press plastic wrap smoothly on the surface and refrigerate until still, about 2 hours.
To prepare the fruit: Place the fruit and butter in a saute pan or skillet over low heat and warm; do not saute. Stir in the sugar and let melt; toss the fruit in the mixture to glaze. Add the rum, avert your face, and ignite with a long match. Shake the pan as the alcohol burns off, then toss the fruit in the glaze again. Set aside.
To prepare the croquants: Preheat the broiler to high. Butter a baking pan. Lay the phyllo sheets on a work surface and brush with melted butter (because phyllo dries out so quickly, you may find it easier to work with two pieces at a time, keeping the others under a damp towel until ready to use.) Place a large spoonful of glazed fruit in the center of each. Gather the phyllo into a pouch around the fruit, pinning it together with a toothpick. Place the phyllo packets in the prepared pan. Brush again with butter and broil until the packets begin to brown.
To serve: Using a 5-inch ring mold, cut into the jelly. Offset the mold to the side and cut again to create a crescent. Continue, making 16 to 24 crescents. Lift a crescent with a small spatula or your fingers and place at the 9 o’clock position on a dessert plate. Place one or two more crescents next to the first, fanning them slightly around the plate clockwise. Place a croquant at the 4 o’clock position, at the base of the crescents. Repeat with the other plates. Drizzle the plates decoratively with chocolate sauce. Place a sprig of mint at the base of the crescents on each plate.