Sun-dried Cherry Charlotte with Green Tea Ice Cream
Chef Will Greenwood created this dessert in homage to Thomas Jefferson, who sun-dried his own cherries, loved ice cream, was fond of tea, and was a connoisseur of fine food and unusual invention. This charlotte is the best thing that can ever happen to white bread.
- Green Tea Ice Cream
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2-1/2 cups
- Half-and-half - 1/2 cup
- Chinese green tea leaves - 1/4 cup
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Sun-dried Cherry Charlotte
- Dried Cherries - 2 cups
- Fresh Orange Juice - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Good-quality day-old white bread - 16 to 20 slices, crusts removed
- Clarified Unsalted Butter - 4 cups (1 pound), warmed
- Creme Anglaise (recipe follows) - 1/2 cup
- Raspberry sauce - 1/4 cup
- Chocolate Sauce - 1/4 cup
- Fresh mint sprigs - 4 small
To make the ice cream: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, half-and-half, and tea. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add some of the hot cream mixture to the yolk mixture and stir to warm the yolks. Stir this mixture into the cream mixture in the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
To make the charlottes: Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cherries, orange juice, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for about 15 minutes, or until the cherries are plump and all liquid has been absorbed.
Cut four of the bread slices into rounds to fit the bottom of each of four 4-inch tart pans. Cut the remaining bread into 1-1/2-inch-by-2-1/2-inch rectangles. Pour the butter into a shallow bowl and dip the bread circles in the butter to saturate them. Place 1 circle in each tart pan. Dip the rectangles in the butter to saturate them and arrange the strips, slightly overlapping, around the sides of the pans. The strips will extend over the tops, but should be arranged evenly. Press the slices together around the edges so that they stick together. Bake until browned and crusty, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Rewarm just before serving.
To serve: Heat the cherries and divide them among the tart pans, reserving 1/4 cup. Place a dessert plate over each charlotte, then invert, turning the charlotte out onto the plate. Pool creme anglaise over the plates around the charlottes. Put the raspberry sauce in a squeeze bottle and make 6 to 8 spots of raspberry sauce in the creme anglaise on each plate. Using the tip of a small spoon, dot the center of each raspberry spot with creme anglaise. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pull through each dot, creating a tail on each. Place two small scoops of green tea ice cream on opposite sides of each charlotte. Place a few of the remaining cherries on the top of each charlotte, and press a mint sprig into each.