We had a dinner invitation, and I was bringing dessert.  I meandered through the recipe database – I wanted something better then cookies, transportable, sort-of fall-ish, not terribly rich, and preferably something I hadn’t made before.  This was the first recipe that caught my eye.

Before I bookmarked this, I’d never heard of a Verrine.  The Internet tells me that they come in savory and sweet, and they only requirement seems to be that they are “layered artfully in a glass”. 

This one has 4 layers – a maple jello on the bottom, a maple whipped cream, a layer of maple-glazed apples, and a layer of crisp on top. 

Each one was simple enough.  The jello was made by letting some unflavored gelatin bloom, then adding it to a boiling maple syrup and water mixture.

The whipped cream was a standard whipped cream, with the addition of a bit of maple syrup and some sour cream.  The sour cream added a tiny bit of bite, and kept the whole thing from being too sweet.

The apples get tossed in a pan with the maple syrup, and cooked just a bit.  I don’t like really soft apples, so I started with firm apples and only cooked them enough to get them glazed.  I didn’t want them crunchy, but I didn’t want applesauce either.

The crisp is just like every other crisp – some butter, flour and brown sugar in a food processor until it gets to the right consistency, then gets baked.

I was worried about transporting the finished glasses, so I made the jello in the glasses, but then I put the apples, whipped cream, and crisp in separate bowls and let people assemble them on the fly.

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They were quite a hit. I was worried that they’d come out too sweet, but they weren’t.  The maple jello was an interesting texture with the apples and the crisp.  It really did taste like maple, without being cloying. 

Definitely going on my “make-again” list.  They’d make a nice, light, post-Thanksgiving dessert if you were looking for an apple-pie alternative – just don’t tell anyone that the recipe is originally Canadian!

( see the recipe )

Chai Tea Jello

I’ve had some rather expensive issues with my oven lately, so I’ve not been doing a whole lot of baking. So when I saw this Vietnamese Coffee Jello on Live Journal the other day, it looked like nice, easy, much-needed dessert.

The only problem was that I’m not a really big coffee fan. But I do love chai tea, and I happened to have a box of chai teabags in the pantry, so I used those.

It came out really great! Rich and creamy, with just the right amount of tea and spice. You don’t usually think of jello as "spicy", but this is really good.

My next version of it is going to be an "iced tea" version – skip the sweetened condensed milk, replace all the liquid with strong iced tea, and replace the unflavored gelatin with a box of lemon jelllo. Stay tuned!

( see the recipe )