Cactus Pear Sorbet with Cactus Pear Sauce, Blood Orange Mousse, & Passion Fruit Soufflé with Passion Fruit Sauce

Jean-Louis Palladin, Fred J. Maroon, Jean-Louis: Cooking with the Seasons - February 19th, 2014

The eighth course from Jean-Louis Palladin's Spring Menu in Jean-Louis: Cooking with the Seasons.

Cactus pear sorbet with cactus pear sauce:
Makes 1 qt. sorbet and 1/2 cup sauce

  • 5 cups ripe cactus pear pulp and seeds, chopped (from about 3 1/4 lbs. cactus pears; see note)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsps. gold Tequila
  • 4 mint sprigs (for garnish)

Note: If desired, neatly cut the pears in half so that once pulp and seeds are scooped out, the skins may be used as serving bowls for the sorbet; rinse and drain the skins well before using.

To make the fruit puree for the sorbet, place 4 cups of the cactus pear pulp and seeds in a medium-size pot; add 1 1/2 cups of the orange juice and the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then strongly simmer for 15 minutes, skimming foam and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Puree in a blender until smooth and strain through the chinois. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

On the day of serving, freeze the puree for the sorbet in the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until firm, about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of machine used. Next, transfer sorbet to a freezer container and freeze about 1 hour to harden further. Serve immediately (or leave in freezer and serve within a few hours).

To serve:

Form the sorbet into quenelles (oval shapes) or small scoops and place in chilled serving bowls or in the cactus pear shells arranged on dessert plates. Top each serving with some of the sauce and garnish with a mint sprig.

Blood orange mousse:
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 cups blood orange juice, strained (from about 3 1/4 lbs. blood oranges)
  • 3 Tbsps. granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsps. unflavored gelatin
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 blood oranges, peeled, seeded, and separated into segments without membranes (for garnish)
  • 4 mint sprigs (for garnish)

Combine the orange juice and sugar in a small pot, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour 1/3 cup of the hot syrup into a glass measuring cup; add to the cup 1/4 tsp. of the gelatin, stirring until completely dissolved. Pour equal amounts of this aspic into the ungreased molds, using it all; refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Set aside remaining syrup.

Meanwhile, whip the cream in a medium-size bowl just until fairly stiff peaks form; refrigerate. Next, add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. gelatin to the reserved syrup; let gelatin soften about 2 minutes. Return mixture to high heat and cook just a few seconds until gelatin completely dissolves, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature, then gradually add to the whipped cream, gently folding until barely blended, do not overmix.

Once the aspic in the molds is firm, spoon equal portions of the whipped cream mixture into them. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before unmolding.

To serve:

Unmold the mousses as follows: Fill a deep pan with about 1 1/2” boiling water. Place the molds in the pan and let set for precisely 45 seconds, then remove from the hot water. Loosen sides carefully with a thin flexible-bladed knife and invert each mousse onto a dessert plate; garnish edges with orange segments and a mint sprig. Serve immediately.

Passion fruit soufflé with passion fruit sauce:
Makes 4 servings

  • 18 oz. ripe (wrinkle skinned) passion fruits (about 14)
  • about 7 Tbsps. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 lg. egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup lg. egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp. lemon juice
  • sifted confectioners' sugar

For the sauce, cut 9 oz. of the fruit in half and squeeze the pulp and juices into the bowl of a blender; process about 15 seconds to help separate the seeds from the pulp. Strain through a chinois, using the bottom of a sturdy ladle to force as much through as possible; the strained sauce should yield about 1/4 cup. Add 1 Tbsp. of the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. (This may be done several hours ahead.)

For the soufflés, heat oven to 425°F. Use a pastry brush to very generously butter the soufflé dishes, including rims, with the melted butter. Coat each dish evenly with about 1 tsp. sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cut the remaining 9 oz. passion fruit in half and squeeze the pulp and juices into the blender bowl; process about 15 seconds, then strain through a chinois into a medium-size bowl, using a sturdy ladle to force as much through as possible. Add the egg yolks and 2 tsps. of the sugar to the bowl, whisking until thoroughly blended and frothy. Set aside.

Place 1” of water in a heavy baking pan and bring to a boil on the stove. Meanwhile, in the medium-size bowl of an electric mixer (make sure bowl is very clean), combine the egg whites and lemon juice; beat at low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat about 30 seconds until frothy bubbles begin to form, then add 2 Tbsps. of the sugar and beat at medium for 30 seconds more. Increase speed to high, add 1 Tbsp. more sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more.

Lightly fold about 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the passion fruit mixture until just barely blended, then lightly fold in remaining egg whites; do not overmix. Gently spoon batter into the prepared soufflé dishes. Run your thumb around the top edge of each dish to form a groove about 1/4" wide and deep between the dish and the soufflé batter. Place dishes in the pan of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, keeping the water strongly simmering; then quickly transfer pan, uncovered, to the preheated oven and bake until soufflés are cooked through, puffed, and browned on top, 12 to 14 minutes. Meanwhile, place sauce in a small sauceboat for serving at table. Remove cooked soufflés from oven and promptly serve on dessert plates, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Find more recipes from Palladin's Spring: Menu Two: