Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Easy Crema de Fruta

Copyright 2013 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Crema de Fruta is one dessert I have made numerous times when I have very little time to prepare for a full dinner party and dessert is a necessity. Originally sold as a refrigerator cake, it comes in layers of three or four. I'm not really sure if refrigerator cake is an actual culinary term but here in the Philippines, it refers to a cake that is assembled in a container and without the said container, it falls apart as mush. Also, it needs to be kept cold at all times, hence the descriptive "refrigerator" to label the confection. 

The three layers include a basic yellow cake or a buttery sponge cake that you cut into size based on your container, a creamy custard frosting which acts as the base for the third layer, the fresh fruits. The fourth layer is really a way to keep the fresh fruits from spoiling quickly so a gelatin glaze is added to hold the fruits in place as well as to preserve them.

My new and quick version is a take on a crema de fruta served during a party at my friend's house. Her sister owns a restaurant and they cater on the side as well so this dessert was one of the sweets served during the party. It was made with a sponge cake base but I wanted something quicker so I opted to use ladyfingers. I have tried quite a number of brands of ladyfingers and believe you me, the cake will taste only as good as the  quality of ladyfingers that you choose to use in the dessert. So, make sure that you get the best kind. Also, instead of a custard base, I used a pastry cream lightened with table cream. It is creamy and sweet without overpowering the fruits which are the main star of the dish. I also did away with the gelatin layer as I never really liked fruit-flavored gelatin. 

Easy Crema de Fruta

Pastry Cream
3 cups milk
1/3 cup white sugar
4 tbsp corn starch
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
6 egg yolks

1. Heat the milk over low flame in a small pot. Keep at barely a simmer. 

2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, corn starch, flour and the egg yolks. 
    Mix to form a thick paste. 

3. Add small amounts of the heated milk to thin out the egg yolk mixture. 
    Keep adding the warm milk up to one cup until a smooth consistency is 
    achieved. Pour the mixture into the remaining milk and stir well. 

4. With a wire whisk, stir the mixture to remove the lumps. Keep stirring 
    until it thickens. Turn off the heat and keep stirring for another 30 
    seconds. Transfer to another bowl and cover with clingfilm without 
    leaving any space in between. This will prevent a skin from forming. Set 
    aside to cool. 

To assemble the cake:
1 30-oz fruit cocktail, drained
1 30-oz peach halves, drained and sliced into rounds
12 - 15 prunes, halved
40-50 ladyfingers
1 cup table cream, whipped lightly

1. To the prepared pastry cream, add the vanilla extract and stir well. Add 
    the table cream and with a whisk, whip lightly to combine.

2. In a 9x13 glass dish, ladle about 1/4 cup of the pastry cream mixture and 
    spread with a spatula. 

3. Layer the ladyfingers until all nooks and crannies are filled. Top with half 
    the pastry cream mixture and arrange half the fruits over it.

4. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and cover with the remaining pastry 
    cream mixture. Arrange the fruits in a pattern of your choice and cover 
    with a clingfilm. 

5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment