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use a 2 quart Charlotte mold
The Charlottka (Russian) is a lady fingers mold with cream filling, served with a raspberry purée.
12-16 lady fingers split
8 large yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk
large piece of vanilla bean
4 level tsp. unflavored gelatin, softened in ½ cup cold water
1 cup chilled sour cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
Trim 12 of the ladyfinger halves, tapering them slightly at one end. Arrange these sides, side by side, curved sides down, on the bottom of a 2 quart charlotte mold with the tapered ends meeting in the center. Stand the remaining ladyfingers, curved side out, side by side around the inside of the mold. Avoid leaving open spaces.
Beat egg yolks briefly in a mix master mixing bowl. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is thick and pale yellow and runs sluggishly off the beater when lifted from the bowl. In a saucepan, warm the milk and vanilla bean over moderate heat until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove the bean and slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs, beating constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens into custard heavy enough to coat a spoon. Do not let it boil or it will curdle.
Off the heat, stir in softened gelatin. When it has completely dissolved strain the custard through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Whip together the sour cream and whipping cream until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Fill half a large bowl with ice cubes and cover them with 2” of water, set the bowl of custard into the water and stir the custard with a metal spoon for at least 5 minutes, or until it is quite cold and just beginning to thicken. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the 2 whipped creams into the custard. (If the cream-and-custard mixture is lumpy, beat it with a whisk until smooth). Pour the mixture into the prepared mold, smooth the top with a spatula, and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-5 hours, or overnight.
2 10oz. packages frozen raspberries, defrosted & drained
2 Tbsp. superfine sugar
2 Tbsp. kirsch or cherry flavored brandy
Rub the raspberries with the back of a large spoon through a fine sieve set over a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar and kirsch, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Invert a tray on top of the mold and turn over. Gently remove the mold and serve with the puree.
©Sally Bernstein, 2006