I adore this recipe because you can make it a couple of days in advance, and it is visually gorgeous. The pale yogurt against the deep maroon of the compote is nothing short of enticing, and no element is overly sweet. Of all the recipes I discovered while in France, this was the one that captured my heart.
For the compote: In a large, heavy nonreactive saucepan, combine the cherries, pears, apples, sugar, and lemon zest. Gently toss to evenly coat the fruit with the sugar. Cook over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The fruit should cook down to one-third or one-fourth of its original volume and the juices will be thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool completely in the pan. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
For the charlottes: Liberally butter four
In a deep bowl, beat
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the remaining V cup heavy cream with the sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring at first to dissolve the sugar, until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat. If using the gelatin sheet, squeeze out the excess water and whisk the gelatin into the hot cream mixture until smooth. If using the granulated gelatin, whisk the gelatin mixture into the hot cream until smooth.
Pour the yogurt into a small bowl and stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour the hot cream mixture into the yogurt and whisk until incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream.
Divide the yogurt mixture evenly among the prepared charlotte molds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Dip the bottom of a charlotte mold in a bowl of hot water, then unmold the charlotte into a shallow bowl. Repeat to unmold the remaining charlottes. To serve, spoon a generous amount of the fruit compote around each charlotte.
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