Mousse de Queso de Oveja con Membrillo

Sheep’s Cheese Mousse with Quince

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • 6

    Serves

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

THERE IS A EWE’S MILK CHEESE THAT IS NOT SET WITH ANY RENNET, MADE IN A TOWN CALLED CASAR DE CÁCERES. AN INFUSION OF A LOCAL THISTLE IS POURED INTO THE RAW MILK AND AN ENZYME IN THE THISTLE SETS THE CURD. THIS CHEESE, CALLED TORTA DEL CASAR, IS SERVED BY CUTTING OFF THE TOP AND SCOOPING THE THICK, CREAMY INTERIOR ONTO BREAD. IN EXTREMADURA, A TRADITIONAL DESSERT IS MADE BY BLENDING THIS CHEESE WITH QUINCE. AS THIS CHEESE IS HARD TO COME BY WE’VE TESTED THIS DISH WITH SHEEP’S FROMAGE FRAIS AND GIVEN IT A TWEAK BY MIXING SOME ITALIAN MERINGUE THROUGH. THIS RECIPE MAKES A LITTLE EXTRA MERINGUE BECAUSE IT’S HARD TO MAKE IN SMALLER QUANTITIES — PERHAPS SPOON THE LEFT-OVER MERINGUE ONTO A LITTLE TART AND FLASH IT UNDER A HOT GRILL (BROILER).

Ingredients

  • 2 quince(s), peeled, cored and cut into eight wedges
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) calvados (apple brandy)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 310 g (11 oz/1⅓ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 300 g (10½ oz) sheep’s fromage frais
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) whipping cream
  • 60 g ( oz/½ cup) slivered almonds, toasted

Italian Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250 g (9 oz/heaped 1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3).

Place the quince wedges in a baking dish with the calvados, cinnamon stick, 80 g ( oz/ cup) of the sugar, 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water and half the lemon zest. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil, add another 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) water and turn the quince wedges over. Cover again and bake for another 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Place 260 g ( oz) of the cooled quince wedges and 100 ml ( fl oz) of the cooking liquid into a blender with the remaining sugar, remaining lemon zest and the fromage frais. Process until smooth and set aside.

To make the Italian meringue, whisk the egg whites using electric beaters until soft peaks form. Meanwhile, place the sugar and 200 ml (7 fl oz) water in a small saucepan and stir over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. With the beaters on low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the beaten egg whites in a slow steady stream. Do not pour the syrup on the moving whisk as it will spray hot liquid — and also be careful not to pour it down the side of the bowl as it will not integrate. When all the syrup has been added, continue whisking for another 2–3 minutes, or until the meringue is cool, thick and glossy.

Whisk the cream until firm peaks form. Gently fold 1 cup of the whipped cream and 1 cup of the meringue through the cheese and quince mixture. Divide the mixture among six 200 ml (7 fl oz) bowls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2–3 hours, or until chilled. To serve, sprinkle with toasted almonds.