Ironically, when I truly love something, it tends to sit untouched. For some silly reason, I have this impulse to save it - for what I don't know. Case in point, there is an apple pie scented candle that I have been hanging onto for YEARS because it smells so amazing. But instead of lighting it, I keep on using up the less worthy candles in my collection. In fact, burning fiercely from atop my table as I write this, is the most repulsive pine candle I have ever smelled - surely a regift from someone who was desparate to get rid of the thing.
Similarly, I have a bag of dark cherries in my freezer that I can't bear to part with. Even though the store where I purchase them is located just 15 minutes down the road. Instead, I buy, eat and re-buy frozen raspberries - which I like well enough, but not nearly as much as the cherries!
In trying to break myself out of this funny pattern, I'm putting my prized ingredient to good use here. Nice and sweet, the cherry sauce offsets the tangy lime mousse which on its own might be a bit tart. Combined with the crunchy toasted almonds, it makes for a very tasty dessert!
This is a vegan treat, so even a person with severe dairy intolerance can enjoy it. Some might wonder why a vegan recipe would be posted on a blog that is clearly not strictly vegan. Well, this particular blog doesn't discriminate. The focus here is finding ways to supply the body with the nutrition it needs, largely through plant-based foods, without excluding the occasional hankering for meat, fish or even cheese.
So that you might add to your own collection of much-loved treasures, I've included links to some of my favorite cookbooks just beneath this recipe. These I do use regularly, cooking a variety of recipes from each one. But even if you prefer to admire rather than use these books, the photographs and the writing that they contain are wonderfully uplifting and inspirational.
2 cups frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 large banana, peeled
1 tablespoon lime zest
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup confectioners sugar or maple syrup
2 large avocados, peeled and pitted
2 sprigs fresh mint or thinly sliced lime
Combine the cherries and cornstarch in a sauce pan, stirring until the cherries are coated with the cornstarch. Add the lime juice, vanilla and syrup. Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently until the cherries thicken and reduce, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Spoon about half of the sauce into the bottom of two stemless wine glasses, leaving enough leftover to top the prepared mousse.
Pour the almonds into a sauté pan and toast over medium heat, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from heat and pour the almonds into a bowl to stop the cooking process. Allow to cool, then sprinkle half of the nuts over the first layer of cherry sauce.
KEY LIME MOUSSE:
Fit a piping bag with a wide tip such as the Wilton Star Tip #2110. In a food processor or blender, combine the banana, zest, lime juice, sugar, (or syrup if using) and avocados. Puree until thick and smooth. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the mousse into the piping bag and pipe equal amounts into both serving glasses. Top with remaining cherry sauce and almonds. Garnish with sprigs of mint or slices of lime.
Yield: 2 servings