Foodiva's Kitchen: French Fridays with Dorie - Citrus Berry Tropical Fruit Terrine

Friday, July 29, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - Citrus Berry Tropical Fruit Terrine


Having sworn off from ever making terrines again after this attempt, I turned around and subsequently saw this recipe on the French Fridays with Dorie cooking list - Citrus Berry Terrine. Great. Not that I dislike eating terrines per se, in fact I could quite easily indulge my sugar addiction with decadent terrines like this chocolate one, made by Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write blog. I'm just not a big fan of the ones fixed in place with gelling agents. I simply don't get the concept of suspending the freshest seasonal ingredients in gelatine or agar, only to be sliced afterwards so we can admire its colors and layers from a cross-sectional view. Could someone explain to me what the fixation with that is, please?



Anyway, I decided to give terrines another go, because I'm open-minded enough like that. With this recipe being a sweet, fruity terrine, it might have a chance at chipping away at my reservations. Instead of going the whole shebang with a standard-sized one though, I was inspired by the individually portioned terrines served up at some fancy restaurant, some place abroad, a long, long time ago. If that sounds vague to you, my memory is even blurrier on the details of that terrine. What I know for sure is that it was dainty, pretty and inviting. And that was before it was even sliced into.


Wanting to stick with the citrus-berry theme of this week's recipe, I used our local oranges called Labi oranges and blackberries. The Labi oranges have a thin, green skin with very minimal pith and the orange segments are orange in color similar to regular oranges. Notice that I used the word 'orange' 4 times in that last sentence and it should be recorded for posterity as a very rare occurrence :-). Other than these two fruits, I decided to throw in whatever else was available in my pantry and those were purple grapes and dragonfruit. For the orange juice suspension, I switched it up just a little by using blood orange juice because I quite liked the idea of a pinkish-burgundy terrine.


My gelling agent of choice was agar agar because I understood its setting properties better than gelatine. Hmm, that sounds more like lab-talk than kitchen-talk, doesn't it? The side-effect of being mad about science, sorry... The great thing about using agar is that the mold doesn't need to be lined with any plastic film beforehand because once it's set, the terrine is very firm and can be turned out with great ease. Now I know some people don't quite enjoy the chewy texture of an agar-set dessert, but I grew up eating tons of the stuff (and not gelatine) so to me, it's normal and depending on the flavors the agar agar is infused with, it can be very flavorful.


So I'm not sure whether this is a terrine by Dorie's standards. It certainly has the major elements of the recipe in there... it's colorful, fruity, refreshingly light but one thing it also is, it's shapely (thanks to the agar!). Hope my fellow Doristas, or cooking group members, had better luck with their liquid:gelatine ratios and present you with some amazing-looking, summery terrines.

Here's a song by India Arie for all you Doristas and friends alike, so you can end the week on a beautiful, powerful note. If I woke up one morning and found that I had suddenly acquired the most amazing voice (well, one can only wish), this would be the first song I sing. Happy weekend, everyone!


45 comments:

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Your mini terrines look lovely! I used gelatine and was happily surprised at the texture - not rubbery at all (mind you, I packed it with fruit and didn't end up needing all the liquid. I will need to try Agar Agar out at some point! Happy weekend!

Foodiva said...

Mardi, there's plenty of agar agar sold in Paris...now's your chance to try it out!

oneexpatslife said...

Your little terrines are lovely! What a beautiful preparation, and the dragon fruit adds such great color. Great ideas!

something_good said...

agar-agar is a great choice, especially combined with fruit & veggie (for those who fast or those who are vegan it's the only choice).

Photos are delicious :)

PFx said...

I love Indie.Arie. Your tastes of music are in ditto to my soul.
I love the mould you use in the terrine, tho as an Indonesian, we call them agar. And of course, I never say no to anything berry.
I think it's not about the texture, I sometimes don't like the taste of certain agar... too seaweedy, it's quite difficult to match somewhat. Maybe I should give agar-agar a little thought and wait for an inspiration to set in.

Lizzy said...

Just stunning, Maya! Your molds gave such fabulous definition....and I'm totally with you on making individual servings...yours are perfectly elegant!

Adora's Box said...

I am not a terrine person either but only because I am not a dainty person and the delicate job of layering is not my forte. But fruits set in jelly or agar is within my range of skills. I have fond memories of it as my mother made it a lot. It is such comfort food for me. It always brings happy thoughts. You've made fabulous ones.

Cher said...

The indivivual molds came out beautifully & love the fruit choices.
Looks like you passed the terrine test with flying colors.

Ei said...

Your terrines look gorgeous! Is it wrong that I also want to eat the bowl of fruit you pictured, without the agar agar? Even by itself, the fruit looks like artwork.

Peggy said...

Don't know when you got the new header, but I love it - too cute!

And these mini terrines look great - I love your use of the dragonfruit in here =)

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

Maya- I don't think there's anything you can't make. I am beyond impressed! Those terrines look sooo tasty and your photos are spectacular. Lucky kiddos, lucky foodivo. :)

Steph said...

The mini terrines are really beautiful! Love the different fruits and juices you used. Very creative.

Lazaro Cooks said...

Creative and expertly prepared. Gorgeous photos as well.

Thanks for stopping by LC.

Lilly said...

I grew up eating lots of agar agar as well. They sell it in different colors and mom use to make it growing up. Sometimes it had a layer of coconut milk or coffee on top. Darn…now you made me wanna make it!

I love what you did making individual servings. The mold are just too cute and the colors! Just too jum.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

My mom loves terrine and she'd be happy to eat this. These mini ones are so cute and beautiful at the same time!

MyBlackPoodle said...

I'm learning so much from my fellow Doristas. Agar, you say? I've heard of it, but I have never used it. I'll need to do a little more research. Your terrines look like a work of art, almost too pretty to eat.

Pacheco Patty said...

Very pretty! These little molds are so sweet, I like the look of your mini fruit terrines;-)

yummychunklet said...

How pretty! What great molds!

Kate@Diethood said...

OH MY! Hello gorgeous terrine!! I loooove the molds. I wish you could see my eyes right now ... they are glued to your beautiful creations.

createwithmom said...

beautiful innovative way to have berries

Ann said...

Wow! That is beautiful! I love the dragon fruit in it - so clever. For someone who had their doubt - you did beautifully!

Kris' Kitchen said...

Beautiful! I had to take a minute to stop by and see what you created. Glad I did. I won't have time for FFwD for a couple of weeks...doing my nephew's wedding, but I love seeing what my fellow Dorista's are doing...and I'll just have to catch up later. Great cooking as usual.

Foodiva said...

@something good, you're right about agar agar being vegetarian, that's something I forgot to mention!

Foodiva said...

Pierre@PFx, so glad to note that our tastes in music and food are somewhat similar. Luckily our tastes in the opposite sex are waaay different! LOL. Thanks, my soul bro-thah! Now, go and stun us with a bit of agar.

Foodiva said...

Ei, no it's not wrong at all. In fact, I ate lots of the fruit chunks before the agar even made it into the molds! ;-)

Foodiva said...

Adora, I can't believe for a moment you're not a dainty person, looking at all the things that come out of your kitchen! Yes, agar desserts are my comfort food too, they're what we grew up eating.

Foodiva said...

Peggy, so glad you noticed the header! It's only been up a week. ;-)

Foodiva said...

Jenny, when we see each other in Dec, it'll be lucky ME!!! :-)

Foodiva said...

Lilly, ooh....agar agar with coconut milk or coffee are two of my perennial favorites too! You've got to glean those recipes off your mom and make them soon, before summer's over.

Foodiva said...

To all the lovely Doristas who swung by today, a BIG massive hug and thank you for leaving your comments! I'll find time to come around to your sites over the next few days ;-).

Laurie Lessner said...

Beautiful! And you've convinced me to try agar agar again.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

It looks elegant and it looks like art.So fresh and vibrant!

lola said...

Beautiful little terrines! I'm not familiar with agar agar but will look for it.

Foodiva said...

Laurie, the great thing about agar agar is that it is vegetarian and the powdered agar doesn't have any seaweed-y taste at all (because I know some people might be put off by that!).

Foodiva said...

Evelyne@CEE, if only my actual paintings were this beautiful! LOL.

Foodiva said...

Lola, when you do find it, I hope you'll try to make something delicious and visually yummy with it :-). Oh, and write a post about your discovery!

the [sugar] apothecary said...

Haha, I definitely agree with your reservations about suspending fresh fruit in gel for the sole purpose of slicing it up like a gummy meatloaf. But the individual terrines were a great idea! And I'd go for agar over gelatin any day. They came out so pretty!

Adriana said...

Maya, your molds are fantastic! What kind are they? I tried using my mini-bundt pan and more than half of them were definitely not as picture worthy as yours. Love the dragon fruit and the gorgeous colors.

Maureen said...

oh these are so clever! Like so many others I have never used agar but after seeing these terrines I'm definitely going to try it.

Foodiva said...

Adriana, my molds were just regular plastic jelly molds, they're not even silicon ones. The agar has a firmer setting texture than gelatin and can be turned out without any effort, just tap the mold and they come out. Another bonus point for using agar over gelatin!

Foodiva said...

Maureen, this is the point where you've pushed out of your comfort zone and are willing to try something else new. I like that about you!

Frolicking Night Owl said...

ahhh! BEAUTIFUL! Love the hot pink tones in there!

Trix said...

You know, I really do need to jump on the agar boat, because I cannot abide the smell of gelatin and I really love how these look. Shh, don't tell anyone but I like your berry terrines the best. : )

Foodiva said...

Trix, since most of the other Doristas have already commented, your secret confession may just be safe. For now :-). Thanks, sweets!

Diva Boutique Bakery said...

looks great! when i find some dragon fruit ill be making this love the colours.

Related Posts with Thumbnails