(Elaneer–Tender Coconut Water)
Ok, so it has been raining plums all over the country and beyond too! Wonder not at the surfeit of interest that all bloggers seem to have in plums. The reason is the contest announced jointly by KitchenAid India and the Indian Food Bloggers Meet. Here is my last attempt at all things ‘plummy’.
A simple, visually stunning dessert that has been born of the desire to create a new, uncomplicated, breath taking dish. Of marrying French sensibilities with Indian flavours. Of paying tribute to my home state, Kerala. What can capture the essence of Kerala better than it’s famous coconuts? The Elaneer or tender coconut water is an excellent base for this refreshing fruit terrine. Juicy plum bits suspended in a clear, delicately flavoured tender coconut jelly and shining like a jewel! Have a look at this.
This plum terrine, with it’s gorgeous appearance has to be the least sinful and most healthy of desserts. With zero fat and very minimal calories from added sugar, the terrine is a great option for dieters of every hue. Besides, it’s glamorous appearance will surely earn you plenty of applause at a potluck or from dinner guests. The best part is it takes very little time to assemble, but the final outcome belies that (We are not going to let our guests know that, are we?)
A few tips to keep in mind are to select tender coconut which is slightly sweeter. Retain the tender meat from inside the coconut too. Select ripe but firm plums that are just short of over ripe or squishy.
Without further ado, here goes..
Preparation time – 45 minutes+1 hour setting time, Cooking Time – 15 minutes, Serves - 6
Does not contain egg, soya, wheat, dairy, nuts.
- Firm ripe plums – 8-10
- Tender coconut water – 2 cups (I got it from 2 tender coconuts)
- Flesh from the tender coconuts, chopped
- Agar agar – 2 gms
- Fresh water – 1 cup +1/2 cup if needed
- Sugar – 3 heaped tbsp (or less if the coconut water is sweet enough)
- Pomegranate pearls – 1/4 cup (optional)
- Flavourless vegetable oil like sunflower or canola oil – a few drops to grease
- Wash the plums, pat dry and stone the fruit by cutting from all four sides close to the seed, and then from top and bottom! Dice the pulp into an even small size taking care not to squish the flesh. Set aside.
- Chop the agar agar into small pieces, soak in 1 cup water in a small sauce pan, bring to boil, stirring continuously for 4-5 minutes, until the strands dissolve through. Strain the liquid through a metal sieve into a clean bowl. Return the remaining strands to the same sauce pan, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water, and boil again while stirring all the time. Strain again into the same bowl, discard any leftover agar agar bits.
- Warm up the tender coconut water very gently for a minute, (do not boil). Remove from flame and add in a thin stream to the warm agar agar liquid, whisk well. Taste and add as much sugar as needed. Keep stirring until sugar has dissolved. Keep the agar agar sauce pan over flame. When sugar has dissolved, and the liquid looks clear and transparent, remove from flame.
- Grease a 8” by 4” loaf tin or several small ramekins/bowls/katoris (about 5-6, each of 120 ml capacity).
- Place the chopped plums in a single layer at the bottom of the prepared tin/bowls. Gently pour the tender coconut liquid over the fruit until the fruit pieces are drenched and submerged in the clear liquid. Tap sharply on the counter and rest on the counter for 15 minutes. (no need to refrigerate)
- After 15 minutes, check if the top of the liquid layer has set. If yes, proceed to add the chopped coconut pieces, again in a single layer. If not set, wait for 5 minutes, check and then layer the coconut. Repeat the gentle pouring of the agar agar liquid over the coconut. If this liquid has begun setting, warm it up gently until clear liquid and then pour. Tap over counter again and leave to set for 15 minutes.
- Once this layer too has set, scatter a few pomegranate pearls over if using. Else you could use up the rest of the diced plums too. Finish off by pouring the coconut water+agar agar liquid over the fruit. Tap the container sharply again (to avoid air pockets) and set in refrigerator for an hour.
- To unmould, dip a knife in hot water, wipe and run carefully around the set terrine. Loosen the sides alone and invert onto serving plate. Cut into slices if set in loaf tin using a serrated knife. Serve chilled as is, or accompanied with whipped cream or ice cream.
- Sit back and enjoy this absolutely guilt free dessert and bask in appreciative applause!