If you're like me, you grew up surrounded by jello salads studded with fruit cocktail or crushed pineapple at every family get-together or potluck -- or if you're lucky, maybe the more sophisticated aspic mold. I'd practically written them off as a category of food, but I guess nostalgia kicked in and convinced me to give them another try. I decided to take my jello mold in a more grown-up direction, ditching canned fruit in sticky syrup and sneaking in some bubbly. I liberally adapted a terrine recipe from Gourmet that features mixed fruit and prosecco, but I've taken a detour to Spain by macerating fresh peaches in sherry, using cava instead of prosecco, dialing back the sugar, and adding orange peel and honey for depth of flavor. In the spirit of summer, the only step that requires the stove is making the aspic (and that takes just a few minutes) – and from there, all you need to do is assemble the terrine, which couldn't be easier. The result is a light, refreshing, and absolutely beautiful summertime side dish or dessert. It can be easily transported to a picnic or potluck in its pan -- just wait to unmold it once you're there.
4 cups thinly sliced peaches, from about 5 medium-sized peaches; no need to peel
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups cava
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange juice + 3 long strips of zest, from 1 orange
In This Recipe
In bowl, combine peach slices with sherry. Let macerate while proceeding with Step 2.
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cava in a small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften. Bring 1 cup cava to a boil with sugar, honey, and orange peel in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and discard orange peel. Add gelatin mixture to saucepan, whisking until dissolved. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup cava and orange juice, then transfer to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Cool mixture, stirring occasionally, just to room temperature.
Arrange fruit in a 1½ quart terrine or loaf pan (e.g., 9”x5”) with a ceramic, glass, enameled, or nonstick surface.
Slowly pour mixture over fruit, then chill, covered, until firm, at least 6 hours.
To unmold, dip pan in a larger pan of hot water about 5 seconds to loosen. Invert a serving plate over terrine and invert terrine onto plate. Use a sharp knife to cut terrine into slices. (Terrine can be made up to 3 days in advance; unmold just before serving.)