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    Tipsy Cherries with Goat's Cheese Parfait and Sweet Thyme Crumbs

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    Tipsy Cherries with Goat's Cheese Parfait and Sweet Thyme Crumbs

    Cherries are one of the few fruits that don't make a year-round appearance on our shelves, so make the most of them while you can. Here, I've cooked them briefly and partnered them with a lovely goat's cheese parfait and some sweet, thyme-flecked brioche crumbs. Pant-Ysgawn, a mild, lemony goat's cheese from Wales works well here, but any soft, rindless goat's cheese will do.

    • Preparation time: Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight freezing
    • Total time: Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus overnight freezing 15 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10

    Ingredients

    • Crumbs
    • 60g sweet brioche
    • 30g butter, melted
    • 30g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp thyme leaves
    • Parfait
    • 100g soft, mild, rindless goat's cheese
    • 120g caster sugar
    • 284ml carton double cream
    • Grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 3 medium egg whites
    • Tipsy cherries
    • 150g caster sugar (or to taste)
    • 450g cherries, pitted
    • 300ml fruity red wine
    • 2 tsp cornflour

    Method

    1. Line a 900g loaf tin or terrine mould with clingfilm and oil lightly. Beat the cheese and sugar together until smooth. Gently whisk in the cream, taking care not to over-beat the mixture or it may turn grainy. Fold in the lemon zest. Whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold them carefully into the mixture. Turn into the loaf tin and freeze for several hours, ideally overnight, till solid.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4.
    3. Whiz the brioche in a food processor until reduced to fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the melted butter, sugar and thyme leaves. Spread the crumbs out in an even layer on a baking tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through, or till crisp and golden. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
    4. Put the cherries in a saucepan with the wine and sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the cherries are just starting to ooze juices. Drain and place them in a bowl. Return the wine to the pan, and bring it to a simmer. Blend the cornflour with 1 tbsp water and stir until smooth. Stir this cornflour mixture into the wine and continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture thickens and has no floury taste. Remove the sauce from the heat and leave to cool, then pour over the cherries.
    5. To serve, remove the parfait from the freezer and leave to soften for about 10 minutes before turning out of the tin and slicing. Sprinkle with the thyme crumbs and serve with a spoonful of tipsy cherries.

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