Need a good stiff drink to keep your sanity during the holidays? Or perhaps a soothing dessert to better calm those nerves? Alas, simplify your life by combining the two! (You are welcome.)
These boozy Campari spiked desserts will keep your friends and (adult) family members calm and happy. These are sort of like the grown up, sophisticated cousin of jello shots that many of us remember from the 80s. You also feel a little bit guilty combining what looks like a childhood wiggly bowl of jello with a healthy dose of Campari. Makes eating them all the more fun!
I spotted this recipe in my recent issue of La Cucina Italiana and tweaked it a bit to make it a tad simpler. They require just a bit of planning ahead as you must allow the first layer of gelatin to solidify before adding the top layer but short of that, they are a breeze to prepare. Their not-too-sweet taste is the perfect light ending to a meal. I used a simple gelatin mold to shape them but use any shape that you may fancy.
With Campari bottle still in hand and friends turning up for dinner, a basket of ripe pears was my next victim. I decided to poach them in the ingredients for a classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni for an extra special kick. The Campari gives the pears a beautiful pink hue.
Simply poach them in the pan and allow them to cool. Go all out and serve with a bit of whipped sweetened mascarpone or ice cream. Sprinkle with mint leaves and your pears will be elevated to stardom.
And if you need some winter Sangria to serve with that meal, you can find our Blood Orange Sangria recipe HERE!
In other news 🙂
Things have been crazy here in Pennsylvania with the move to the new house in September and now the holidays already here. Buying a bank home that was built in 1830 is delivering on its promise to hold tons of surprises in the few short months that I have owned it. The list of projects grows ever longer! The boiler had to be replaced in the first week. (ouch.) Only some of the radiators work. (brrr.) The 10 thermostats seem to control the heat in very bizarre and complicated configuration of heating units. (grrrrrr…..). Can’t wait to share stories as projects get underway!
One of my best discoveries so far is our doorbell! If you turn the crank on the left, the bell on the right rings! 🙂 Nearly scared me to death the first time someone came to the door and used it. The ring sounds like an old telephone bell. How very fun!!
As we head into the busy holiday season, may these recipes make your life just a bit sweeter and may your table be filled with the voices of loved ones near and far.
‘ A tavola, non s’invecchia.’ At the table, one does not grow old.
Wishing everyone the merriest of holidays,
- • For the orange gelatin:
- 1 ½ cups orange juice
- ¼ cup cold water
- 2 packages gelatin (1/2 ounce)
- • For the Campari gelatin:
- 1 ½ cups Campari
- ¼ cup cold water
- 2 packages gelatin (1/2 ounce)
- 1 orange, for garnish
- Gelatin mold required
- Lightly oil the gelatin molds using a mild flavored oil such as sunflower.
- Prepare the orange gelatin: Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan and warm over medium low heat. In the meantime, add the cold water to a bowl large enough to accommodate the orange juice and the water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water to allow to bloom.
- Once the orange juice is warmed but not boiling, pour over the gelatin mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the orange juice mixture into the molds, filling half way. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to solidify.
- Repeat for the Campari gelatin: Pour the Campari into a small saucepan and warm over medium low heat. In the meantime, add the cold water to a bowl large enough to accommodate the Campari and the water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water to allow to bloom.
- Once the Campari is warmed but not boiling, pour over the gelatin mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the Campari mixture into the molds, filling to the top. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours to solidify.
- Remove the Campari cubes from the mold onto a plate. Slice the orange crosswise and cut away any ring. Cut the slices into small segments for garnish. Place on top of the Campari cubes and serve!
- 1 cup Campari
- 1 cup gin
- 1 cup sweet vermouth
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 or so strips orange peel (white part only)
- 4 small Bosc pears
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- Find a heavy pot large enough to accommodate the pears on their sides. Add the Campari, gin, sweet vermouth, water, sugar and orange peels. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Peel the pears using a vegetable peeler, leaving the stem intact. Rub the pears with the cut lemon halves to prevent them from browning. Cut a thin slice off the bottom to allow the pears to stand straight. Core the pears from the bottom. Add the pears to the pot and cook until the pears are soft but firm, about 20 minutes depending on the size of your pot and pears. Give the pears a turn every 5 minute or so to allow them to soak in the liquid.
- Remove the pears from the liquid with a slotted spoon a place on a plate. Allow the pears to cool. Refrigerate until cold.
- Simmer the remaining poaching liquid over medium heat until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
- Place a pear on a plate and using a spoon, drizzle the Negroni syrup over the pear. Serve with a bit of whipped mascarpone or ice cream on the side.