Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche Mousse with Cinnamon Pecans and Dried Fruit Syrup

Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche Mousse with Cinnamon Pecans and Dried Fruit Syrup

An elegant gourmet mousse with a lovely dried fruit syrup and Cinnamon Pecans serves up good times and cheerful celebrations for the perfect finale. But don’t be fooled by the fanciness, it’s easy to make and tastes great even if yours doesn’t look as pretty.



Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche Mousse:
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and insides scraped out
2 ounce sugar
½ pound Crème Fraiche (sour cream, Greek yogurt can be substituted)
1 ½ gelatin sheets (1 ½ teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin can
   be substituted)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Cinnamon Pecans, chopped. Reserve 6 for garnish.

Dried Fruit Syrup:
3 cups water
3 ¾ cups sugar
4 ounces dried apricots, cut in quarters
2 ounces prunes, cut in quarters
2 ounces golden raisins
4 ounces dried cherries
1 orange, zested and juiced



Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche Mousse:

  1. Prepare 6 ½ cup molds. I use a PVC pipe mold lined with acetate film, but flex mold can be used also, or it can be poured into a bowl or storage container and scooped out with an ice cream scoop after it has set.
  2. Place the sugar in a bowl, scrape the inside of the vanilla bean into the sugar. Use the grains of sugar to break up the vanilla so it is not clumpy.
  3. Add the crème fraiche and whisk gently to incorporate the sugar.
  4. Bloom the gelatin in ice cold water, when soft pour out the water. If using powdered gelatin sprinkle it over the recommended amount of water.
  5. Mix ¼ cup of the crème fraiche mixture with the gelatin. Heat over a double boiler or in the microwave. When the gelatin is melted remove from the heat and stir back into the reserved crème fraiche mixture.
  6. Whip the cream to soft peaks. When the crème fraiche mixture is room temperature, fold the whipped cream into it. (If you try and do this when the crème fraiche is warm it will melt the whipped cream.)
  7. Add the chopped Cinnamon Pecans then pour into desired molds.
  8. Place them in the freezer for 24 hours. They will pop out of the molds easily after they are frozen. Allow them to defrost in the refrigerator after unmolding. If you are going to scoop them, place the mixture in the refrigerator to set, it is not necessary to freeze them.
  9. Garnish the top with the reserved Cinnamon Pecans.

Dried Fruit Syrup:

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a bowl and bring to a boil.
  2. When all the sugar is dissolved add all the dried fruit, orange zest and orange juice to the pot and simmer until the dried fruit is soft and the syrup has thickened.
  3. Cool and serve with the Crème Fraiche Mousse.


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