Project Description

This recipe combines Australian and Italian flavours and is a nod to the Italian heritage of the Riverina. If sweet cherries are used, there is probably no need for the brown sugar.

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

1 vanilla pod, halved
Zest and juice of ½ orange
2 tablespoons (40ml) cherry wine or port
2 cups sour cherries, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
250g mascarpone
1/3 cup (80ml) cream or milk
1 tablespoon icing sugar
4 Anzac biscuits (or oatcakes or shortbread), crumbled
Sweet basil puree
½ cup basil leaves
1 tablespoon caster sugar

  1. Using a sharp knife, carefully scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod. In a medium frying pan combine vanilla seeds and remaining halved vanilla pod with 1 teaspoon orange zest, the juice of half the orange and cherry wine and bring to the boil. Add cherries and brown sugar and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until just tender and the liquid has reduced to one tablespoon. Allow to cool and remove vanilla pod.
  2. In a small bowl gently combine mascarpone, milk and icing sugar.
  3. For basil puree: chop or tear basil leaves and place in pestle and mortar with sugar and pound until well combined.
  4. To assemble, spoon one eighth of the cherries into dessert glasses, top with a tablespoon of mascarpone mixture and a sprinkle of biscuit crumble. Repeat, finishing with biscuit crumble.
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperate topped with sweet basil puree.

*Note: Australian measurements 1 tablespoon = 20ml are used throughout.