Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Crema de Fruta

Crema de Fruta

Here's another one of my favorite Filipino desserts. It's called crema de fruta (which translates to "fruit cream") and it's what I'm making for our family gathering this Christmas. I'm not sure why this dessert is so synonymous with the holidays, but why ask why? All that matters is it's sooooo good! There are so many variations of this dessert but the one I'm familiar with is a sponge cake layered with stirred custard and fruit cocktail and topped with unflavored gelatin.

Crema de fruta - upclose

My mom gave me a recipe for crema de fruta a long time ago but it only had instructions on how to make the custard and fruit gelatin - not the cake. She told me that when she makes it, she just goes to the local bakery and asks to buy a sheet of sponge cake, the same kind that's used to make jelly rolls. This saved her time baking, especially during Christmas when there's so many activities going on.

I decided to use a hot milk sponge cake for my version of crema de fruta because it's quicker and easier to make than traditional sponge cake. If you're really short on time, you can just buy the sponge cake at a local bakery like my mom did. Ladyfingers or pound cake are good substitutes as well. I also added a little cake syrup, a secret ingredient that most pastry chefs use to keep cakes moist. It's basically simple syrup that you add flavored liquers like Grand Marnier or kirsh.

Merry Christmas! Maligayang Pasko! Joyeux Noel!

Crema de Fruta
Allergy Note: contains eggs, dairy and wheat

sponge cake:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

cake syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

30 oz. can of fruit cocktail in heavy syrup
1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin

To make the sponge cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a rectangular glass baking pan (I used an aluminum pan because sometimes I forget to bring back my baking pans during potlucks or family gatherings). Sift the flour and baking powder together. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until thick then slowly add the sugar. Continue mixing until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour mixture.
In a saucepan, combine milk, butter and vanilla extract; cook just until the butter has melted. Slowly pour into the batter; mix until combined. Pour into prepared pan then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.

To make the cake syrup:
Place sugar and water in a saucepan; cook until the sugar has dissolved. Drizzle lightly over the sponge cake.

To make the custard:
In a saucepan, combine sugar, flour and milk. Cook in medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens. Pour some of the mixture over the egg yolks and mix together till combined. Add the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Cook for a few more minutes then remove from heat.
Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Pour over the sponge cake. Let cool.

Using a strainer or sieve, drain and reserve the syrup from the fruit cocktail in a medium bowl.  Sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the syrup. Let the gelatin "bloom" (absorb liquid and expand), about 1 to 2 minutes.  Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt the gelatin. Set aside. Arrange fruit cocktail over the cooled custard.  Carefully pour the gelatin/syrup mixture over the fruit cocktail and custard.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.


Anne said...

This is one cake I always buy during Christmas handaan, very festive kasi ang daming kulay. Thanks for the recipe, this will definitely be handy :)

Anonymous said...

That really looks delicious. I'd like to invite you to take some time to drop by at Foodista and share this delicious recipe with us. We have launched an online food and cooking encyclopedia ala wikipedia. Add a recipe and you can win a $100 gift card to Sur la table. Don't forget to register first so we know who to thank the recipe for. Thanks! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

thank you. this is so easy to follow.

Anonymous said...

i made this cake the other day for a friend's birthday. it was a huge hit.nothing to take home but the pan. thanks for the recipe! --khristienne

Art of Dessert said...

Khristienne - That's awesome! I'm glad you and your friends liked it :-)

Anonymous said...

celle said..i finally found this, i didn't know it is easy to make, godd for a birthday present tomorrow especially here abroad

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe. - Rose

Anonymous said...

hi, thank you very much for posting this recipe. i'd like to try it out this christmas. can i just ask what size the glass baking dish is that you recommend? how about the depth of the dish? many thanks:-)

Art of Dessert said...

Hi! I used a 9x13 glass baking dish :-)

Anonymous said...

just to know what kind of milk, i have to use?living here in abroad.

Art of Dessert said...

Hi! I used whole milk for this recipe, but my mom used to make it with canned evaporated milk.

The Celestial Baker said...

Hi! I wanna try your recipe. Can you use an oven toaster instead of a microwave to melt the gelatin? thanks!



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