Yes, we’re talking about Cabernet Sauvignon in a lightly wine-flavored paleta, a refreshing dessert that tastes similar to a sorbet. My job as a participant in Rancho La Puerta’s Cooking School was to make Blackberry Cabernet Paleta, a recipe created by Chef Deborah Schneider who was our week’s visiting chef.
Classes take place in the main kitchen, La Cocina Que Canta or “The Kitchen That Sings”, and guests may sign up for them in advance of their stay. Chef Deborah is a local expert in Mexican cuisine, having traveled throughout Mexico. Her list of career achievements include helping to open JSix restaurant in Hotel Solamar, time spent as Executive Chef of the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and a new restaurant in Newport Beach called SOL Cocina. She enjoyed her first taste of paleta, a Latin American ice pop treat made with fresh fruit, while visiting Baja California.
Blackberry Cabernet Paleta Recipe: The Preparation
A gorgeous bowl piled high with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries awaited at my station. The remnants above exist only because there were too many. I combined red wine and sugar in a saucepan and let it simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Then, I added the berries to cook for another 10 minutes.
Next, I mashed the berries through a sieve. This took a little bit of effort so break for wine, if need be. Chef Deborah says that the recipe just isn’t the same if you use a blender or other mechanical device. A food mill works, too, if you have one.
Water and lime juice were added to the mixture as was a bit more sugar. Chef Deborah likes this treat on the tart side so the flavor of the wine isn’t obliterated by sweet. I poured it into a frozen ice cream bowl (the kind that you use in an ice cream maker) and off it went to the freezer until after dinner.
It’s pretty tasty and can be tweaked according to taste. Here’s the recipe… perfect for a wine and cheese party, right?
- 1 cup of good Cabernet Sauvignon or red wine
- 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 4-6 cups of mixed berries, mostly blackberries, fresh or frozen
- Juice of one lime (we used several, however)
- Combine red wine and sugar. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol.
- Add berries and cook for 10 minutes or until softened and very mushy. Remove from heat.
- Strain through a coarse sieve into a bowl, pressing down well to force as much fruit puree through as possible, or use a food mill.
- Measure the yielded juice, and if necessary, add water to make 3 cups of juice.
- Add lime juice.
- Cook and taste for sugar; add more if you want it sweeter.
- Pour into paleta molds and free overnight or freeze in a large container to serve in ramekins.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Deborah Schneider from cooking class at Rancho La Puerta's La Cocina Que Canta.
Serve with a biscotti or similar. Enjoy and don’t forget to read about Rancho La Puerta family week, get the recipe for Rancho La Puerta’s green juice and learn more about my previous stays at this famous destination spa.