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Cranberry-Raspberry Charlotte Recipe
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Cranberry-Raspberry Charlotte

12 to 14 double ladyfingers (about 3 ounces total)
1/4 cup kirsch or other cherry-flavor liqueur, or orange juice
1 3/4 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 3/4 cups raspberries, fresh or unsweetened frozen
1 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup whipping cream

Smoothly line a 1-1/2-quart charlotte mold (about 6 inches wide at top, 5 inches at bottom, 3-1/2 inches tall) or 1-1/2-quart soufflé dish with plastic wrap. Separate ladyfingers so each is flat on one side. Arrange a single layer of ladyfingers, rounded side down, in pan bottom; cut to a point at one end as needed to make them fit neatly into pan and to cover bottom completely. Stand remaining ladyfingers vertically, rounded side against pan, to cover sides of container. Lightly brush with 2 tablespoons kirsch.

Sort cranberries (thaw, if frozen) and discard bruised or decayed fruit. Rinse and drain cranberries and fresh raspberries (thaw frozen raspberries). In a blender, whirl cranberries, raspberries and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Rub purée through a fine strainer into a bowl. In a 2- to 3-quart microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water. Let soften about 5 minutes. Heat in a microwave oven at full power (100 percent) until mixture boils and is clear, 30 to 40 seconds. Add 1 cup berry purée and mix well. Nest bowl of berry-gelatin mixture in ice water and stir occasionally until it becomes very thick and syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes. If mixture gets firm, nest bowl in hot water and stir until syrupy.

Add 2 tablespoons kirsch to remaining purée; cover and chill up to one day. In a deep bowl with a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating whites until they hold stiff, moist peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the whites into the syrupy berry-gelatin mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. In the bowl used for beating whites (without washing beaters), whip cream until it holds soft peaks. Add to berry-gelatin mixture; gently fold together until well blended. Pour into ladyfinger-lined container. Cover airtight and chill until firm, at least 4 hours and up to one day. Uncover charlotte. If filling is lower than rim of ladyfingers, carefully trim tips off ladyfingers so they are even with filling. Invert a flat plate over dessert. Holding containers together, invert. Lift off mold and gently remove plastic wrap. Cut dessert into wedges and serve with reserved cranberry-raspberry sauce.


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