There is nothing like homemade jelly. The intensity of flavour of the berries come bursting through and makes for a perfect dessert on a hot summer’s day.
Red Berry Jelly
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Setting time: 6 hours or overnight
250g(9 oz) strawberries (about 2 cups)
170g(6 oz) raspberries (1½ cups)
115g(4 oz) redcurrants (¾ cup)
140g(5 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅔ cup)
5sheets fine leaf gelatine OR
1½sachets of powdered gelatine
You will also need a 1 litre (4 cup) jelly mould or six individual glass dessert dishes.
Wash and pat dry the fruit. If the strawberries are large, cut them in half. Remove the stalks from the redcurrants by gently running the tines of a fork down the stalks.
Put the fruit in a medium sized pan along with the sugar, lemon juice, and 540 ml (18 fl oz) (2¼ cups) cold water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is beginning to bubble. Now put a lid on the pan and let the fruit continue to cook gently until it has become very soft, about 5 minutes.
If using leaf gelatine prepare it now. Place the leaves in a bowl of cold water, snapping them in half to fit if necessary. Leave for 5 minutes to become very soft.
Now strain the fruit mixture through a large, fine sieve into a bowl. Press the fruit through the sieve, using a wooden spoon, to extract as much juice from the fruit as possible.
If using powdered gelatine, stir the contents of 1½ sachets in ⅓ cup of cold water then add ⅓ cup of the hot fruit juice and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Either lift the softened gelatine leaves from the water, squeezing out the water, and add to the fruit juice. Or stir in the dissolved powdered gelatine. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved into the fruit juice, about 2 minutes. Keep stirring until you are sure the gelatine has dissolved, otherwise, when the fruit juice sets, there will be little grains of solid gelatine in it.
Pour the jelly into the jelly mould or individual glass dishes and leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight to set.
To turn out the jelly mould, dip it halfway in a large bowl of hand hot water for about 5 seconds. Then place a flat serving plate on top and turn out the jelly. Shake for a couple of seconds until you hear the jelly loosening, then lift the mould away.
Can be served with single/table cream or dollops of whipped whipping cream/whipping or heavy cream and extra fresh raspberries.
I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.
Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.
I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.
Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Summer Berry Crêpes
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Standing time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For the crêpes
115g(4 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
450g(1 lb) selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
300ml(10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
28g(1 oz) plain/dark chocolate
You will also need a shallow-rimmed lightweight pan/skillet, 20–23 cm (8–9 inch) in diameter with rounded sides.
Pop the chocolate in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. It will make it easier to grate into shavings later.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and, using half the milk, gradually whisk the eggs and milk into the flour, using a balloon whisk. Once a smooth consistency is reached and lots of bubbles rise to the surface, add the remaining milk quickly. Do not over-mix.
Or use an electric mixer. First whisk the eggs and milk together and then mix in the sifted flour and salt until the batter is smooth and lots of bubbles rise to the surface. Be careful not to over-mix.
Let batter rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the fruit and pat dry.
Then whip the cream until thick.
Now warm 5 plates in the oven.
Get the pan/skillet really hot. Remove from the heat and add the butter. As soon as it has melted, spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the remainder into a small bowl and set to one side.
Add a little butter to the pan before cooking each crêpe. Just add enough to be able to tilt the pan and cover the base with the melted butter. The base should just glisten not run with butter.
Cook the crêpes over a medium-high heat. You will need 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first so you can quickly add the batter to the pan. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. Immediately lift and tilt the pan/skillet in all directions so the batter spreads thinly over the base. If there are any holes, just fill them in with batter using a teaspoon.
Turn when the the crêpe starts to curl away from the sides of the pan, the mixture begins to bubble and the underside is golden. It should take about a minute. If it seems to be sticking to the base of the pan give it a couple of seconds more. Loosen the edge of the crêpe from the pan, then flip it over with a palette knife and cook until the underside is golden. This will only take about 30 seconds. Slip each cooked crêpe from the pan directly onto a piece of kitchen paper which will absorb any grease and keep it light and dry.
Repeat the process with the remaining batter, greasing the pan each time and stacking the crêpes up on a warmed plate as they are cooked. Put a piece of kitchen paper between each one and cover loosely with foil so the top one doesn’t dry out. Keep warm in the oven.
Grate the chocolate onto a plate to create a pile of shavings.
To serve, spoon the fruit into the middle of each crêpe. Fold two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone, then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top and, using a small spoon, sprinkle over the chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.