Striped strawberry jellies with vanilla mascarpone ice-cream
Striped jellies look pretty and fun and are a fine way to combine flavours. They are straightforward to make – all you need is a little time on your side. Strawberry, elderflower and creamy vanilla make happy companions.
Makes 4 small glasses of jelly
600g strawberries 1–2 tbsp caster sugar Seeds of half a vanilla pod Elderflower cordial Gelatine sheets
1 Fill your serving glasses with water and decant into a measuring jug to see how much jelly you’ll need in total. Note down for later.
2 Hull the strawberries and put them into a large saucepan with the sugar and vanilla seeds. Add just enough water to cover the base of the pan, then put over a low to medium heat until the water starts to simmer.
3 Let this stew away for a while and, when the strawberries are very soft indeed, use a masher to break them down further. Taste the juice to see if it is sweet enough and, if not, add sugar.
4 Strain through a muslin into a measuring jug and make a note of how much strawberry juice you have. You will need one gelatine sheet for every 100ml juice.
5 Put your gelatine sheets into a large heatproof bowl and pour in a little of the juice, just enough to cover and moisten them. Put aside for 10 mins, or until they have softened. Set a small saucepan of water simmering and place the bowl on top of it, until the gelatine has melted. Remove from the heat and pour in the rest of the juice, mixing as you go, then pour the mixture through a sieve into a second bowl, to catch any lumps of gelatine.
6 Pour a base layer into your glasses, cover each with cling film, and place in the fridge. Leave the rest of the mixture out of the fridge, covered.
7 You can work out roughly how much elderflower cordial you’ll need by deducting the total amount of strawberry juice from the water measurement you started with. The cordial should be diluted but strong.
8 Next, go through the same process with the gelatine (as above) to make it up into a jelly.
9 You will need to wait until the first strawberry layer is well set – likely several hours – before adding the elderflower, but it’s fine to refrigerate the elderflower jelly jug; it should still be pourable when you need it.
10 Leave this second layer to set and then pour in the final layer. If you find the final portion of jelly has set in the jug, it should still move enough to pour, but you could always warm it up. Leave the layered jellies in the fridge for 6 hours before eating.
These layered jellies of strawberry and elderflower are as visually striking as they are delicious