Perry Jelly and Summer Berries with Elderflower Mousse

9 July 2007

We’ve had the most disappointing weather this summer – it’s been cold and wet, literally raining every day. I was watching Wimbledon this year, but if I had been one of the players I don’t think I could have put up with the constant suspensions due to rain! I went a bit mad buying summery dresses and shoes when I was in the States, but there is no way I can wear them here in this weather…

Despite these disappointments, I’ve made some summery desserts in the hope of lifting my spirits and this is one of them. I was intrigued by a recipe by Mark Hix when I was watching the Great British Menu – I saw it just after I had made some elderflower cordial, so I just had to try it out.

He paired perry jelly and summer fruits with elderflower ice-cream – I adapted the recipe to use mousse instead of ice-cream as I wanted to be able to carry them around for my regular dessert distribution to our friends :)

I had never had perry before – it’s sparkling (alcoholic) cider made from pears and tastes quite similar to the more common apple cider. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan, but the jelly recipe sounded interesting enough to give it a try. It worked really well with the elderflower flavoured mousse and I loved it – but it’s got quite a ‘punchy’ flavour so I used a slightly larger proportion of mousse. In the programme, he was serving it with some deep-fried elderflower on top, but when I made this the flower season was long over sadly.

For those who can’t easily get hold of elderflower cordial or perry/cider – feel free to experiment with any booze like champagne or rosé for the jelly (I’ve tried it with rosé also and it was rather nice :)) and flower water/syrup (orange blossom, lavender, rose etc) for the mousse. Let me know when you find a favourite combination :)

The dessert has certainly made me feel a bit more summery, but I do hope we’ll have a real summer soon…!

Perry jelly and summer berries with elderflower mousse

Serves 4

For the elderflower mousse
2 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
120ml elderflower cordial
3 gelatine leaves (about 2g each)
300ml double cream

For the perry jelly
4 gelatine leaves
500ml perry
80g caster sugar
Mixed berries of your choice (I used strawberries, raspberries, red & black currants)

For the elderflower mousse, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water and leave until soft. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl, then mix in the sugar and 100ml of the cordial. Place the bowl on a bain-marie, whisk until it falls in ribbons from the whisk (the temperature of the mixture should be around 60ºC). Remove the bowl from the heat, add the rest of the cordial and stir well. Drain and squeeze the gelatine leaves then add to the hot yolk mixture and stir gently until melted.

Lightly whip the double cream, fold one third into the yolk mixture, then carefully fold the mixture back into the remaining cream (try not to mix too much!). Pour the mousse into your serving glasses or moulds, then chill until set.

For the perry jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water and leave until soft. Place 150ml of the perry in a saucepan, bring to the boil and dissolve the sugar into it. Remove the pan from the heat. Drain and squeeze the gelatine leaves then dissolve into the perry while still hot. Add the rest of the perry and leave to cool.

Arrange the berries on the mousse, then carefully pour the jelly on top and chill in the fridge until set. (If your layer is quite deep, the berries will float to the top; if you want them to appear suspended, start with a shallow layer of fruit, set the jelly and then top it up and set again.)

Note: When making mousse, it’s important that all the components have the same consistency so that they mix together easily. Also, depending on how sweet the cordial is, you may need to adjust the quantity of the sugar you add into the yolk mixture.

Food - Sweet        41 comments    Permalink

  • It looks so refreshing . . .

    Posted by tut-tut | 9 July 2007 #
  • Sigh.

    That’s really all I can say :)

    This is so dreamy :)

    Posted by matt | 9 July 2007 #
  • That is too bad about the rain. I hope the sun will come out for you soon, these lovely desserts should help.

    Posted by Kat | 10 July 2007 #
  • This looks so light and summery, I’m not sure where I would get perry here though (Paris) and, as always, your pictures are lovely. Love the kitty.

    Posted by Hilda | 10 July 2007 #
  • I stumbled on this site and man am I glad I did. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous. And just looking at them makes my mouth water.

    Your wonderful photos have inspired me to go off and create my own mousse!

    Posted by mocchiatta | 10 July 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko, the jelly looks delicious. I didn’t realise that the bottom layer was a mousse. I love the photo of Maya. He looks absolutely content sitting there :)

    Posted by ilingc | 10 July 2007 #
  • Reading posts such as these makes me sad that I love in Australia and so far away from ingredients that seem to be easily accessible to others living in the Northern hemisphere :( sigh There’s only so long that one can live vicariously through such delicious posts before the longing makes for much sadness!

    Posted by Ellie | 10 July 2007 #
  • Keiko – it’s funny because Im making rosé wine jelly with berries right now (sugar syrup is boiling!!)
    The elderflower mousse sounds heavenly.
    And your pictures are gorgeous.

    Love – fanny

    Posted by fanny | 10 July 2007 #
  • Missed your gorgeous, ethereal photos, Keiko! We’re having our typically grey San Francisco summer mornings here…I sympathize with you!

    Posted by Anita | 10 July 2007 #
  • Absolutely beautiful, as usual. I’ve been a long-time reader, but thought I would finally comment. Your photos and recipes are very VERY inspirational!

    Posted by Nanners | 11 July 2007 #
  • Black elder can´t be grown in northern part of Sweden, due to severe winters. However we use black currant leaves instead of elder flowers. Similar in taste, I think. It would be interesting trying to make your mousse from black currant leaf syrup.

    Posted by Karin | 11 July 2007 #
  • Beautiful pictures and mouth-watering dessert! if it is of any consolation, we are having a dreadful summer in Italy (at least in Liguria) too : /

    Posted by ales | 12 July 2007 #
  • dear keiko, summer berries, elderflower & perry…what a divine sounding and looking combination! who needs good weather when the very essence of a perfect summer can be inhaled right from a pretty glass? ;-)

    Posted by Joycelyn | 12 July 2007 #
  • What a gorgeous cat! Our cat also tucks himself up to fit onto things, usually folded newspapers. Of course the jellies look beautiful too, and I like the idea of adding mousse as I sometimes find jelly a little bland on its own.

    Posted by Joanna | 12 July 2007 #
  • I’ve never had perry jellies or elderflower. I love your composition, it is so ethereal!

    Posted by veron | 12 July 2007 #
  • As usual Keiko, gorgeous…..I’ve got the same cat always coming to see the photo shots !!! Some times she want to eat the dish ansd its terrible !!!!

    Posted by mercotte | 13 July 2007 #
  • Your photographs are completely beautiful.
    I’ve not watched such the beautiful combination of the photographs ever.


    Posted by moonisup | 14 July 2007 #
  • I saw Mark Hix’s dessert on Great British Menu too, and loved the elegance and simplicity of the dish. Have been hankering for jelly ever since.

    Posted by Y | 14 July 2007 #
  • hi there, just found your wonderful website. I picked some raspberries from my allotment today and I found your brulee recipe from 2005 which will be perfect with them. Look forward to following the seasons with you !

    Posted by Michelle | 15 July 2007 #
  • oh this sounds absolutely yummy and perfect for the summer.. i adore elderflower drink to bits, so shall have to try to make this sometime…

    Posted by Lil | 16 July 2007 #
  • It is the most beautiful summer dessert I have ever seen. You are so talented Keiko. Like Matt I just don’t know what else to say!

    Posted by Rose | 17 July 2007 #
  • Simply wonderful.
    I am always awaiting Your next posts,
    complimenti cordiali

    Posted by Liz Collet | 17 July 2007 #
  • another newcomer (worshipper) to your blog. Gorgeous perfection, and I adore your cat :-)

    Posted by karen | 17 July 2007 #
  • Oh Keiko, how lovely and summery! I have just been to lunch and had a Pimms fruit jelly – not as gorgeous as yours but I definitely like the alcohol/jelly/fruit theme ;-) And I feel your pain about our general lack of summer. This is truly the worst summer since I arrived here 5 years ago! Gorgeous Maya is the picture of contentment – I can almost hear the purr.

    Posted by Jeanne | 17 July 2007 #
  • I have been checking your blog and I find all the photos are nicely taken!

    Posted by Lemongrass | 18 July 2007 #
  • The perry jelly looks like just the sort of thing to balance out warm weather – a bit of something sweet without overheating the kitchen or yourself. Now if only the weather would warm up and entice me further..!

    Posted by Annemarie | 18 July 2007 #
  • Your dessert does look very summer-y…and very pretty too!

    We are ending our summer here and approaching rainy season…so now it it hot and wet…quite a horrid combination of weather! Hope both our weathers straighten out soon :)

    Posted by joey | 19 July 2007 #
  • Your photography is amazing, such an inspiration. I can practically taste the berries.

    Posted by tstar | 19 July 2007 #
  • keiko i spent a day in east sussex when i was in UK had lots of elderberry cordial i miss this so much. my friend lives at perch hill at the sarah raven’s place. its a garden paradise Keiko

    Posted by sha | 21 July 2007 #
  • Dear Keiko, I ended up speanding 21 days in Singapore.Hard working days. but I felt rather sad to leave, I have to say. It was indeed a suprise – not so nice, to come back and face all the rain. I have been bying these lovely berries but so hoping for a lovely and sunny day when I can sit out in the garden and enjoy some nice summer eating. I will look out for perry as I have never seen it – well, I wasn’t aware of it.

    Posted by valentina | 22 July 2007 #
  • Keiko, just discovered this blog – so overwhelmingly beautiful! I must ask, do you have a macro lens for all the close-ups of your food?

    Posted by Sandra | 23 July 2007 #
  • Hi Kelco – great summer pudding – looks lovely – Is there an alternative for the gelatine leaves – I have never found a direct replacement for us veggies..? Love the site – the food and especially the photographs!

    Posted by Gina Beech | 23 July 2007 #
  • Absolutely mouth watering!!!

    You have such a blissful cat on the tea towel! :)

    Posted by karen y | 27 July 2007 #
  • Hi Keiko,
    My first comment on your wonderful website with a curiously Swedish name. Northern light is rather special, as it gives a soft glow and yet clear, which you have captured in your photos. Am one of the thousands who love them.

    I love elderflowers and have been making cordial (or saft as they say here) of these since I moved here some years back. The flowers bloom at such an exact period (end of June beginning July) that I could almost feel I am one with the season when I recognise the distinct scent of these flowers as if drawing me to them. I am totally dedicated to picking the flowers, and sometimes even the berries in late October. I have tried making elderflower fritters and they were heavenly good. I shall definitely try your recipe, so refreshingly inviting.

    Posted by Rowi | 16 August 2007 #
  • Hi Ellie,
    Don’t know where in Australia you live, but here in Tasmania we grow elderflowers/berries and have done for eons. Any home brew shop will tell you how to make pear perry easily.

    Posted by Gaylene | 9 December 2007 #
  • Hi everyone, sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to you, thank you so much for your kind notes.

    Sandra – not for all the shots, but yes I use a macro lens for most close-ups, a Tamron 90mm.

    Gina – you can find some gelatine substitute if you search online, I believe you can use kanten or agar agar.

    Posted by keiko | 22 January 2008 #

    Posted by sika | 25 February 2008 #
  • all of them are wonderfull ,congratulations

    Posted by Jale Fikircioglu | 15 July 2008 #
  • wow…
    i stumbled accross this website yesterday and was amazed. the food you blog about is so incredible. i cant wait to try a few of your recipies. keep up the damn good work. i live in the u.s. by the way and the weather is dreadful so dont feel to bad…

    Posted by kailee=] | 14 September 2008 #
  • Hi Kailee – thank you, I’m not sure where you’re based in the US, but I hope we both survive the winter :)

    Posted by keiko | 28 October 2008 #
  • Lovely :-), another couple of pics been pinned from here! You take great photos (and I love that cat!).


    Posted by Alessandra | 11 August 2012 #

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