I realised that despite having made this jelly for years – and having Chris’ lovely pictures on my website – that I’d never popped up the recipe on the blog so here it is.
Chris Archambault and I first developed this recipe for a combined demo at Exeter Food Festival more years ago than I care to remember. Gosh I’ve been supplying him with salad and edible flowers in restaurants for more than a decade and still send weekly parcels to him at The Kennels where he is now head chef.
I had once been served something similar at Glyndebourne Festival (in a former life where I worked in the arts!) and Chris subsequently worked his magic and turned in into a recipe which appeared in his column in Devon Life. I think it also appeared on the menu at Southernhay House in Exeter for a while whilst he was head chef there. The stunning photos are his.
It is the perfect summer party recipe but given that the borage flowers are still offering up their loveliness at the end of September there in nothing to say that we shouldn’t be clinging onto summer and spoiling ourselves now.
Pimms Jelly – Makes one large Victorian jelly mould.
300g caster sugar
A squeeze of lemon juice.
8 leaves gelatine (soaked in cold water)
Mint leaves , cucumber, small dice d orange segments, sliced strawberries, apple or whatever summer seasonal fruit you like. It is worth taking a bit of effort in the preparation of these as they will show through the jelly.
Borage flowers are traditional but other petals can be used. Retain some for garnishing the top but the rest can be popped into the jelly.
1 Bring the water, a few of the leaves of mint and sugar to a simmer, stir to dissolve the sugar.
2 Remove from the heat, strain and pour in the Pimms and lemon juice.
3 Once tepid, stir in the drained gelatine until dissolved.
4 Take time when lining the jelly mould to make it look a work of art. Don’t forget it will be seen. This is also where it helps not to be too much of a lush when it comes to the strength of your Pimms. The proportions above will make a light brown jelly where the fruit and flowers show through. If you decide to slosh a load more Pimms in it then do add more gelatine as it is the alcohol which makes it trickier to set. Make it one layer at a time, refrigerating to set in between layers with the fruit, flowers and Pimms mix. If you pop it all in at once then the fruit and flowers will float to the top (which will be the bottom when it is turned out) and won’t show. You might just need to lightly warm the remaining Pimms mixture if it sets before you get the final layers of the jelly made.
Let set fully for an hour or so in the fridge and then fill a large bowl with boiling water.
Dip the mould into the water for a minute or so and tip upside down on a large plate.
Individual jellies can be made in advance and are perfect for a summer wedding.
Decorate with more flowers and mint leaves and serve with clotted cream, ice-cream or orange zested whipped cream.