Honey, Plum and Blackberry Jelly with Plum Sorbet
As a child I really liked jelly and, as an adult, I love it even more. My father loved jelly too, especially when it was served with ice cream. Dad quite liked a pudding on a Sunday and if mum had not planned to make a dessert, it was dad’s job to make a jelly. He used packets of jelly and set it with sliced bananas in, then served it with ice cream. I remember the expression on his face as if it were yesterday. Dad would lie down after Sunday lunch for a nap and then when he woke up it was time to eat the jelly. He would fill his bowl to the brim and he enjoyed every single mouthful! This recipe is a dedication to dad’s love of jelly and ice cream.
Victoria plums are simply luscious and when they are super-ripe they are just bursting with flavour. I make the most of their short season by halving and stoning the plums and freezing them for use later in the year. The frozen plums also make a wonderful sorbet.
Ingredients & Method
For the plum and blackberry jelly
- 600g fresh ripe plums (preferably Victoria)
- 300g fresh blackberries
- 150ml cold water
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 25g clear honey
- 5 leaves of gelatine
For the plum sorbet
- 500g fresh ripe plums (preferably Victoria)
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml cold water
- 50ml freshly squeezed lime juice
To serve and decorate
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
- 12 fresh blackberries
- about 1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
First, make the plum and blackberry jelly. Wash the plums, cut into quarters and remove the stones. Place the plums, blackberries, water, sugar, vanilla seeds, lime juice and honey into a heatproof bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not come into contact with the simmering water underneath) and leave to cook for about 30 minutes or until the fruits have completely softened and released all their juices, stirring once or twice. Remove from the heat and remove the bowl from the pan, then set aside to cool. Once cool, place in the fridge and leave to chill overnight.
The following morning, pass the chilled plum and blackberry mixture through a fine sieve or pour it into a piece of suspended muslin cloth and leave it to drain over a bowl for about 1 hour. Discard the fruit pulp and keep the fruit juice. Measure 500ml of the juice into a bowl and set aside.
Soak the gelatine in cold water until it has softened. Pour 100ml of the remaining juice (see Cook’s Notes) into a saucepan and heat until just before boiling point, then remove from the heat. Squeeze the gelatine gently to remove excess water, then add the gelatine to the hot juice and stir until dissolved. Add the gelatine mixture to the measured juice in the bowl and stir to mix, then pour the jelly into 6 individual jelly moulds, each measuring about 8 x 3cm. Chill in the fridge for about 6 hours or until set.
Meanwhile, make the plum sorbet. Wash the plums, cut into quarters and remove the stones, then set aside. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Place the plums in a blender or food processor, add the hot syrup and blend together until smooth, then pass the plum purée through a sieve. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour, then pour the chilled mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn until frozen (following the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model). Alternatively, pour the chilled mixture into a shallow, freezer proof container, cover with a lid and freeze until firm, whisking the mixture 3 or 4 times during freezing (every hour or so) to break down the ice crystals and ensure an even-textured result.
Allow the sorbet to soften slightly at room temperature or in the fridge before serving (see Cook’s Notes).
Place 6 serving plates in the fridge to chill before serving.
For each serving, briefly dip a jelly mould into hot water, give it a light shake to loosen, then carefully unmould the jelly on to a chilled plate. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped pistachios over the top, then place a small quenelle (spoonful) of plum sorbet on top. Repeat for the remaining 5 jellies. Decorate each jelly with 2 blackberries and then decorate each plate with a few drops of rapeseed oil. Serve immediately.
If there is any leftover juice, use it to make a Victoria Plum and Champagne Bellini – measure a shot of plum juice into a champagne glass, top up with chilled champagne and enjoy a seasonal cocktail.
Transfer any leftover plum sorbet to an airtight, freezer proof container and store in the freezer. Use within 1 month. Serve the plum sorbet with plum tarte tatin or plum frangipane tart, or make a plum milkshake by blending together a few scoops of the plum sorbet and some milk.