Summer Fruits Steeped in Red Wine, Monbazillac, Basil and Mint
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc. Click here to purchase book.
A simple feast for a summer’s day; the refreshing taste of red fruits combined with minty, peppery and citrus flavours.
|For the wine|
|250ml||Monbazillac or desert wine|
|90ml||Red wine, Cabernet sauvignon (*1)|
|4 turns||Freshly ground black pepper|
|2tsp||Vanilla essence (*2), the best|
|For macerating the fruit|
|230g||Raspberries (*3), washed (Glen doll, Glen ample and Autumn bliss)|
|160g||Strawberries, stemmed, washed halved and quartered (Mara de bois, Marshmallow)|
|100g||Blackberries (Loch Ness)|
|6 leaves||Fresh basil|
|6 leaves||Vietnamese coriander (*4) or lemon verbena (all macerated together for 30 minutes)|
|1/2||Cherentais melon, scooped into 12 balls with parisienne spoom|
|100ml||Chilled pink champagne|
|For the spun sugar (optional)|
|1 pinch||Zest of lemon, lime, orange|
|1 pinch||Finely jullienne herbs- mint, basil, lemon verbena|
|1 pinch||Dried raspberries, strawberries - finely chopped|
To macerate the fruit
In a large bowl, combine all the berries, sugar and herbs. Toss gently to mix and leave to macerate for 30 minutes.
To prepare the liquor
Pour both wines into a small saucepan and add the sugar, pepper and vanilla. Place over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute (*4). Turn off the heat and add the cold water. Set aside to cool down to approximately 40°C (*5). Add the wine mixture to the macerated fruit. Using your melon baller, scoop the melon into 12 balls and add them too. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to a day.
To make the sugar lattice
If required, an hour or less before serving (*6), pour the water into a medium saucepan, add the sugar and let it absorb the water for 1–2 minutes. Then dissolve over a medium heat, bring to the boil and cook to a dark golden caramel (*7). Remove from the heat and dip the base of the pan in cold water briefly to stop the cooking. Allow the caramel to cool down and thicken a little before making your lattice. Using a fork, thread caramel onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper, using a back and forth motion to make a large square. Sprinkle the citrus zest, herbs and chopped dried fruit evenly over the threads. Thread caramel over the top at right angles to the first layer, creating a latticework that encases the flavourings. Leave until set, then carefully break into 4 squares. (Or you can thread the caramel over the back of a ladle to create a lovely dome; once set, de-mould and repeat to make 3 more lattices, re-warming the caramel slightly to melt if necessary.)
Transfer the fruit and liquor to a large glass serving bowl or individual bowls. Pour a little pink Champagne8 into each bowl and garnish with the mint sprigs (*8). At the last moment, carefully position the spun sugar lattice, if using, on each serving.
Many other fruits can be used, for example wild strawberries, blueberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and peaches.
Recipe from 'Kitchen Secrets' by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.
Photograph © Jean Cazals 2011.