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Crushed Berries with Hibiscus Jelly

Photo: Lisa Romerein
Cook time 40 mins
Set time 6 hrs
Total time 6 hrs, 40 mins
Yield Serves 8
The jelly here isn't the kind you spread on bread; it's a soft, lustrous gelatin--like Jell-O, but more delicate.


  • Hibiscus jelly
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers*
  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • Berries
  • 3 cups raspberries
  • 3 cups hulled sliced strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground grains of paradise* or 1/4 tsp. black pepper mixed with 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

Nutrition Information

  • calories 189
  • caloriesfromfat 30 %
  • protein 2.3 g
  • fat 6.3 g
  • satfat 3.6 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 6.3 g
  • sodium 2.3 mg
  • cholesterol 13 mg

How to Make It

  1. Make jelly: Bring 1 cup water and the sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally to help sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in hibiscus flowers. Cover and steep 15 minutes, then strain syrup into a small bowl and discard flowers. Meanwhile, pour 1/4 cup water into another small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and let soften 5 minutes. Whisk warm flower syrup into softened gelatin until dissolved. Chill at least 6 hours and up to 3 days. Stir the jelly to loosen before using.

  2. Crush berries: Right before serving, crush berries in a bowl with a fork, pastry blender, or potato masher.

  3. Spoon berries into 8 dessert bowls. Stir jelly with a fork to loosen, then spoon over berries. Top each bowl with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of grains of paradise.

  4. *Find hibiscus flowers (jamaica in Spanish) at Mexican markets. Grains of paradise look like black peppercorns but have a softer flavor that combines pepper with ginger, cardamom, coriander, and nutmeg. Find them online at

  5. Make-ahead & packing tips: Jelly, 1 to 3 days ahead; keep chilled in an airtight container. Crush berries at the beach.

  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.