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Photo: Lisa Romerein Photo by: Photo: Lisa Romerein

Crushed Berries with Hibiscus Jelly

The jelly here isn't the kind you spread on bread; it's a soft, lustrous gelatin--like Jell-O, but more delicate.

Sunset SEPTEMBER 2011

  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Cook time: 40 Minutes
  • Set: 6 Hours
  • Total: 6 Hours, 40 Minutes


  • 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


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.

*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 savoryspiceshop.com

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

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 189
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Fat: 6.3g
  • Saturated fat: 3.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 33g
  • Fiber: 6.3g
  • Sodium: 2.3mg
  • Cholesterol: 13mg

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Crushed Berries with Hibiscus Jelly Recipe