Photo: Lisa Romerein
Cook Time
40 Mins
Set Time
6 Hours
Total Time
6 Hours 40 Mins
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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 2

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

Step 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.

Step 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

Step 5

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

Step 6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ratings & Reviews

AnnaGregorian's Review

February 11, 2012
I loved this recipe. I changed it a little. I used agar agar, a great product that is a gelatin substitute. It is a sea vegetable. I also added unsweatened pomegranate juice instead of cold water. Next time I will use agave fruit nectar instead of the sugar or some stevia. In stead of the cream I used Pavels Russian non fat yogurt. I loved using the hibiscus flowers. I will use them in other things now. Maybe just for a cup of tea! That was fun!