Basil and soft fruit terrine

Summer berries in a fragrant quivering jelly make this a light and elegant dessert from James Martin
By James Martin
Basil and soft fruit terrine
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Serves 6
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus overnight setting
  • Effort: medium



  • 6 leaves of gelatine
  • 500 ml water
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp vodka
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 500 g strawberries, hulled
  • 250 g raspberries
  • 250 g blueberries
  • 12 large leaves basil

Lime Syrup

  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 0 4 limes, grated zest and juice
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot


1. Line a 1kg terrine mould or loaf tin with cling film, allowing lots of cling film to fall over the sides. Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.

2. Meanwhile, bring the 500ml water to the boil in a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Pour away the water from the softened gelatine and lightly squeeze out any excess water. Slip the wet sheets into the hot sugar syrup and stir for a few seconds until dissolved. Add the vodka, then transfer into a jug.

4. Pick through the strawberries and raspberries and set aside a few of the smallest strawberries and most perfect raspberries for decoration. Slice the other strawberries.

5. Half-fill a large bowl (a washing-up bowl, for example) with very, very cold water and add several ice cubes.

6. Pour a layer, about 1-2cm deep, of the liquid jelly into the base of the terrine mould or loaf tin and place in the bowl of iced water. It should set quickly. Add a layer of the prepapred fruit, then pour over a little more liquid jelly. Press down into the jelly any fruits that bob up to the surface. Again, allow to set, then arrange a few basil leaves over the top. Continue adding layers of fruit, jelly and basil leaves in the same way.

7. When all the fruits are used up and neatly submerged in jelly, place the terrine in the refrigerator to chill completely, preferably overnight

8. To make the lime syrup, place the 50g caster sugar, lime juice and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Mix the arrowroot with 1 tbsp cold water until clear. Whisk into the hot liquid in the pan until it thickens and becomes clear. Pour through a sieve to remove any arrowroot lumps. Stir in the lime zest and leave to cool, stirring occasionally.

9. To turn out the terrine, hold the tin over a wet oval serving platter or board and shake down firmly. The mould should slip out without the need to dip in hot water.

10. Peel off the cling film. Cut the terrine into 2cm-thick slices and arrange on serving plates Drizzle around the lime syrup and decorate with the reserved strawberries,
raspberries and extra basil leaves.

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