Fruit gateaux with lemon balm

A delightful hint of lemon balm adds a special touch to these lovely light and fruity, ever-so-slightly-tipsy jellies from Paul Rankin
By Paul Rankin
Fruit gateaux with lemon balm
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus setting time for the gateaux
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • lemon balm leaves, to decorate

For the sugar syrup:

  • 500 ml water
  • 500 g sugar
  • ½ vanilla pods, or 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 25 g glucose syrup, (optional)

For the gateaux:

  • 1 bottle of eiswein
  • 300 ml sugar syrup
  • 1 bunch of lemon balm leaves
  • 4 large grapefruit
  • 8 navel oranges
  • 8 sheets leaf gelatine, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes

For the sauce:

  • 300 ml orange juice, strained
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • ½ tbsp arrowroot, or potato flour, dissolved in 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp grenadine

Tips and Suggestions

Eiswein is a flavourful dessert wine from Germany.

Method

1. To make the sugar syrup, place all the ingredients together in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface. This is just impurities being released from the sugar. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.

2. Gently heat the wine, sugar syrup and half the lemon balm leaves in a large saucepan over a medium heat, for about 20 minutes to infuse.

3. Meanwhile, cut away the skin and pith from the grapefruit and oranges. Neatly cut out the segments so that no membrane is left on. Catch the juices and segments in a bowl as you are doing this. It is very important to lay the segments out on a clean towel or kitchen paper now, to let the individual segments dry. If you don't do this, the jelly will have trouble adhering to the segments, and the whole thing may fall apart when you unmould it.

4. Add the softened gelatine to the wine infusion and stir until it is well dissolved. Strain through a very fine sieve. Leave to cool to room temperature, taking care that the wine infusion remains pourable.

5. Lightly grease six little cups or moulds. Pour just enough of the wine infusion into each one to cover the base to a depth of about 3mm. Carefully lay two or three leaves of lemon balm on this layer. Keep in mind that, when presented, the bottom of the mould will be on top; so place the leaves with the vein sides facing up.

6. Taking the orange and grapefruit segments, lay them on this base, alternating the two to provide a contrast of colours. Put them in rather tightly, not pressing them down, but just making them fit snugly together.

7. Ladle or pour in the remaining wine infusion, letting it fill all the gaps. Gently tap the moulds once or twice to remove any air bubbles, and fill each mould to the rim. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until the gateaux seem completely set.

8. To make the sauce, put the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan, and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Stir in the dissolved arrowroot or potato flour and return to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute just to ensure that the arrowroot or potato flour is well dissolved. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve.

9. Add the grenadine and chill in the fridge. The chilled sauce shouldn't be too thick in consistency, yet not too runny either.

10. Unmould the gateaux onto plates by running a very sharp knife around the edge of the moulds and, if necessary, quickly dip the moulds into very hot water. This slightly melts the jelly, releasing the edges and bottom. Surround each gateau with the orange sauce and decorate with a sprig of lemon balm or mint.

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