Jellied Fruit with Basil and Vodka in Lime Syrup

James Martin's summer berries in a vodka jelly make a delightfully pretty dessert that tastes as good as it looks
By James Martin
Jellied Fruit with Basil and Vodka in Lime Syrup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus setting and cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 11 sheets leaf gelatine
  • 1 litres water
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 2 mango, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 3 punnets of strawberries
  • 2 punnets of raspberries
  • 2 punnets of blueberries
  • 20 g leaves basil
  • dashes of vodka

For the sauce:

  • 150 ml water
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 6 limes
  • 1 tsp arrowroot


1. Place the gelatine in a small bowl, add in a little cold water and set the gelatine aside to soak.

2. In a saucepan, bring the water and the caster sugar to the boil, then remove from direct heat.

3. Drain the soaked gelatine and add to the hot water, stirring gently until the gelatine has dissolved.

4. Pass the gelatine mixture through a sieve into a bowl, mix in the vodka and set aside until the jelly just begins to thicken.

5. Hull most of the strawberries, leaving around half a punnet of the smallest ones with their tops still on. Finely slice the hulled strawberries.

6. Brush a mould with olive oil and then line with cling film. Spoon a little of the setting jelly into the base, spreading evenly, and allow to set. Layer over the mango, sliced strawberries, raspberries and basil leaves, adding a little of the jelly with each layer and allowing it to set. Finish with a layer of jelly and chill in the refrigerator until set.

7. To make the sauce, place the water, caster sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.

8. Mix the arrowroot with a little water into a paste. Using a whisk, whisk the arrowroot into the lime mixture until the liquid thickens to a sauce consistency. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve, stir in the lime zest and set aside to cool.

9. Turn the fruit jelly out from its mould and remove the cling film. Cut it into 2 cm-thick slices and place on a serving dish with the sauce spooned around the edge. Garnish with the whole, small strawberries and serve.

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