16 July 2010

Limoncello Spritzer Glaciers with Summer Fruit

There are times when I crave a simple dessert.  A dessert with a 'light touch' that will be the perfect, sweet ending to a rich, heavy meal.  Not a sugar-laden, creamy, chocolatey dessert that will make me sick like "Lardass" Hogan in a pie-eating contest.

That's where these jelly glaciers come in. I call them glaciers, because that's what they look like, with those gorgeous red, black and blue berries in beautiful, suspended animation.  Like little pieces of a wild berry summer frozen in liquid crystal.  Calling to mind the sensuous summer fruits peddled in Christina Rosetti's Goblin Market, of which goblin men call enticingly to lure fair maidens "Come buy, come buy!"

Rosetti's description of forbidden fairie fruits is certainly one to whet the appetite, but the inspiration for this dessert was taken from Jamie Oliver's Prosecco Jellies.

The beauty of these jellies, apart from the fact that they are "sound to tongue and sweet to eye" (not to mention alcoholic), is that they contain fizz. Yes, when done right, they fizz delightfully in your mouth as you are eating them.  However, making sure that there is enough fizz in the jellies takes a fair bit of skill and effort. Out of the 2 batches I made, only 2 jellies turned out fizzy, because I was interrupted halfway and didn't chill them fast enough. (I have to add though, that there was also a cup of 7-Up jelly I made for Sugababe 2 that fizzed ever so beautifully, and which she devoured in 3 seconds flat, but you don't need the recipe for that ...)

So if you need a light, fresh, palate-cleansing dessert; or want another way to showcase berries on your dinner table; or if the following lines from the Goblin Market give you a thirst for the lush sensations of summer-ripened, ambrosial fruit juices; then give this recipe a try.

Goblin Market
by Christina Rosetti
(Read full version here)

Morning and evening

Maids heard the goblins cry:
"Come buy our orchard fruits,

Come buy, come buy:

Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,

Plump unpecked cherries-
Melons and raspberries,

Bloom-down-cheeked peaches,

Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,

Crab-apples, dewberries,

Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries--

All ripe together
In summer weather--
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;

Come buy, come buy;
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the South,

Sweet to tongue and sound to eye,

Come buy, come buy."

Recipe for Limoncello Spritzer Glaciers with Summer Fruit
Presentation: These can be made in mini-moulds (this recipe will yield about 8 mini jellies), wine glasses, or in a large bowl.  Alternatively, you can do like Delia Smith and make these in a rectangular tin for a show-stopping summer berry terrine.   


1/4 cup Limoncello liquor1 3/4 cup Ice Cream Soda
4 tablespoons Lime Cordial
2.5 teaspoons gelatine powder
1 1/2 - 2 cup berries (varies, use as many as would fit nicely in the moulds)

Note: All ingredients (except the gelatine powder) have to be chilled.  Jelly moulds should be placed in the freezer to chill.  This is necessary to ensure that minimum fizz from the soda escapes from the jellies.

Sprinkle gelatine powder into a small bowl containing 3 tablespoons of hot water, stirring constantly. Place in microwave and warm it up in 10 second intervals, stirring after each session, until dissolved. Do not allow the gelatine to boil.

Fill each mould with berries, ensuring that the nicest berries are on the bottom (as these will be on top when the jellies are turned out of the moulds).

Slowly add the lime cordial 1 teaspoon at a time to the gelatine liquid, stirring constantly. Do not add to much at a time or the gelatine will seize up and become lumpy.  Slowly add in the limoncello liquor and then the ice cream soda. The mixture will froth up, this is normal. 

Working quickly, pour the jelly mixture into each mould through a fine sieve (to remove the froth), making sure that the berries are covered. Cover with cling wrap, which should be pressed down onto the surface of the jelly mixture, and chill until set.  Try to chill for at least 4 hours as more fizz appears with time.  

Before serving, place each mould momentarily in a tray of hot water to loosen, and turn out onto serving plates.

I have avoided adding sugar to the jellies because I wanted a more adult version, with a distinctive hit of liquor, and only the slight natural sweetness of the berries coming through.  If you prefer a sweeter version, simply dissolve the required amount of sugar (about 2 tablespoons) in cordial before mixing with the gelatine mixture. 

This dessert lends itself to so many variations. A simple fuss-free alternative is to substitute the Limoncello, soda water and cordial with, simply, an equal amount of fruit-flavoured sparkling wine. For a non-alcoholic version for kids, try using sparkling grape juice or a mix of cordial and soda water.  Of course, they will also be thrilled with jellied soft drinks like my Sugababe.


  1. i love fizzy jellies! of course one time i ate some yummy coconut water jellies which were REALLY fizzy... realised that they weren't actually fizzy but fermented and gone bad when the toilet came a-calling.

  2. Can I ask what Ice Cream Soda is? I know about Cream Soda, and I know about Ice Cream Floats, but I'm not quite sure what this Ice Cream Soda Is...

  3. @Sandra:I'm sorry, but that's hilarious!
    @Eky: Over here in our supermarkets we have a drink that's called Ice Cream Soda, by the F&N company. It's basically sweetened soda water, flavoured with vanilla. If you don't have that, you can easily substitute with the same amount of (combined) Soda Water and either sugar, sugar syrup or extra lime cordial (which is usually sweetened) to add the desired sweetness.



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