Summer Berries & Elderflower Gratin

Summer Berries with Elderflower Gratin and Lavender Shortbread


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

On The Menu: Seasonal Recipes for a Culinary Life

On The Menu

By James Mackenzie

Published 2011

  • About

You can use any assortment of summer berries in this dish and it always tastes great. Traditionally, the recipe uses champagne or marsala wine in the gratin sabyon, but I replace them with St. Germain elderflower liqueur or my own elderflower cordial. I make this by picking fresh elderflower flowers in late May and June and infusing them in a syrup with lemon juice.


  • Choose a selection of, or use all of, the following berries:
  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • loganberries
  • blackcurrants
  • tayberries
  • fresh mint
  • lavender flowers


    For the sabayon, put the egg yolks, water, sugar and elderflower liqueur into a bowl and place over a pan of boiling water. Whisk constantly for 6-8 minutes until the mixture becomes light in colour and consistency. It should be a thick pouring consistency. You may need to let it down with some water. Remove from the heat. Cover with cling film and keep warm until required.

    To make the lavender shortbread, cream the butter and sugar together, beat the egg yolks in and then sift in the flour. Mix by hand to a soft dough, but don’t overwork the paste. Add the fresh lavender petals and essence. Roll into a sausage and sprinkle the outside with granulated sugar. Wrap in cling film and set in the fridge.

    Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.

    Remove from the fridge and slice about 1cm thick, place on a non-stick baking tray, and then bake at 170°C/gas mark 3 for 5-6 minutes.

    Place your summer berries into a dish and pour the elderflower mix over the top, place under a hot grill and cook until golden brown. You can use a blowtorch if you wish.

    Finish the gratin with sprigs of fresh mint and lavender flowers. Serve with the shortbread.

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