Strawberry and Mint Terrine with Strawberry Sauce, Flavoured with Balsamic and Pepper

If you feel the strawberries that we buy here need some added flavour or more elaborate treatment, try my terrine with the balsamic flavouring, very elegant but not too grand, for a Mediterranean-style buffet.

Ingredients

  • 7 gelatine sheets, or 7 teaspoons gelatine granules
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) fresh strawberries, hulled and wiped
  • 750 mls ( pints) clear apple, grape or pear juice
  • black peppercorns
  • 1-2 teaspoons aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena

Method

Soak the gelatine in a little water.

Wash and dry the mint in paper towels, and take off the leaves. Wet a jelly mould or terrine, and ‘stick’ on the mint leaves, right side to the ‘wall’.

Bring 200 mls (7 oz) of the juice to the boil, and stir in the softened gelatine. Stir until it has dissolved, and then add 400 mls (14 oz) more juice.

Take 200-250 g (about ½ lb) of the softest strawberries, and make a purée with them and the remaining 150 mls (5 oz) juice in a blender, adding a little freshly ground black pepper. Sieve into a jug, cover and chill.

When the jelly is cool, start the terrine by placing a layer of strawberries in the mould, covering with jelly and chilling until set. Add another layer of strawberries and jelly, and when this has set, continue in the same way until fruit and jelly have been used up.

Chill until firm, turn out, slice, and arrange on plates.

Spoon the strawberry sauce around the terrine, coarsely grind over each plate a little black pepper, and on to the sauce drop a few tears of aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena.

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