Summer’s Harvest: Three Sweet Berries Together in a Delicate Gel

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You don’t need me to tell you that it’s berry season. You’ll likely find lovely, ripe berries in abundance at your farm market. Eat them right out of the basket–what a pleasure. Pour on a little cream (or more likely, your favorite substitute), and if the berries are ripe and sweet,  you’ll have a memorable dessert.  But if you’re in the mood for something a little out of the ordinary, try this elegant summer gel made simply with fruit juice and agar agar, a sea vegetable used as a dessert gelling agent throughout Asia. Although it goes together quickly, make it at least a couple of hours ahead, so there’s time for the gel to cool and set. If you’re remembering the jello you ate as a kid, forget all that. This gel is so much more delicate and sophisticated. Make it in a loaf pan, then slice and garnish with additional fruit and something creamy. In the photo, the garnish is coconut cream, made by using a fork to whip only the thick part of canned coconut milk.  You can add a little sweetener if you like, but I didn’t and it worked well. The recipe, as usual, is after the jump.

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