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Desserts

Blackberry soup with juniper cream and candied lemon peel

Blackberry soup with juniper cream and candied lemon peel
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

CIVILIZATION has its strong points, but few are more convincing than a beautiful dinner party. Think of it: a sequence of courses strung together like lanterns, happy guests at table, an evening of camaraderie and shared gastronomic attention laid out ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour steeping and overnight chilling | Serves 6

Blackberry soup

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Step 1In a large pot, combine the blackberries, 1 cup water, the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and let steep, covered, for about an hour.

Step 2In a blender, puree the mixture in batches. Strain the mixture, mashing the berries against the strainer. Chill the strained soup until cold, preferably overnight.

Juniper cream

  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Step 1The night before, crush the juniper berries with a spoon and add them with the cream to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, let cool until ready to refrigerate and then chill overnight.

Step 2Strain the cream, add the sugar and whip in a mixer until fluffy. Reserve, chilled, until ready for use.

Candied lemon peel and assembly

  • 4 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups club soda

Step 1Zest the 4 lemons with a zester (not a grater or microplane). The lemons should yield about one-half cup of zest, loosely packed.

Step 2Put the lemon zest, 2 cups of water and the sugar into a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Remove the peel, cool on a rack or waxed paper and reserve. This can be done the day before; store the candied lemon peel in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.

Step 3Ladle the soup into bowls, pour one-quarter cup of club soda into each bowl, and top with a large spoonful of the juniper cream and a generous pinch of the lemon peel. Serve immediately.


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