Summer time is berry time. In fruit salads, as cake toppings, or simply as they are. In Germany, another popular fresh berry dish is ‘Rote Grütze’ – the literal translation is ‘red gruel’, which doesn’t sound particularly appetizing. But in actual fact, it’s a delicious dessert made with a mixture of different berries.
- 300g each of four different kinds of berries. Since it’s called ‘red gruel’, red berries are the obvious choice, but other berries similar in colour with also do. I used raspberries, red currents, blueberries and brambles. Pitted cherries and black currents are also popular choices.
- 1 small untreated lemon
- 1 vanilla bean
- 500ml red fruit juice – I used cherry juice
- 5 tablespoons corn flour
- 50-100g caster sugar, to taste
- 200 ml double cream (to serve)
- Prepare your berries. Remove any leaves or stalks. If using red or black currents, pick them off the stalks. If using cherries, de-stone them. Wash the berries and gently shake them in a colander to get rid of any excess water.
- Wash and peel the lemon in large strips, taking off just the top layer of zest and not the white pith below.
- Slice the vanilla bean open, scrape out the seeds and set the seeds aside.
- Place remaining vanilla bean, along with the lemon zest and the fruit juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the corn flour with 5 tablespoons of juice, until smooth, then add in to the saucepan with the rest of the juice and stir in well.
- Whilst continuing to stir, bring to the boil again and add in the berries.
- Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla bean and lemon peel, and add sugar to taste. Leave to cool.
- Tastes wonderful served with vanilla cream – just mix the vanilla seeds with the double cream and pour on top. Summer in a bowl!