There’s nothing like the smell of pine to get you into the Christmas spirit. Why not add to the nostalgia by making this jelly recipe with foraged pine tips. It’s a truely Christmassy dessert.
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups water
1 cup pine tips, loosely packed (you can also use spruce or fir – see tip below)
2 1/2 teaspoons agar-agar powder
1. Use a potato peeler to remove the peel from the citrus. Put the peel, sugar, water and pine tips into a pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to steep for half an hour.
2. Strain the liquid to remove the peel and pine tips. Return the liquid to the clean pot and squeeze in the juice of the peeled oranges and lemon.
3. Sprinkle in the agar-agar powder and turn the heat up again. Whisk the mix as it heats up. Once it comes to a gentle boil, let it boil for five minutes while continuously whisking.
4. Pour into 4-6 pretty bowls and place in the fridge to set. The jellies should be ready to serve within an hour, but leave them in the fridge until you need them.
5. Serve with something less sweet or more tart, such as mascarpone, cream or citrus gelato. If you like, add a sprinkling of edible flower petals or fennel pollen.
Gathering pine, spruce and fir tips
These are the new, soft, bright green growing tips at the ends of the branches. Before infusion, break them up a little to help them release their flavour.