6 c. mixed berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries
1 c. water
1 T. green tea leaves
2 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
6 T. sugar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lime
whipped cream, crème fraîche or plain yogurt sweetened with a little honey
Combine the berries in a bowl. If the strawberries are large, cut them in halves or fourths lengthwise.
Bring the water just to a boil in a 3 qt. saucepan. Add the tea (a tea ball is handy for this), remove from the heat and allow to steep for five minutes. Remove the tea ball, or strain the liquid and return it to the saucepan. Using a small whisk, mix in the gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin dissolves completely. Stir in the sugar.
Transfer the berries to the saucepan and heat the mixture, stirring gently, a minute or two, until the berries begin to give up their juices and the sugar has dissolved. The liquid in the pan should barely cover the berries. Stir in the lemon juice and lime zest.
Spoon the contents of the pan into a six-cup loaf pan or porcelain terrine. Alternatively, the mixture can be spooned into six large wine glasses, but make sure the mixture is warm, not hot. Refrigerate for at least three hours, until the mixture is firm, then serve with the cream on the side or as a topping. If you’re using a terrine or loaf pan, you can unmould it and transfer it to a platter, which makes for a nice presentation. To unmould, fill the sink with enough hot water to come about halfway up the sides of the dish. Carefully place the terrine in the bath for a couple of minutes then remove and run a sharp thin knife around the perimeter of the mould. Invert it onto a serving platter and tap a little to free it.
Serves 6 to 8.