Recipe: Jo Barrett’s lemon, pickled fennel and meringue

Lemon, pickled Fennel and Meringue. Photo: Supplied

Lemon, pickled Fennel and Meringue. Photo: Supplied

Lemon, pickled Fennel and Meringue

Lemon Jelly

  • 230g Lemon Juice
  • 160g Sugar
  • 3 gelatin sheets (titanium strength)

Meringue

  • 100g eggs white
  • 200g sugar

Pickled Fennel flowers

  • 100g vinegar
  • 40g sugar
  • handful of fennel flowers

This is a simple and punchy dessert. Lemons are coming into prime time at the moment and if you don’t have a lemon tree yourself you are sure to know a neighbour or a local tree you can borrow a few from.

Lemon Jelly

Juice then strain the lemon juice. Bloom the gelatin sheets in cold water. Heat the lemon juice and sugar together to about 70 degrees. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the bloomed gelatin sheets and add to the lemon juice, stirring until dissolved. Pour into a lightly oiled container. Refrigerate till set, about 2 hours. Run a knife through the jelly to form 1.5cmx1.5cm cubes.

Pickled Fennel Flowers

You can find fennel flowers once fennel goes to seed, for this dessert you can also use green coriander seeds. Same method applies to both.

Heat the vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the fennel flower. Store in a sterilized jar. They keen for months.

Meringue

Bring a medium pot of water half full to the boil. In a bowl place the egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl on top of the pot and whisk the whites gently. Bring to 55 degrees. Once at 55degrees, place the mix into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on high until glossy and thick (about 5 mins). Place a dessertspoon of the meringue onto the plate and serve with cubed jelly and a sprinkle of the fennel flowers.

Meet Jo Barrett …

Jo Barrett. Photo: Supplied

Jo Barrett. Photo: Supplied

Jo Barrett has worked at Movida and Tivoli Road Bakery, Bar Nacional, Long Shot, Sydney’s Stanley Street Merchants and Melbourne’s trail-blazing Brothl. These days, she’s head chef alongside Matt Stone at Oakridge Winery in the Yarra Valley. As head of pastry, she strives to minimise waste and draws inspiration from native Aussie ingredients.

Jo loves …

The Yarra Valley \ A gin and tonic at Four Pillars Distillery and lunch at Meletos.

Brunch \ The food at Babajan in Carlton is really tasty and colourful. The service is always welcoming and coffee is great. I’m scared to tell because I want it all to myself.

Go-to restaurant \ Lee Ho Fook. It’s interesting and delicious. Always a crowd-pleaser. Great wines, too.

Industry idol \ Michael James (Tivoli Road Bakery) is one of the hardest-working chefs I have worked with. He is amazing under pressure, creative, cares about the environment and treats people with respect.

Native Australian ingredients \ They are all so interesting, but I love Davidson plums. They are incredibly sour.

Avoiding food waste \

  • Use paper mushroom bags (instead of plastic) at the supermarket when getting fruit and veg;
  • Try to plan a few meals in your week. Then you don’t end up with half-onions and carrots lying around;
  • Have a good dry store filled with sauces, grains, ferments and spices. Then you can always jazz up sad-looking veg into killer meals.

 

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