Junket with Strawberries and Passionfruit

I think every country person of my era grew up eating junket as cows were aplenty and therefore milk was abundant. How easy to make a dessert with a couple of cups of milk, a junket tablet and some sugar? Easy, mostly healthy, cheap.

It is decades since I ate junket and, to be honest, I didn’t know if the supermarket would still stock the tablets. But they did, to everyone’s surprise! Junket is a little like custard, a little like flan filling, a little like sweet tofu, but it is none of these. It is a milk-based dessert, made with vegetable rennet, usually sweetened and flavoured.  Today I am topping it with some macerated strawberries and passionfruit.

I think it’s about time for junket to make a come back, for it’s a delicious dessert, with a fantastic texture. Junket can be flavored with a variety of milk spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom, or allspice, ginger, and mace. It can be made with any type of milk, be it cow, goat or sheep. And it can be spike with cream or spirits to make a more celebratory dessert. – David Asher.

Did you know that junket actually used be served to the sick in hospitals? It is so nutritious and also easy to digest, so it was perfect hospital food. Why have so many hospitals changed to unhealthy desserts these days?

The name of junket comes from the fact that it used to be made in a rush basket, the Medieval Latin word for which is iuncāta, the French jonquette and the Middle English jonket.

Predecessors of junket were made as early as Medieval times where a cream-and-rennet mixture, sweetened and flavoured with rosewater, sugar, and spices, was an upper-class food, served to those among noble ranks. Since then it has fallen in and out of flavour. But I can tell you it is back in favour at our place!

Similar recipes include Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cream, Warm Rice Pudding with Orange-Star Anise Sauce, Cold Pandan Pudding with Lime Syrup and Fruits, and Cumquats Poached in Syrup.

Browse all of our Desserts and all of our Strawberry recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Junket with Strawberries and Passionfruit”

Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit

Maceration is a process of breaking down and softening various substances. In food preparation, the process most often occurs when soaking fruit in sugar, perhaps with a liquid such as fruit juice, alcohol or other flavoured liquid, so that the fruit softens and takes on the flavour.

Maceration changes a fruit’s taste and texture. It is used to improve the texture of hard, under-ripe fresh fruit and also to enhance the flavour of ripe fruit. When fruit is macerated, it softens and releases some of its flavours and also aroma and becomes something quite different – a complex mix of the various flavours and textures.

Today’s recipe does not require any added liquid –  strawberries and passionfruit release their own juice into a wonderfully delicious mix that provides its own liquid for maceration. But when macerating fruit you can, if you wish, add liquors, liqueurs, wine, fruit juice, vinegars, and infused water. And any of these can be infused with flavourings such as spices, herbs, tea, and coffee. Alcohol can include gin, vodka, whisky, brandy, rum. Flavourings also include vanilla bean, chilli, basil, lemon thyme, fresh ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, whole cloves etc.

The soft fruit and liquid combo has many uses: a tasty dessert on its own topped with a dollop of whipped cream or sweetened yoghurt; a sauce for ice cream, pudding or cake; or a filling for pie or cake where it adds flavour, colour and moisture.

Delicate fruit like strawberries and raspberries can over-soften, so maceration time is best from 30 mins to a couple of hours – tougher fruits can be macerated overnight and up to 2 or 3 days.

Similar recipes include Warm Rice Pudding with Orange-Star Anise Sauce, Cold Pandan Pudding with Lime Syrup and Fruits, and Cumquats Poached in Syrup.

Browse all of our Desserts and all of our Strawberry recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit”