sweet geranium

When I was at Ballymaloe we made lots of things using the leaves from the sweet geranium plant (pelargonium graveolens). The leaves are not eaten but used to flavour different dishes – cakes, jams, jellies, etc. There was a plant in the demonstration room which was always very leggy, with very few leaves as it was constantly being stripped of them for whatever we were doing! For the dessert part of my final exam I made summer berry fruit salad and yoghurt ice cream. I love fruity desserts and I love ice cream! Win, win for me and I keep returning to these recipes time after time. When we left Ballymaloe we were offered a sweet geranium plant to take home. It was tiny but I managed (with my not very green fingers) to keep it going for about a year (by which time mine too was leggy and minus of most of its leaves) and then I took some cuttings and now look what I’ve got! The original plant is on the left. 20140524-152328-55408566.jpg The summer berry fruit salad is a very simple dessert made by adding sweet geranium leaves to a sugar syrup and then macerating your chosen berries for a few hours. Remembering, of course, to remove the leaves before serving. The ice cream is also easy – yoghurt, icing sugar and vanilla. The difficult part was finding some proper plain organic yoghurt. None of your low fat, no fat yoghurts for this ice cream! And let’s face it, it’s bound to be fewer calories than ice cream made with cream and eggs. You don’t even need an ice cream machine to make it! 20140525-190114-68474759.jpg Delicious!

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