If you’re looking for a simple yet elegant dessert, these pear and champagne jellies with hazelnut shortbread are perfect. They make a delightful treat after a hearty meal, and the recipe allows for some creative flexibility.
You can even customize the syrup with spices or extra citrus zest. These jellies set with a beautiful, clear appearance, making them a pleasing addition to your table. You can serve them in glasses or unmould them onto colorful plates and enjoy with a dollop of pouring cream, Jersey cream, or cold custard.
For the Jelly:
Juice of ½ lemon
3 gelatine leaves
Pouring cream, Jersey cream, or cold custard (optional)
For the Hazelnut Shortbread:
100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 pinch flaky sea salt
40g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
25g roasted chopped hazelnuts
Making the Jelly:
Start by making the jelly. In a saucepan, combine 350ml of water, champagne, sugar, and lemon juice. Place it over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Peel and quarter the pears, then add them to the pan and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the pears are tender.
While the pears are cooking, place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften.
Strain the pears, saving the poaching liquid. You can enjoy the poached pears with the jellies or save them for another use. Return the liquid to the saucepan, squeeze out any excess water from the gelatine leaves, and add them to the warm poaching mixture. Stir until the leaves dissolve.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then carefully pour it into individual glasses or moulds. Chill for at least four hours until the jelly is set.
Making the Hazelnut Shortbread:
Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4 and line an oven tray with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, combine the plain flour, salt, and sugar. Cut the butter into small cubes and add it to the bowl. Gently rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work quickly to prevent the butter from melting too much. Add the chopped hazelnuts and gently mix them in. If the dough feels too dry, you can add a splash of water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it gently until smooth. Roll it out to a thickness of ½cm. Using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife, cut out your desired shapes.
Transfer the shortbread shapes to the lined sheet, leaving some space between them, and bake for 10-12 minutes until they start to turn golden around the edges.
Let the shortbread cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Serving Your Dessert:
To serve, unmould the jellies (or serve them in the glasses). Enjoy them with the hazelnut shortbread and, if desired, the reserved poached pears. You can add a spoonful of cream for an extra touch of indulgence. This elegant dessert is sure to impress your guests and satisfy your sweet cravings.