Violet parfait with blueberries, rose and lemon thyme sorbet

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This striking purple dessert from Chris Harrod celebrates the flavours of violets, blueberries, lemon thyme and rose. Everything can be made the day before, leaving you plenty of time to plate up for a dinner party dish that will blow your guests away.

First published in 2019




Violet parfait

Lemon thyme sorbet

Rose jelly

  • 45 rose petals
  • 20ml of elderflower cordial
  • 200ml of water
  • 1.5g of iota carrageenan

Blueberry meringue

To serve


  • Food mixer
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Piping bags
  • Silicone dome moulds
  • Pacojet or ice cream maker


For this dish, the parfait, sorbet, jelly and meringue can all be made the day before – plate and garnish the dish just before serving
For the parfait, combine the sugar and water in a pan and heat to 121°C. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and warm the blueberry purée in a pan, whisking in the gelatine until dissolved
When the syrup reaches 121°C, slowly pour it over the egg yolks (with the whisk still running). Add the blueberry purée and mix at a high speed until cool. Mix the violet essence into the yolk mixture
Whip the cream to soft peaks, then add a third of it into the yolk mixture. Mix well before incorporating the rest of the cream. Place into a piping bag, then pipe into moulds (Chris uses a variety of moulds in different shapes, but any will do) and freeze until required
  • 220ml of whipping cream
For the lemon thyme sorbet, bring the milk, stock syrup and lemon juice to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the lemon thyme and leave to infuse in the fridge overnight
For the rose jelly, heat the elderflower cordial, water and rose petals in a pan until just simmering, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 2 hours
  • 20ml of elderflower cordial
  • 200ml of water
  • 45 rose petals
For the blueberry meringue, preheat the oven to 65°C, or as low as it will go. Combine the purée, egg white powder and citric acid in a mixing bowl. Mix at high speed whilst slowly adding the sugar. Add the maltodextrin and leave to mix for 1 minute. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe mini tree branch shapes onto a silicone sheet. Lightly sprinkle with the finely chopped thyme and dry in the oven overnight until crisp
Strain the rose mixture and whisk in the iota carrageenan. Bring to the boil, then pour into a shallow container and place in the fridge to set
  • 1.5g of iota carrageenan
The next day, strain the sorbet mix and freeze in a Pacojet container before blitzing. Alternatively, churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions
Turn out the violet parfaits and place 2–4 on each plate (depending on the size of moulds used). Place quenelles of the sorbet alongside, then arrange the blueberries around the dish (cut some in half horizontally). Cut the rose jelly into cubes and add to the plate, then carefully position the pieces of blueberry meringue before finishing with viola flowers

A protégé of Raymond Blanc, Chris Harrod has built his own niche in the heart of glorious Monmouthshire, creating beautiful, organic dishes that make the most of the countryside around him.

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