April and May are the season for harvesting woodruff. This pretty ground cover plant found naturally in the undergrowth. Its sweet and fragrant smell becomes even more intense once dried. Discover our quick-to-make refreshing dessert recipe: English jelly, or Woodruff Jelly Pudding!
How to harvest and dry sweet woodruff?
You will find woodruff naturally in the undergrowth where it likes cool, shady places. It can also be grown in the garden, all you need is a shady place and rich soil that stays cool. This attractive perennial plant can measure between 10 and 30 cm in height and has dark green leaves developing in a star, around the stem. In spring, small white flowers appear.
The woodruff harvest is done in April and May. We harvest the woodruff stems, we just have to avoid cutting too close, so that it can resume well again. The leaves and flowers are used fresh and dried in infusion, syrup or to flavor a dessert. Its flavor is even more intense by using the dried flowers and leaves. For this, nothing could be simpler, after picking, let them dry in a ventilated place for 2 days before using it. The coumarins it contains give off a very fragrant, slightly vanilla smell that can recall the smell of hay.
The recipe for English jelly with woodruff, step by step:
To make this recipe you will need: a small bunch of dried woodruff (about 15 stalks of woodruff), 6 sheets of gelatin (you can also use agar-agar), 2 tablespoons of sugar , 500 mL of water.
We harvested fresh woodruff which we dried for 2 days in a ventilated room before using it in order to have a more intense woodruff taste.
- Bring 500 mL of water to a boil in a saucepan. Then remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse, covering with a lid for 5-10 minutes the dried woodruff.
- Then strain the mixture and return it to the pan. Add the 6 sheets of gelatin and mix well.
- Then pour into ramekins, let cool, then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The jelly should become very firm.
Accompany your woodruff English jelly with Earl Gray black tea for Tee time, for example… good tasting!