Parsnip Bavarois with rhubarb compote and sorrel granita

At the last harvest dinner, the dessert was many people’s favorite dish and I’ve had some requests for the recipe.  The dish is inspired by the ending of winter and the beginning of spring.  Sorrel and Rhubarb are always some of the first goodies to grow and are also some of my favorites.  If you aren’t familiar with sorrel, it is a leafy green that often grows wild and has a very pronounced lemon flavor.  Its amazing how excited I get about the first fresh things that can be eaten from the garden.


Parsnip Bavarois

2 C Heavy Cream

2 C Whole Milk

4 leaves gelatin (or 1 packet)

8 egg yolks

6 small parsnips

60g sugar (or to taste)

 – Add Cream, Milk, sugar and pealed/chopped parsnips to a pot, simmer for 30 minutes or until the parsnip is soft.  

– Blend the ingredients very well, pass through a fine sieve and return to the pot

– Whisk together your egg yolks and add 1/2 a cup of the parsnip liquid to temper the eggs.

– Make sure the pot of parsnip cream isn’t too hot (under 150 degrees). Whisk the egg mixture into the parsnip cream. Then bring the temperature back up to 150F, the edges of the cream might show small bubbles.  Make sure to keep  stirring the pot and scraping the bottom to prevent scrambling the eggs.  Stir until the consistency thickens to where it coats the back of your spoon.  

– Next add gelatin (after it has soaked in water) – stir it in and make sure it has all dissolved and there are not clumps.

– Let the mixture cool (with the occasional stir) until the point where a skin is not forming on top.

– Pour the mixture into serving containers (I used small tumbler glasses), or into a mold that you would like to turn it out of.

– Refrigerate until 1/2 hour before use.

Rhubarb compote

There is rhubarb in my backyard right now that is doing incredibly well, I was very excited to get to use it.  This recipe is what I used the other day, I was really just looking for the tart rhubarb flavor, so it didn’t need to be preserved or have a thick consistency.

5 stalks rhubarb (cut in medium dice)

1/2 C honey

1 Tablespoon water

1 teaspoon agar agar ( you could use gelatin or nothing at all)

Bring all ingredients to a simmer, cook for five minutes or until the rhubarb is soft but hasn’t lost its structure.  Cool.

Sorrel granita

Granita is a great way to add flavor, texture and temperature to a dessert.  Using something like sorrel that is not traditionally used in dessert brings a unique element to a dish, but it is not offensive at all, in fact its lemon and grass flavor just add brightness.

1C sugar

2 C water

1 bunch sorrel

Juice of 1 lemon

or pinch of citric acid

Ice cubes

-Bring sugar, water and half the lemon juice to a boil.  Let cool

-In a blender add cooled sugar/water mixture, lemon juice, 3 ice cubes and washed sorrel.  Blend for about thirty seconds, its important not to heat up the sorrel as you will lose the great color (that is why we use the ice cubes).

– Put the sorrel syrup in the freezer, use a fork to break up the freezing every hour.


If serving in a glass, take the bavarois out of the fridge a half hour before serving.  If you want to un-mold the mixture, wait until right before serving.  In this case, dip the bottom of the glass/cup/container into warm water for a few seconds, run a knife around the edges and tip the container upside down onto a plate or your hand.  

Just place a couple spoons of the rhubarb compote on top of the bavarois and then scrape with a fork a pile of granita on top of the compote.  Garnish with a small sorrel leaf.