It's possible I get a little over excited about some things. Mostly where food is concerned. Those who know me well might consider it charming and endearing or just plain odd, but this is who I am. I have always felt that the the real joys in life are the little things and am often frusturated when others aren't able to see such beauty in life's small details. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a jam jar.
I first spotted these oh so very cute, made in Germany, canning jars about 5 years ago in a European cookbook. Since then I have been tempted over and over in books, magazines and of course food blogs, as I'm not alone in my fancy for these old fashioned, yet elegant glass containers. Trips to Europe have left me empty handed and an upcoming trip to San Francisco was going to be my chance. That was until I was alerted of their presence in my very city, for the first time. I snapped them up practically skipping out of the store with them. When you've coveted something for this long, its hard to describe the elation. An unassuming customer walked by me, adding casually, "aren't they neat". Oh, girl, you have NO idea, I wanted to mutter! I held in my enthusiasm as best I could, promptly calling my Mom of course. As always she was a a good sport, listening to me going on about some glass and rubber rings. She's knows me and while may not always "get me" all the time, she always shares in my joy, even when that joy is about a jar.
I started dreaming of what I would do with them right away and it didn't take for me to dream up these lovely little parfaits. These layered spoon desserts were first to come to mind and a special dinner picnic was to be the perfect excuse to make dessert in jars. Each person's dessert was like their own little present to unwrap. I wouldn't have dreamed they would turn out so lovely and travel so well.
Made of a simple layering of lemon verbena pannacotta and bright red hibicus gelee, this is a pure summer dessert. No oven required, and a bare heating of the stove makes for the perfect hot weather preparation. I've had a bit of a love affair with gelee this past year, especially when flavoured with bright ingredients like hibiscus flowers and raspberries and combined with a creamy pannacotta. If dried hibiscus is hard to find be sure to get a nice hibiscus based fruit tea for a similar result.