Collecting wild ingredients is just a part of what we do at Eriska, we grow our own produce, we have our own pigs and quails and we put a lot of effort into sourcing the best possible produce Scotland has to offer.
When you have a 300 acre estate on an island, nature is always going to be an inspiration to the way you cook. It feels natural to be in the wild collecting ingredients in these surroundings and brings a certain synergy connecting the Hotel to its environment. Quite simply it makes sense, but we only use what we find if it’s good enough, not just for the sake of saying we foraged these herbs.
For me recognising an ingredients beauty in its natural state is much more important than turning it into 10 different techniques on the plate. Real passion is capturing true flavour in its purest form.
This dish is all about capturing the flavours of the island in a dessert and accompanying that with a fresh tea that is vibrant and cleansing at the same time.
Infuse 500g of Meadowsweet flowers in 600g of Stock Syrup made with 20% sugar (so for 1kg of water use 200g sugar) We infuse our flowers at 48°C for 2 days.
100g egg whites
280g caster sugar
200g Meadowsweet cordial
5 leaves of bronze gelatine
750g semi whipped double cream
500g Organic Rolled Oats
5g Sea Salt
150g Golden Syrup
200g Wood Sorrel
200g Common Sorrel
30g Bog Myrtle
50g Young Spruce Shoots
First soak the gelatine in 800g of cold water, bring the Meadowsweet cordial and sugar to 115°C at this point whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Allow the cordial mixture to reach 119°C and remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatine and carefully pour this mixture into the egg whites while continuously whipping. Allow to whip until the bowl feels cool to touch. To finish carefully fold in the semi whipped Cream and set into a tray lined with cling film. Chill quickly to 1°C and cut into portions.
Slowly brown the Butter in a heavy based pan, combine all the ingredients and toast in the oven at 150°C until golden, turning every 5 minutes.
Cloudberries are extremely rare in Britain; however in Scotland the climate is very similar to Scandinavia where they’re far more common. Due to this we have been lucky enough to find a good number growing in the wild; we serve them as they are freshly picked on the day. The best quality fresh raspberry you can find is a suitable replacement.
The fresh Tea is full of flavour and is very refreshing. For something so pure with no fat or added sugar it’s surprisingly moreish and is a perfect balance against the Meadowsweet Mousse. The herbs we use are all there for a reason, the sorrels bring a lemon like freshness, and the nettles’ earthy tones compliment this. Bog myrtle is fragrant, almost like rosemary and lavender as it passes under your nose. Heather adds a flavour that reminds us of honey that is garnished with its flavour and the spruce brings a pine aroma that feels like you’re walking outside collecting the herbs with us.
We dehydrate the sorrels and nettles as this enhances the flavours we are looking for in the tea, 50°C for 36 hours is enough. The rest of the herbs are used fresh. Simply grind in a pestle and mortar and infuse with boiling water for 5 minutes before serving.
Find out more about the Isle of Eriksa at eriska-hotel.co.uk