1 quart fresh strawberries or seasonal berry, hulled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pint water
½ cup dried hibiscus flowers
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ¾ cup lightly sweetened hibiscus flower tea
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 cup fresh strawberry juice
6 ounces sugar
5 ounces water
1 ounce corn syrup
2 cups chopped fennel stalks, blanched
1 cup water
1 cup water, plus more to blend with fennel
Strawberry-Hibiscus “Jello:” Macerate the berries with the sugar for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth; then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and chill.
Bring the water to a boil, remove from the heat, add the hibiscus and zest, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten with sugar to taste.
Chill ¾ cup of the hibiscus tea and mix in the gelatin; bloom the gelatin for 10 minutes. Bring the remainder of the tea to a boil and mix in the bloomed gelatin tea to dissolve. Combine the tea with the fresh strawberry juice and pour into 8 serving dishes. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
For the Fennel Sorbet:
Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar; remove from the heat and chill. Meanwhile, puree the blanched fennel in a blender with just enough water to puree. Strain the fennel through a fine-mesh sieve and mix with 1 cup of water. Combine with the chilled syrup and put the mixture in an ice cream machine. Turn until frozen and store in the freezer.
To Assemble and Serve:
When the “jello” is set, scoop out a small amount from the center of the dish and replace with a scoop of the fennel sorbet. Serve immediately.