French Blueberry Lemon Bavarois With Roasted Coriander

  • Desserts
  • Gluten free

With an abundance of fresh summer berries at the market, it’s great to whip up a quickly made, refreshing dessert that brings out their flavours. This French Blueberry Lemon Bavarois ticked all the boxes as an elegant yet easy dessert.

During our yo-yo-ing Parisian heatwaves, it’s welcome to have something chilled, no-bake and prepared in advance so that we, too, can chill and make the most of the outdoors.

Blueberry Lemon Bavarois recipe with roasted coriander seeds

What is a French Bavarois Dessert?

You may recall my recipe for red fruit bavarois a few years ago, getting rather carried away on the sexy theme for Saint Valentine’s Day. Since then I have developed the recipe further.  Normally French bavarois desserts are made using a crème bavaroise (a mixture of whipped cream, crème anglaise – a runny vanilla custard – and gelatine). In this recipe, it couldn’t be simpler: instead just add the gelatine to puréed fruit and add some thick, full-fat crème fraîche or thick double cream.

It’s like an Italian panna cotta, except with more fruit pulp in it and less cream. As with this rose panna cotta recipe with cherry & cardamom coulis, I pour the fruity mixture into silicone moulds, leave to chill then un-mould them before serving directly on the plates.

Blueberry lemon bavarois recipe step-by-step

Blueberry, Lemon & Roasted Coriander Seeds

Using blueberries in this dessert makes the recipe even easier: there’s no need to eliminate any seeds through a sieve. As blueberry and lemon are a particularly good combination, inspiration came from Nikki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus, by adding roasted coriander seeds.

I love how Nikki Segnit describes coriander seeds, and devotes two pages to its tempting combinations:

Coriander seeds have a delicious citrus and balsamic character … (they are) also one of the key botanicals in gin. A spare peppermill filled with roasted coriander seeds could easily get you hooked…. (they) can contain up to 85% linalool, a flavour compound with a woody, floral, slightly citrus quality that’s a key component of synthesised blueberry flavour.  Freshly ground, they can lend a fragrant background note to your home-baked blueberry muffins.

strawberry bavarois no-bake recipe

I’m the same recipe made with strawberries instead of blueberries!

Here, the addition of roasted coriander seeds brings out the blueberry and lemon flavours in this dessert perfectly and, roughly ground in a mortar and pestle, adds a delicate crunchy intrigue, I find.  Served with a Beaujolais Cru (Moulin à Vent) quite by accident the other day, we discovered that this fruity red wine brought out the lemon even more.  It’s sheer bliss!

Both lemon and lemon verbena macarons are a perfect accompaniment to this Blueberry Lemon Bavarois dessert, too (see respective recipes in Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris.)
Serve with blueberries soaked in Crème de Cassis liqueur or Limoncello (Christina Conte has a lovely homemade quick Limoncello recipe at ChristinasCucina)

Blueberry lemon bavarois dessert

Blueberry Lemon Bavarois (no-bake chilled dessert)

French Blueberry Lemon Bavarois (Gluten Free)

Blueberry lemon bavarois dessert

Blueberry Lemon French Bavarois Dessert (Gluten Free)

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Chilling Time4 hrs
Total Time29 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : French
Keyword : blueberry, bavarois, nobake, frenchdesserts, glutenfree, lemon
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 206kcal


An easy no-bake French dessert, similar to an Italian Panna Cotta, made with fruit purée and less cream. This recipe adds a touch of roasted coriander seeds, giving a lovely texture to  bring out the lemon and blueberry flavours.


  • 200 g / 7oz blueberries organic fresh or defrosted
  • 2 leaves @ 2g gelatine ensure each sheet is 2g
  • 1 tbsp zest of a lemon unwaxed, organic
  • 50 g / 1.75oz sugar
  • 1/2 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 150 g / 5.5oz thick crème fraîche 30% fat or thick double cream


  • Wash and drain the blueberries.  Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 10 minutes.
  • Place the coriander seeds on a baking tray and toast under the grill for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. 
  • Finely grate the zest of the lemon (yellow zest only, no white pith, otherwise this is too bitter). Add the lemon and seeds to the blueberries and purée in a food processor (or mix by hand with a mortar & pestle).
  • Heat a quarter of the purée in the microwave for 1m30 seconds. Squeeze the gelatine of any excess water and stir into the purée until melted.  Add the crème fraîche or double cream then pour into shaped silicone moulds (here I used briochettes, but half spheres are even better). 
  • Place on a baking tray and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, turn the moulds upside down and run under hot water for a few seconds.  Turn them upright so that no water touches them and turn out each bavarois with the help of a pastry scraper or pie slice and place directly on each serving plate.


Serve with fresh blueberries that have been macerated in some crème de cassis or limoncello liqueur. Add any extra roasted coriander seeds for that extra crunch. I added fresh lemon verbena, which complements this dessert beautifully.
Discovered that a red wine (Beaujolais Cru, such as Morgon or Moulin à Vent) brings out the citrus flavours. Serve with lemon or lemon verbena macarons (recipes are in Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris respectively).
Ensure gelatine sheets are 2g each, as I've discovered that some brands have smaller sheets and the whole thing is too liquid (if this is the case, block in the freezer for an hour, then turn out and leave to defrost for 20 minutes).
Jill Colonna

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Reviews (4)

5 stars
Sounds lovely, Jill! I love the look of the strawberry one with rhubarb on the plate, too, though! What a show stopping dessert to serve for a lovely end to a summer evening’s meal! 🙂

Thanks, Christina. It makes a change. I meant to add that I froze some to test them in the freezer, and they’re best eaten fresh to really appreciate their flavours.

I love this combination, Jill – especially the addition of the coriander! I also love your moulds! When I make panna cotta or a bavarois, I just use coffee or tea cups – not quite the same elegance as yours!

Lovely idea to use teacups, David. Fancy silicone moulds are handy for this kind of dessert and do try it with the roasted coriander seeds, as it’s subtle but really enhances the flavours. Thanks for popping in.

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