Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Posh Rasperry Jelly
No, not the retro stuff made from cubes out of a pack, this is a POSH raspberry jelly made with generous quantities of the real fruit. It's tangy, but not mouth-puckeringly sour, and is MAGIC served up with a shortbread biscuit and a ball of vanilla ice cream on the side. You get all these amazing textures together: soft wobbly jelly, crunchy biscuit and creamy coldness. It's nursery food all grown up. And if you're a bit of a vintage fiend, it's fun looking out in second hand markets for retro jelly moulds like the cute aluminium ones I found in the photos - the accessorising makes me feel like I've gone all Bree Van De Kamp!
Anyway, I've adapted a jelly recipe (originally for blackcurrants) from Skye Gyngell.
Makes enough to serve 6 people
You will need:
285g raspberries (approx 2 punnets)
7 sheets gelatine (the regular home cooking size, not the catering size!)
Juice of 1 lemon
Wash the raspberries, then put them in a saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and let them simmer gently for 5 - 8 minutes, or until the raspberries have broken down somewhat and the sugar has dissolved, stirring a few times.
Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly, then pop the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and leave them to soften. When the raspberries have cooled down a bit (but are still fairly hot), pour them into a sieve over a large bown and press them through with a wooden spoon so that you extract all the juice and the pips stay behind.
The gelatine sheets can now be taken out of the water - squeeze them between a few sheets of kitchen roll to remove excess liquid. Then mix them into the warm raspberry mixture, stirring well so that they dissolve. Then pass the mixture back through a clean sieve. Mix in the lemon juice. Then pour the mixture into jelly moulds and put into the fridge to set - this takes between 4 and 6 hours.
Serve the jellies cold from the fridge - if you're using metal moulds, dip them for a scant second into a bowl of boiling water before turning out upside-down onto a plate. Delicious eaten with a shortbread biscuit on the side and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
My husband made these amazing cardamom-scented shortbreads to go with our jellies:
He used the recipe for Pistachio shortbread from the Ottolenghi cookbook as a base, but as he didn't have many pistachios, instead using a mixture of crushed pistachios and almonds. He also upped the sugar content, because without it, the dough tasted salty. These shortbreads have a lovely exotic twist brought by the addition of scented cardamom - they are buttery and spicy and impossible to eat in single numbers. Here is the recipe, slightly adapted:
Makes up to 20 cookies
8 cardamom pods
25g ground rice (rice flour is fine)
240g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
70g caster sugar
60g mixture of shelled unsalted pistachio nuts and almonds
1 lightly beaten organic egg
2 tbsp caster sugar
Gently crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar, then remove the skins and crush the seeds into a fine powder.
Using an electric mixer with the beater attachment fitted, mix together the butter, ground rice, flour, salt, ground cardamom and the 70g caster sugar. Once the dough comes together, stop mixing.
Turn the dough out the counter, dusting with a little flour, and form it into a log 3 -4cm in diameter with your hands. Wrap the log in cling film and then let it chill in the fridge for an hour.
Roughly chop the nuts, then scatter them on a flat tray. Brush the chilled dough with beaten egg and roll the log into the chopped nuts. Wrap the dough back up in the cling film, and put it back into the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Remove the clingfilm from the dough and cut the log into slices 5mm - 1cm thick. Lay them out on a tray lined with baking parchment, spacing them at least 2cm apart. Dust them with the 2 tbsp caster sugar. Bake for roughly 20 minutes - they must not take on too much colour but should remain a pale shade of gold. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in a sealed container - they will keep for up to one week (if you can stop eating them).