IMBB: Cranberry & Port Wine Jelly with Cream
I only recently discovered how easy it is to use gelatine. It was always something I imagined was reserved for 'serious' chefs creating mousseline scuptures of angels playing lutes and things. But I noticed quite a few of the British chefs including jelly recipes in their books and was intrigued. So far, I've made Nigel Slaters Orange & Cardamom jelly for a previous Sugar High Friday and a lime & coconut jelly of my own creation. They're such a doddle to make, and I hope to create many more. I'm keen to try Nigella's gin & tonic jelly one day, but I'll need to save my pennies to afford that much gin in one dessert!
So, for this IMBB, holted by Elise from Simply Recipes, I knew what I was going to make. This jelly is an idea I found in the Jill Dupleix Very Simple Food, which has jumped out at me every time I've looked at the book. Cranberry juice, sugar, gelatine and a sploosh of port - what could be simpler?
I reduced the amount of gelatine she specifies as I like my jelly softly set and too fragile to turn out. It should shimmer on the spoon and you should be able to suck it through your teeth. :-) I used powdered gelatine, which is not recommended by many chefs, but I haven't found any problems using it. Works fine for me. One sachet sets 500ml, so I found one sachet worked well for this larger scale recipe.
I really loved the taste of this. The tartness of the cranberry juice is tempered by the rich sweetness of the port. We have a very good, very old port in the house which I used, and I think I could have cut down a little on the port, as the taste was strong. But if you have normal household port, the combo should be perfect. I don't think it's a true 'alcoholic' jelly, as you boil up the juice and port beforehand, which probably burns off the alcohol. Top it with some thin cream, to make it look pretty and provide a creamy counterpoint to the light fruity jelly - the cream is definitely a must! I reckon it'd be a perfect light dessert to have in summer sitting outside on a balmy night, so you Northern hemisphere-types are in luck!
Seriously, try this recipe; it's SO easy and SO elegantly effective. It seemed to be really popular with men, who enjoyed it while watching the Eurovision finals last night. :-)
Check out the roundup of all 63 entries on Elise's site.
Click on for the recipe:
Cranberry & Port Wine jelly with Cream
from Jill Dupleix's Very Simple Food
"This sparkling dessert jelly is made with easily obtainable cranberry juice. Add a splosh of port for those old enough to remember port wine jelly."
700ml cranberry juice
100g sugar (I used 70g, which was a better balance, I felt)
4 sheets of leaf gelatine or 22g powdered gelatine (I used one sachet of 10g - which was perfect)
100ml single cream
In a saucepan, combine the cranberry juice, sugar and port. Heat slowly to just under the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat.
Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water for 3 minutes until blobby, then squeeze out the excess water and whisk the gelatine into the hot cranberry liquid until melted. Or sprinkle the powdered gelatine directly over the hot liquid and leave for 1 minute, then whisk well.
Leave to cool, stirring occasionally. When cool, pour the cranberry liquid into four 150ml martini (or other) glasses or jelly moulds and chill in the fridge until set.
If set in glasses, trickle a little cream over the top of each jelly until you have a smooth cream 'frosting', then serve. If set in moulds, turn out onto plates and drizzle with the cream.