Appetites – Jelly

I love jelly but as you might have guessed I prefer to make my own. Grown up jellies are a lot of fun and easy to make. You can invent all sorts of flavours like gooseberries in an elderflower jelly, summer fruits in a sparkling rose jelly or like I’ve made this weekend Fruits of the Forest in a blackcurrant & cassis jelly. And for the ladies watching their weight it can be low calorie as you can substitute sweetener for the sugar.

I use leaf gelatine which can be found in the cake decorating section of most supermarkets. It is a lot easier than powdered gelatine to dissolve. 4 sheets of gelatine will set a pint of liquid though I tend to use 5 when using alcohol or any acidic fruit as both of those things are harder to set. Just put the sheets of gelatine into a bowl, cover with cold water and leave for about 5 minutes until the leaves have softened.

I use frozen fruit because it is more convenient and also helps to set the jelly quicker. You can use fresh fruit or tinned whichever suits you best.

This one is a whole 500g bag of Black Forest Fruits which has black grapes, black cherries, blackberries and blackcurrants in it. I’ve also added some more black cherries and some raspberries. I’ve taken out the larger fruits and kept back the blackcurrants to make the jelly. Put those in a pan with about 1/2 pint liquid, which can be fruit juice or just sugar and water. Bring to the boil and then I liquidised the blackcurrants to get the dark glossy coloured jelly.

Add the softened gelatine and then I stirred in the frozen fruit and leave it for a few minutes to defrost the fruit. This adds more liquid which makes up to a pint and also cools the jelly so that it will set up more quickly.

Saying that it still took 6 hours to set completely. Lovely with some cream, creme fraiche or icecream.

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