Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pomegranate and Apple Jelly

I love the way that moulded jelly looks like it has fallen from a children’s storybook onto your table, shining and wobbly. It, like chocolate mousse, was something we loved when we were kids and the best ever was when, for birthday parties, Mum would make layered jelly in different colours in small plastic wine glasses.

I’d been wanting for a while to make this jelly from Tessa Kiros’ beautiful book, Apples for Jam. We (now grown-ups) ate this two tone fruit juice treat the day before Christmas as an after-lunch dessert when we felt like something sweet that wouldn’t bowl us over right before the big day. It was light and refreshing, perfect for summer, or anytime you feel like some childhood comfort food minus the artificial colouring. This is so easy, and you could use all kinds of fruit, but the colours in this combination are beautiful I think. You can’t see it in the photograph, but I threw some blueberries into the pomegranate layer too, and they were delicious.

Pomegranate and Apple Jelly
From Tessa Kiros’ Apples for Jam
Note: If you’ve never juiced pomegranates before, all you need to do is cut them in half just like an orange, and twist away on a citrus juicer. Alternatively, you can buy the juice in bottles at some fruit stores, supermarkets and Middle Eastern food stores.

vegetable oil, to grease
170ml pomegranate juice (or juice from two pomegranates)
2 tbsp lemon juice
75g caster sugar
6 tsp powdered gelatine
170 ml cloudy apple juice

Using some paper towel, lightly grease 6 small jelly moulds with vegetable oil. In a small saucepan, combine pomegranate juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 50g of the sugar and heat gently, stirring until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, add 3 tsp of the gelatin to 3 tbsp of water. Leave for a minute or two until it swells and then add to the hot juice. Stir until dissolved and smooth and remove from heat. Pour the mixture into the moulds evenly. Pop these in the refridgerator.

Next, add the apple juice, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and remaining sugar to small saucepan. Heat gently, and meanwhile, prepare remaining gelatin with water as above. When the sugar has dissolved, add gelatin to juice and stir until smooth and dissolved. Remove from heat and leave to cool in saucepan.

When the first layer is set enough for you to touch the surface lightly without rupturing, gently spoon the cooled apple mixture over the top and return to refrigerator until set. To serve, dip the moulds very quickly into hot water and invert.

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