A Jelly of Fresh Raspberries with Fresh Mint Cream
This recipe is from Darina Allen’s – Ballymaloe Cookery Course.
Eek! It’s already the end of April and I haven’t done any of the stuff I’d planned for the site… well, not exactly surprising.
This dessert is gorgeous. It turns out if you use recipes from great chefs you get great dishes – who knew?
This was my first time making jelly and I did need a few goes to get the right consistency. What did I do wrong? Well to begin with I used a large saucepan to make the syrup so a lot of the liquid had evaporated meaning the jelly was as hard as rubber and there wasn’t nearly enough of it. The next time making it, I used a much smaller pan and then I was worried it wouldn’t set so I added more gelatin. It actually was fine and people seemed to like it but it was too hard for my liking. I like jelly to have like a hippyish consistency – like it’s barely holding itself together and you suspect that at any moment it could return to a liquid state but somehow it holds its form – very soft jelly.
Then my third time making it I was determined to have it soft so I used less gelatin and naturally it didn’t set. That’s when I found out something great about jelly. While it’s not easy to rescue jelly that’s too hard (I guess you could add hot water and cause it to liquefy but it would totally mess up the fruit I think doing that) – it’s easy to rescue jelly that hasn’t set. You just add a couple of tablespoons of water to a bowl, sprinkle in a little gelatin powder, leave it to soak for a minute or two, place the bowl in another bowl of hot water, stir around till everything is smooth and then gently mix a bit of this into each of the jellies. It works great.
The photo in book, which is so pretty, shows a mix of raspberries and blueberries in the jelly. It actually tastes better with just raspberries. She suggests using myrtle liqueur and just blueberries as another option. What is myrtle liqueur? Ah, I wasn’t at all sure – myrtle berries are purple/blue berries that are native to some Mediterranean islands, I think. And myrtle liqueur is made from them. It doesn’t seem to be widely available here. I found one UK website selling it. Haven’t tried it – but yes, I’m certainly thinking about it.
But the main point I wanted to make is to use just raspberries in this jelly as there is enough variation of flavour and also the mint seems to sing more this way.
I also added a dessertspoon or more of the raspberry liqueur and more lemon juice – but I’m going to add the recipe as is from the book and let you play around with it yourself. By the way this dessert isn’t even vaguely boozy – even with the couple spoons more of the liqueur – it’s just delicious.
The recipe is for 8 – 10 jellies. If this is the number you’re going for I’d advise making the jellies in a fairy-cake baking tin. The ramekins I have are way too large for this dessert (if you want to make 8 – 10 – they’re perfect if you want 4 large jellies ;-). The smaller sized dessert makes it a great accompaniment for a heavy main course – but who doesn’t have room for dessert? Whatever size you choose, grease your chosen mold with a little sunflower oil and then wipe your slightly oily hands over some cling film and use this to line the moulds. I didn’t bother doing this light greasing of the cling film for the jelly in the photo below – and even though that jelly is perfectly soft some of it stuck to the cling film because I hadn’t lightly greased it. So won’t be doing that again.