Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Rhubarb Champagne Jelly

I am not normally a fan of rhubarb. I think it looks cool and the taste is not too bad, but its stringy consistency has got too many memories connected with force-fed spoonfuls of a somewhat undercooked rhubarb crumble my nana used to make for me to truly enjoy it. But this jelly, this is my secret guilty pleasure. When I am on my own in the morning, I make myself a quick slice of express French toast and cover it with this colourful wonder. A cup of dark hot coffee and I’m in paradise before eight in the morning.
750g fresh rhubarb
1 Granny Smith Apple
110g sugar
10g gelatin, about 6 sheets
1 litre water
250 ml Champagne or other white bubbly stuff

Wash the rhubarb and cut it into 1 inch regular segments. With a knife, get rid of the stringy bits that make it so chewy. Grate the apple.
In a large saucepan, pour in the water, the sugar, the apple and the rhubarb. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes: then let it cool completely.
The next bit involves a sieve, which sounds much worse than it is. Pour the rhubard through a sieve set over a large bowl, and let it drip down for 15 minutes, or until you have 1 pint of juice (500 ml).
In the meantime, soak the gelatin sheets in warm water and, once they have hydrated, squeeze the excess water away (if you are using powdered gelatin, make that according to the instructions on the packet). Add the gelatin to the pint of rhubarb syrup in the pan and heat it gently to melt the gelatin, without letting it boil. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then gently fold the Champagne in.

You can pour this into sterilised jars and keep it for yourself in the back of the fridge, or give it as a treat to someone you really, really like.
The cool thing about this jelly is that it works as a pudding as well, which works especially well after a fairly substantial meal. Pour it into champagne glasses and let it set in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Garnish with a splosh of whipped cram and mint leaves – classy yet delicious. 

The leftover rhubarb and apple compote can be used to make a crumble, or a pie or whatever have you. Because f my thraumatic experiences, I just tend to pour ot all in a jar, seal it, pur a ribbon on it and a nice label reading "Rhubarb compote". then I gift it to one of my female relatives who like rhubarb pie. 

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