Friday, 4 September 2009

Icecream and Jelly

I've had an orange jelly in mind ever since my houseguests gave me some oranges from their backyard Sydney tree in late July. They came with a warning that they were very sour, which on an early test was proved to be true. A sprinkle of sugar was necessary to finish the wedges I'd cut. Then it took me a month to get round to it, by which time I'd had to throw three out for being moldy. But I got a cup and a half of juice from the remainder, which was enough.

And then I was toying with the title option: "Icecream and Jelly" or "Cold Jelly and Custard" since I had both options. Which would it be? The custard is just a Dairy Farmers, bought for my sloppy food phase last week. If I'd made a nice custard, things might have been different. The icecream is also a bought one, but it's pretty special. It's a new one from Maggie Beer: lemon and orange curd. Wow, it's a good one - very smooth, tangy and not too sweet, a nice pale lemon colour with no artificial extras, and some little dots of candied orange peel. A grown-up icecream to have with your grown-up jelly.

Recipe: Orange Jelly
1.5 cups orange juice
0.5 cups boiling water
10g (1 sachet) gelatine
30ml cointreau
2 tblsp caster sugar

Pour the boiling water into a small jug or mug.
Sprinkle the gelatine over, and stir very vigorously to dissolve.
Add the sugar and stir well until that also dissolves.
Leave for a couple of minutes and stir vigorously again.
Add the juice and cointreau, stir well, and pour into a bowl or mould.
Refrigerate to set.

Notes: You can use a bit less sugar if your juice isn't sour. Or more if you like it really sweet.

The double stirring bit is just because I find that powdered gelatine can be tricky to dissolve. Sometimes you think you've got it, and then there are lumps after all. You can even heat it up in the microwave to soften it again if it starts to set, and you find lumps. But I wouldn't do this is it has the juice in it. The freshness of the orange juice would be spoiled.

I know the foodie magazines often say to use leaf gelatine, not powdered, but this is one case where I don't buy it. Gelatine is a simple protein, there's no difference in taste, just in ease of use. And looks, and price.

Here's some more information on gelatine at Oddly, they say that boiling can destroy gelatine's ability to set. But I've certainly never encountered that with a chicken stock!


snerd said...

Glad they could be of use! We get several trillion oranges off the tree every year; too many to actually consume by ourselves.

Aqua, of the Questioners said...

I agree with you on powdered gelatine vs leaves. Also I learnt a trick in the US: put the half cup of water (not yet boiling) in a fairly wide/shallow container, sprinkle the powdered gelatine on top and let it stand (while I get my other bits and bobs for the recipe together). Then I put the gelatine and water in the microwave to heat up and it dissolves with much less lumpiness hassles.