Saturday, 9 April 2016

HFF- Pretty as a Picture

This fortnight's challenge was Pretty as a Picture; If you’re a fan of cooking competition shows (like I am!), you know how the saying goes: we eat first with our eyes. Make a dish that looks just as spectacular as it tastes.

I was in a bit of a quandry this time as my kitchen was/is being systematically deconstructed.  I couldn't do the dish I had planned, which was a moulded blancmange.  Instead I found this recipe in Mrs. E. Haskel's  The Housekeeper's Encyclopedia, published in 1861, N.Y.  

The issue with the generic term jelly is that it could refer to a jam, usually seedless and without skins, an isinglass jelly, a calf foot's jelly.   I don't know when jams and jellies started being used as bread spreads, but before that they were eaten from the spoon as a tasty treat.   The size of the serving, one-third jelly in the glass, with the remaining filled up with whipped cream, suggests that the jelly referred to could very likely be a jam like jelly.   However, I only have pectin jams in my pantry right now and am out of period type jams and jellies.  With my dishes, cookware and foodstuffs spread throughout the house, during the kitchen reno and plaster coming down at the moment, it wasn't the time to suggest to hubby that he clean up a bit and let me spend 2 days making jelly: one for making juice and the next for making the jelly.  

Instead, I made an isinglass jelly because it was simple, fast and it turned out, quite tasty.  Because I couldn't make the juice right now, I used a bottle of organic black cherry juice.  It was on the bottom shelf, in the international foods section, far away from the juices and it was plain luck that I actually found it.   We don't drink apple or grape juice here, so it was a very happy find for this project. 

I substituted gelatin for isinglass.  

1 1/2 tbsn gelatin
2 cups cherry juice
1/3 cup cold water
whipped cream

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes while it blooms.   Heat up 1 cup of cherry juice in a pot until it reaches the boiling point.   Dissolve the gelatin mixture in the hot cherry juice.  When completely dissolved and mixed in, stir in the second cup of cherry juice.   Pour into a dish and set in the fridge to set.  Scrape out the jelly into a glass and top with the whipped cream.   I would have garnished with a mint sprig if the store had any.  They didn't so I used raspberries.   The joys of living in a rural area.

It took only a few minutes to make and a couple of hours in the fridge to set.   It was very tasty and even the grouches here liked it.   I think it might have been more accurate using jam or jelly but wasn't able to do that at this time.
Cost - Organic Cherry Juice - $6
            whipped cream - $2.79
              raspberry garnish - pennies from the $1.88 packet which I ate for breakfast the next day.

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