I’m all jellies all the time right now – ten batches so far this weekend, and two more to make – so I fear that all the recipes you’ll be seeing around here will be confectionery-related.
Here’s an invention from yesterday which turned out very well, I think. I apologise for the paucity of illustrations – I was really focusing on getting the jellies made rather than recording the method for posterity! You will have to imagine for yourself what my kitchen looks like when I am hacking apart a pineapple in it…
Pineapple is traditionally a poor choice for jelly making – the fresh fruit contains enzymes which break down gelatine, and leave you with Pineapple Goo, as I have learned to my cost. But pineapple also contains a fair bit of pectin, so for once, the vegans win out over the omnivores, because *their* pineapple jellies actually work! The flavour of these jellies is mellow and fresh rather than tangy, and not too sweet – the lime is a background flavour, but is mostly there to make sure there is enough citric acid going on. I really like these.
Now what will you do with it?
Dissect your pineapple. I’m really bad at this, so I shall not provide instruction, but the aim is to get rid of the spikes and the hard core. Put all the chunks of pineapple in a blender, and have at it.
Pour your pineapple puree into a seive over a large measuring jug (1 litre is good). Note how I said pour into, not pour through? Yeah, there’s a reason for that. It’s going to drip slowly through, and it’s going to take ages, even if you stir it with a spoon. You may want to go away and do something else for a bit, like get all your other ingredients measured out.
Combine the pectin and white sugar in the base of a smallish saucepan. About 1.5 litres should be adequate.
Measure your white sugar into a bowl. If, like me, you are not fond of washing up, make a hollow in the middle and gently push the sugar up the sides to make a bowl for the glucose syrup. Wash your hands in cold water, and use them to scoop out glucose syrup into the bowl until you have 175 g. (The cold water will help stop the glucose sticking to your hands).
Juice the lime.
Make the citric acid solution. This is an utter pest and I’m sorry. What I normally do is make a large quantity all together, because it saves me measuring 7.5 g of citric acid onto a scale. So I’m going to suggest you measure out, say, 60 g citric acid, and then bring a little water to a boil. Add 60g (60 ml, or 1/4 cup) to the citric acid, and stir until the acid dissolves. Measure out 15g of this solution for the recipe, and keep the rest for another use. Like grapefruit pectin jellies! Citric acid solution keeps virtually forever.
Line a 20 cm tin with baking paper.
By now, hopefully, your pineapple is nearly ready. If not, you’ll just have to wait some more. You are looking to get 100 ml of pineapple juice, but 80 ml would work in a pinch.
Add the lime juice to the pineapple juice, and top up to 250 ml with cold water.
Slowly add the juice mixture to the pectin mixture in the saucepan, whisking like crazy to stop any lumps forming. Pectin loves forming lumps, but you will not love lumpy jelly.
Set over a low heat, and bring slowly to the boil, still whisking.
Stir in the sugar and glucose syrup, clip a candy thermometer to your saucepan, and remove the whisk. Raise the temperature to high, and boil the mixture without stirring until the temperature reaches 108°C. The mixture will initially boil up rapidly, but then it will condense down and the bubbles will become slower and larger – this is a sign that it’s nearly ready.
When the temperature reaches 108°C, remove the saucepan from the heat and the thermometer from the saucepan, and quickly stir in the citric acid solution.
Pour the syrup quickly into the prepared tin, using a spatula to make sure you get it all out of the saucepan. Put the tin on a wire rack.
Leave to set for at least three hours, before cutting into squares and dredging with caster sugar.
These jellies are never going to be low GI, but they are gluten-free, nut-free and vegan
, and also low fructose. [Edited to add: drat, no they are not low fructose. Pineapple and lime are low-fructose fruits, but I had forgotten that the glucose is corn-derived and thus verboten. If you live outside Australia, however, it may be worth checking what your glucose is made of… though, come to think of it, odds are it will be made from wheat if it isn’t from corn, and thus also useless for low-fructose cooking.] Hooray! Why do you even want to change them?
You really can make these jellies with a fairly wide range of sour-ish fruits, so I don’t think I’ll make suggestions along those lines, but it could be fun to add a bit of desecrated coconut to your dredging sugar to up the tropical ante at the end.
Sorry – I really have to make more jellies now, so no further suggestions from me today!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One year ago: So much confectionery! Two years ago: Recipe: Summer Apricot and Lavender Crumble