Alright~! Year two, here we go! I thought I’d start the new round with something light, healthy, fruity and very quick and easy to make, especially considering this one’s chasing last Sunday’s Beef Wellingto recipe. This one would make a superb dessert to balance the full brunt of the Wellington, by the way~
So, time to make good on the promise I gave you guys during my Spiced Pear Parfait recipe: To show you a delicious way to use up the syrup’y side-effect of poaching the pears. No worries though, you can pull this one one off without any such leftovers as well, you just need a little bit more time.
Jellies in general are a little underrepresented in our part of the world, at least outside of a children’s birthday party or… well, frat parties. I have to admit, as an adult, I needed a gentle nudge in the general direction of all things jelly too, though – my first and, for a long time, last bite of a jelly dessert in kindergarden was… let’s call the experience “memorable” and move on. I blame the cheap, synthetic woodruff aroma. Anyways, after being pleasantly surpised by a stunningly delicious and wonderfully light and spritzy Champagne & Raspberry Jelly at a ritzy restaurant a few years back, I couldn’t help but wonder why I had forgotten all about the concept of jellies in the first place. A bit of fruity or bubbly liquid, a bit of gelatine or its vegetarian counterparts, a few fruity swimmers or other optional morsels on top and there you have it, a very versatile kind of healthy and refreshing dessert waiting to be twisted and tweaked into any direction you could possibly need to fit your dinner plans. Sure, you could also twist a jelly into a seriously unhealthy sugar & cream bomb, but why curb a jelly’s potential that way~?
This particular one was, as you might’ve guessed, the result of me trying to find a use for the delicious spiced syrup after preparing the pear parfait. Here’s what I did back then – and what I did on repeats after my stash of poaching syrup ran dry~
The Spiced Pear Jelly
500ml High-Quality Pear Juice – make sure to use fresh and preferably organic pear juice rather than some watered-down synthetic pear concentrate.
100ml Spiced Pear Syrup a.k.a Parfait Leftovers – with a little luck, you can find convenient shortcut-syrups somewhere in the beverage section of well-sorted supermarkets. As far as I can tell, these are a winter-only kind of deal, though, and they do tend to be rather expensive.
Alt: 700ml High-Quality Pear Juice and 2 Tbsp of Dark Muscovado
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Green Cardamom Pods
1 Slice of Ginger
1 Star Anise
1 Tsp Ground Allspice
2 Leaves of Gelatine – this is going to be a wobbly jelly, if you’d like it to be a bit firmer, use 3 leaves.
½ Orange, Zest – the other half’s going into the pillowy yoghurt topping, so don’t worry about half-naked oranges flying around in your kitchen~
1) Pour the liquids into a pot and set it onto medium-high heat.
2) In case you don’t have a pear syrup at hand, simply use 200ml pear juice and some additional brown sugar to replace the 100ml of syrup – that way the process of reducing the liquids and thereby intensifying the pear aroma while infusing it with the spices takes a bit longer but will provide you with roughly the same result.
3) Stir in the honey and, if you’re going without the spiced syrup, the sugar.
4) Once the honey/sugar have dissolved completely, pop in the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise and allspice.
5) Bring the mix up to a gentle boil and leave the lot to bubble away for about 15-25 mins until you’re left with 450ml of deliciously spiced pear juice.
6) Take the pot off the heat and leave it’s contents to cool down for 15 mins.
7) Strain the liquids through a fine sieve to remove the spices and pour them back into the pot.
8) Set the pot back onto medium and give the juice some time to work up a simmer.
9) Add the orange zest and give the juice a little stir before leaving it to its own devices for 3-4 mins.
10) Meanwhile pop your gelatine leaves into a bowl filled with cold water and leave them to soak and soften for 5 mins.
11) Once they’re soft enough to be manageble without breaking, squeeze out any excess water.
12) Take the pot off the heat and add the gelatine. Stir the lot until the gelatine’s well dissolved and blended into the liquid.
13) Pour the mixture into four ramekins, glasses or small jars and set them aside to cool off. Once they’re back down at room temperature, move them into the fridge for 3-4 hours until the gelatine has worked its magic solidifying and setting the jelly.
14) Just before you’re about to serve, prep the yoghurt topping~
The Yoghurt Topping
75g Natural Yoghurt
Opt: 100g Skimmed Whipping Cream
½ Orange, Zest
1 Tbsp Fine Caster Sugar
Opt: 4 Tsp of Honey
1) For a fluffy-cloud topping perfectly capable of adding a gentle hint of natural acidity to the deal, whip up the cream and sugar in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks remain standing at attention when you pull out your whisk.
2) Carefully fold in the yoghurt and orange zest and top off your jelly servings with yoghurt-pillows just before serving.
3) Of course you could just skip the cream and sugar and simply cover the surface of each jelly with 1-2 Tbsp of yoghurt.
4) An optional drizzle of honey later, you’re ready to serve!