Thursday, 27 January 2011

Jelly two ways: Rhubarb jelly and orange jelly

After the success of my lovely
Christmas jelly, I vowed to make more jellies in 2011.

The rhubarb jelly is the most gorgeous colour of any foodstuff I have ever created. The delicate pink is delightful and makes you smile just eating it!

While you can set your jelly in any glass, plastic, ceramic or tin dish (don’t use anything with a non-stick coating – the acidity will damage it) I think something this pretty a colour demands clear glass so you can see its beauty from all angles!

You cook the rhubarb with orange and ginger to add depth to the flavour. I’m not sure you’d know they were there – they don’t add obvious flavour but I think they do something in the background, and the orange provides extra juice.

The rhubarb should be soft and cooked, but still retain its shape. These pink chunks then go into the serving dishes to be encased in jelly:

The rhubarb juice is pink and fruity. Here it is after the gelatine has been whisked in – it should be completely lump free:

But what if you want lovely home-made jelly but don’t have time for cooking and straining the fruit? Simple. Buy the best quality fruit juice you can and use that instead.

This orange jelly didn’t taste like any orange jelly I’d had before; it tasted like solid fruit juice. Amazing. It lost none of its zingy fruit quality and the texture was amazingly soft and wobbly. Just to be a bit retro, I added mandarin segments but you don’t have to!

The quantities given below can easily be doubled up. Please don’t be put off by the length of the method below – this is the method for BOTH jellies!


For the rhubarb jelly:
1kg rhubarb (I used forced rhubarb i.e. the really pink stuff, grown indoors)
40g fresh ginger
2 small or 1 large orange
280g caster sugar
300ml water
7 leaves gelatine

For the orange jelly:
1 litre orange juice (I used Tropicana smooth)
75g caster sugar – optional, but jelly sets less sweet than it tastes as liquid. I added the sugar and the finished jelly wasn’t too sweet
9 leaves gelatine
1 small can of mandarin segments

To serve: ice cream or double cream

Method (rhubarb jelly first, then the orange jelly)

Rhubarb: Trim ends off rhubarb and wash, then cut into 2-3cm chunks and place in a large saucepan.
Cut the orange into slices; peel ginger and cut into slices and place both in the saucepan with the rhubarb.
Add the sugar and water.
Put the lid on and cook over a gentle heat until the rhubarb is just tender – you don’t want it to collapse. Check it every 5-7 minutes so that you catch it at the right time.
Strain the rhubarb over a small saucepan so you don’t lose the juice.
Pick out the orange and ginger from the rhubarb and discard.
Place the leaf gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 10 mins.
Gently heat the rhubarb juice until it is almost boiling. Remove the pan from the heat.
Squeeze all the water out of the gelatine leaves and then whisk into the hot rhubarb juice to dissolve.
Spoon the cooked rhubarb between 6 glasses (obviously this depends on the size of your glasses) or 1 large bowl.
Sieve the rhubarb juice and gelatine mixture and then pour over the rhubarb in the glasses.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set, or ideally overnight.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or double cream.

Orange jelly: place approximately 1/3 of the orange juice in a saucepan and add the sugar, if using.
Place the leaf gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 10 mins.
Heat the orange and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the orange is hot but not boiling.
Remove from the heat, squeeze all the water out of the gelatine leaves and then whisk into the hot orange juice to dissolve.
Add the remaining orange juice to the saucepan and whisk to ensure that the gelatine is completely dissolved.
Spoon the mandarin segments between 8 glasses (obviously this depends on the size of your glasses) or 1 large bowl and then pour the orange jelly into the bowls.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set, or ideally overnight.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or double cream.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.


Perdita said...

These look delightful! I love making jellies.

I want to try using agar agar as the texture is slightly different, I've tried it in creamier and rice-based oriental puddings- have you tried this and if so, have you any tips?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Perdita

I've only ever used leaf gelatin. But I'm sure some of my readers must've tried it and could leave some advice?

Joy said...

Just gorgeous! I am another who wants to try with agar agar! No advice though, I am still on L plates.

Katie said...

I've never made my own jelly before and being veggie would have to use agar which scares me a little. However, I like eating jelly so really must try sometime.

I love the pink blush colour of the rhubarb and I'm impressed you got it to set so well. I've heard that can be tricky

Lucy said...

These jellies are so summery - love the bright, cheery colours. They both sound divine as well!

Catherine said...

I only just discovered your blog a couple of days ago and since then I've been trawling through your archives and bookmarking loads of recipes, this is definitely getting added to the list!

The rhubarb jelly is such a beautiful colour and looks perfectly set- just the right amount of wobble.

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful...absolutely delicious looking!

Stephanie Savors the Moment said...

I looove rhubarb and these jellies looks so interesting! I just have to try them - I have never made a jelly before. Thanks for sharing your recipes - Cheers!

Lisa said...

I just watched Nigella make her rhubarb jelly today and I must say you have got her beat hands down.

C said...

Ah jelly, how delicious and good fun too! It reminds me of the version my mum used to make when I was little - she put raspberries in the jelly to force more fruit down my brother and I! I love the stunning colours of your jellies - they look like they would have been perfect with a little drizzle of cream too!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi C

Yes, that's exactly how I had them - a float of double cream on top...unfortunately it didn't make for an attractive picture!

Cakelaw said...

jellies look amazing. I have never tried my hand at home-made jelly, but your description makes it sound like a tempting proposition.

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy:)
I have a kinda of weird question bout gelatine. How long does it last for? I have some in the cupboard but the best- before date was ripped off the top of the packet. I don't want to buy and new pack of gelatine if its not necessary, but I don't want to use out of date products:( I think I've had it bout 2 years!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Anon

My honest answer is that I don't know. My gut instinct is that it's one of those products that can happily go past it's sell by date. I'd advise having a good look at it - hold the sheet up, if it's still clear and uncoloured i.e. not gone cloudy or yellow looking I'd guess it's ok to use.

Happy jelly making!

Tenina said...

I LOVE rhubarb in any form, but as jelly, it well…takes the cake! Great post…great site! :)