January 12, 2009

Every Christmas, my dad's colleagues give him overripe Harry&David pears. While delicious, you can't pick them up without stabbing them in the flesh with your blunt thumb. It's like sticking your thumb in soft Saffola Margarine. I used to do that. And then eat it. Love margarine sandwiches. They end up rotting, which is a shame.

What better way to channel their flavor, while managing their form, but to do so in a jellie. I impulsively served these at a wedding and with the cheese plate. Incredible with bleu cheese. I managed to snag a few pictures while throwing down the dirty martinis like a good girl.

I used this recipe that was controversial over at epicurious because the jellies didn't set right. Using Elra's blog I got some useful tips on ensuring that the jellies would set.

The secret is that time is not a proper metric for the concentration of fruit syrup. Instead visual diagnostics and instinct prevail. woopie!

I had a horrible time finding information on jellies, so I pass this on:
Zoe Bakes has a great article on citrus jellies
There is a great conversion chart listing different fruits and sugar measurements for most fruits
fruit jellies = pates NOT jelly = jam
They eat these in France and overprices "European" cafes. Make them yourself and sell it a bake sale. They are much cheaper and fresher when you make them yourself. I heard a lot of chatter about pectin type and the resounding answer was that Certo was the best performer. I used it. It worked.

(Makes 4 dozen 1 inch square jellies)

SUMMARY: You stew the fruit until they are falling apart and blend them. You then have to take some time to boil this down. Don't go by time, but by feel and frozen plate test. That will be better. If done properly, you will not have to wait long for it to set. Not long at all.

WARE: You need a blender, or an immersion blender. You also need some pans to let them set in, and some saran wrap.

TOTAL TIME: 1.5-2 hours depending on how long it takes to reduce; active time 45 minutes

- 3/4 lb firm-ripe Comice or Barlett pears, cubed (do not peal them)
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 large pomegranate, bejeweled and peeled
- 1 lime, juice and zested
- 1 cup water
- 3 c sugar, separated into 2c and 1c
-2 tbs unsalted butter
- 6 oz liquid pectin
1. Place cubed pear, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, juice of lime, zest, 2c of sugar, butter, and water into a pot in a 4-6 quart pot. Bring to boil and simmer for ten minutes until you have a potent stew.

2. Once you have simmered and smelled the potent brew, blend. If you use a blender, make sure the stew cools, or else it will explode!  Strain out the seeds.

3. Bring soup back to boil in the pot, add pectin, and turn to medium. You will be reducing the to a thick vichyssoise. Stir frequently. I boiled mine on medium low for 45 minutes, and it was nowhere near done. Mine took 1 hr 20 minutes.

4. While boiling, line your chilling vessel with saran wrap; an 8x8 pan is good. If you want tall thick jellies, use something smaller. To do so, wipe the inside of the vessel with a damp towel. Line with plastic wrap and it will stick.

5. Place a plate in the freezer. We will perform the frozen plate test to ensure doneness. After 45 minutes, check the fruit stew to see if it looks thick. Lift some up with a ladle and stream it back into the pot. If the soup maintains its form for half a second when it hits the surface of the soup, it is ready to test.

6. Pull the plate out of the freezer and spoon a bit of the stew onto the plate. immediately put it back into the freezer for 1 minute. After i minute, pull the plate out, turn it 90 degrees and watch to see if the jellie slides down the plate. If it does, it is NOT done.

Pear Pomegranate Cranberries Jellie Test from katie kwan on Vimeo.

If it stays in place, it is done!

7. Remove form the heat and immediately pour into the lined pans. MOVE QUICKLY. Do not let the jellie set in the pot.

8. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and continue to cool for 2 hours up to a week in the fridge.

9. Right before serving, cut into squares, and roll in 1 c sugar.


Elra said...

Hi Katie,
I am loving it, loving it, loving it!
Color is gorgeous, you are certainly know how to cook. Very clever that you added pomegranate. Serve with blue cheese sounds divine! I'll be back for more of your exciting recipe. And, ah ...thanks for mention me at your blog, very sweet of you.

Sophie said...

This is such an original recipe, it sounds delicious :)!

Arlette said...

Hello Katie

I followed your recipe from Elra's...
Thanks so much for scrumptious recipe.

katie said...

Yes! Do try with some blue cheese. It's really good!

Anonymous said...

Not really sure what happened. Mine just wound up tasting like canned cranberry sauce.

dbstevens said...

This is great! I loved your pictures so we can gauge how we're doing. I hope you don't mind that I linked your pic/page to my Mardi Gras post?

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