It’s warm (you just can’t extend to hot, not in Scotland). And dry. In fact, we’ve had so little rain that there’s a hosepipe ban in the South-East of England. Expect one to follow shortly for Yorkshire. We may not be as close to drought conditions as the South-East, but we’ve been experiencing unseasonally good weather lately, as evidenced by the remarkably sunny shots that now seem to populate my photos folder.
Warm weather tends to change the way we eat. Less soup, more salad. Heavy reds remain neglected on the wine rack, replaced with rosé and beer. And I feel less inclined to bake, and start craving jellies instead. After my not-so-successful attempt for IMBB 15, I was a little reluctant to use my supply of Konnyaku powder again. But I could not resist after seeing all those lovely gigis that Santos has been making.
So, winging it again, sans-recipe, here’s something I made earlier.
- 20g Konnyaku powder (I use the Redman brand, obtained via sources in S’pore)
- 100g caster sugar (up it to 150g if you have a sweet tooth, or leave out if you’re using a sweet cordial)
- 200ml ligonberry syrup (from IKEA, but use any squash/cordial you have lying about. Tried it once with lemon concentrate; yum!)
- a 20oz (~565g) tin of longans, with syrup
- water to 1500ml (or 1300ml for a firmer jelly)
- Begin by draining the longans, and reserving the syrup for making the jelly. Place the longans in mini jelly moulds, or arrange in a pretty fashion in bowls. Top up the syrup with water to give a total volume of 1500ml in your pot.
- Mix the Konnyaku powder and sugar, and slowly add to the liquid, stirring as you go to prevent clumps from forming.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring every now and again.
- Once it starts to boil and roil, turn the flame off, add the syrup and just keep stirring for ~5 minutes. Don’t worry, those bubble will go away.
- Pour some jelly mixture into the moulds/bowls, but only to midway up the level of the fruit. This way, by the time you get back to the first mould, it should be very slightly set, thus stopping the fruit from floating up (ie the base of your jelly when you turn it out). The packet suggests adding the jelly mixture in thirds, and who am I to argue with Engrish instructions.
- Allow to cool before placing it your fridge, where it should sit for about 3 hours to set. Of course, being an impatient lot, we let ours lie for about 2 hours before greedy-guts snaffles them anyway. Enjoy in the sun.
Ideally, we should have some granita with this. But I’m lazy, and have left the granita making for another day… (By which time the jellies would have been scoffed, but c’est la vie.)
Update: Green tea granita (made following Santos’ suggestion of freezing tea in a ziplock bag and bashing it with gratuitous violence) was applied to some cubes of the lingonberry jelly along with left-over longans from yesterday to give the following result: