I think to make a good jelly is an art and with the arrival of jelly powder in packets that art has more or less died down. I was never a great fan of jelly no matter how much my mom tried to made those packet stuff attractive with either condensed milk or evaporated milk. In fact it made it worse as it always tasted artificial. Recently I decided to make my own jelly, from scratch and in flavour combinations that I like. This one is definitely my favourite and when I served it recently at a private Sunday lunch to the guests of my client, it was a huge success. The beauty is that you can make all the components of this dessert well in advance and just assemble and serve without much fuss.
For the Jelly:
- 250ml of Pink Port
- 750ml of water
- 150g of castor sugar
- 6 gelatine leaves
- A good grounding of black pepper
- 2 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 punnet of raspberries, whole
- 1 punnet of strawberries, washed and roughly chopped
For the Ice Cream:
- 250ml full cream milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 175g castor sugar
- 50ml honey
- 230g mascarpone cheese or one tub
Jelly: Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft. Remove from the water, squeezing out the excess water from the leaves. Place the pink port, half of the water, raspberries and strawberries, pepper and cardamom in a sauce pan and gently bring to the boil. Boil for about a minute to allow most of the alcohol to cook off. Add the castor sugar and cook until dissolved and the fruit starts to break down. Remove from the heat and add the gelatine leaves. Stir well to dissolve the gelatine.Add the remaining water, stir well. You can now either strain the jelly in order to remove the seeds etc, or you can just remove the cardamom pods and pour into 125ml cups, place in the fridge to set.
- Ice Cream: Place the milk and honey in a sauce pan over a low heat and slowly bring it to a simmer then remove it from the heat. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined. Add hot milk to egg mixture gradually and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place it over a low heat, cook while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon remove from heat and cool completely in the fridge (about for 10 hours). When the ice cream mixture has cooled mix in the mascarpone cheese until combined and cool for another 2 hours. Transfer the mixture to your ice cream machine and churn until ice cream are thick and smooth.
- Remove the jelly from its mould by dipping it for a few seconds into hot water, place the jelly on your plate.
Make an ice cream quenelle and place it close to the jelly.You can either make spun sugar in advance for decoration as I have made or you can decorate with some chopped pecan and pistachio nuts. Either way it adds flair and some crunch to your dessert.