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Right..first things first! I'm English and live in England. Not something I brag about...it's just a fact. And when I talk of jam and jelly there is usually some email that floats my way with a note of confusion attached. What we spread on toast here...we call jam. However I do believe that the lovely folks over in the States call it jelly! What we use as a dessert food..we call jelly. And I also believe the lovely folks in the States call this jello. This recipe is a lovely light, delicately flavoured and sugar free...dessert jelly. OK..are we on the same page now? lol We are? Good...I shall continue...
The creation of this recipe has been floating around my creative notebooks for a while now. I recoil in horror at how much I used to enjoy jelly until the day I read the packet and asked my Nan what gelatine was? I was a small child but knew I would never eat it again. Then years later they started selling vegetarian jelly crystals and I once again enjoyed a cool dessert of the wobbly stuff. But the downside was that it was chock full of sugar...so then that option was gone too. My thoughts have often been...why bother? I could live without a cool summer dessert of jelly, couldn't I? Well of course I could but if there was a chance at making a sugar-free, vegan jelly why shouldn't I? My idea for using a intensely flavoured fruit tea bag for flavour started a few years back when I started making sugar-free iced fruit teas. I could never think of a good way of sweetening the jelly and I wasn't too keen on the veggie-gels on offer. I recently ordered a box of Clipper's Apple & Rhubarb fruit tea tents via my Suma order. They are a great fruit tea and they are organic, vegan and gluten-free...
The final pieces for this recipe came together when I was creating, testing, and cooking recipes for my Suma Bloggers Network post. I wanted to have a dessert recipe amongst the many savoury recipes I created. The thought of a plated blushing pink jelly, delicate in flavour wouldn't leave my mind and so I gave up and went with it. Now I added three extra elements to this dessert but two of those are not sugar-free but they do add a great texture comparison. They are some raw pumpkin seeds and flaked almonds that are drizzled with some melted vegan white chocolate and left to set. A minimal amount honestly. The third is a sugar-free fresh rhubarb puree and if you use a few drops of Stevia then its stays sugar-free but feel free to use whatever sweetening you prefer.
Now the finished results are very beautiful and I surprised myself greatly, that I had managed to create this dessert and keep it sugar-free if you don't use the white chocolate additions. I enjoyed making it and setting it up very much. The jelly setting agent I used was agar-agar powder which I purchased online. I accept that you will never get that clear jelly consistency with agar but I can live with that. The texture is also a little firmer but when you add the other textures with it, it's of no matter at all. The fruit teas make a delicate but delicious flavoured jelly and the fresh rhubarb ups the flavour impact a little more. The crisp crunch from the pumpkin seeds and flaked almonds give an interesting temper to the sweetness. And the mellow white chocolate flavour that comes through is comforting. This dessert is also incredibly light on the tum...but has real impact when presented to eat. Phew! lol. I hope you give these jellies a try...I have many ideas for jellies now and I fear I may come to bore you with them. I see a lot of jelly recipe testing in my future...
Rocket & Roses Apple & Rhubarb Sugar-Free Jelly Dessert (Original recipe from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)
6 Organic Apple & Rhubarb tea tents 1 litre of boiling water 7 drops of Stevia Liquid 2 dsp Agar-Agar Powder
4 stalks of rhubarb, trimmed and green parts removed, finely diced small amount of just boiled water 4 drops of Stevia Liquid
1 handful of pumpkin seeds 1 handful of flaked almonds 3 small squares of vegan white chocolate, melted to drizzling consistency
In a large jug place the tea tents and then pour over strained freshly boiled water up until the 1 litre mark. Stir briefly and then set a timer for ten minutes.
Lay the pumpkin seeds and almonds out across two little sheets of parchment paper to keep separate. Then using a small spoon carefully drizzle the melted white chocolate over the seeds and nuts. You want little strips of chocolate on each one..not a bath of chocolate to completely cover them. Set to one side in a cool area for the chocolate to set hard.
Place the finely diced fresh rhubarb, hot water and Stevia drops into a microwavable dish and stir very well. Cover with a lid or cling film and microwave on High for 4 minutes. Remove from the microwave and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
When the timer calls time remove the tea tents from the water and disgard. Add the Stevia drops and stir in. Check for sweetness and adjust very carefully...using tiny drips of Stevia. When this is achieved add in the agar-agar powder and stir very well and set a timer for 10 minutes for the powder to soak.
Remove the cover from the cooked rhubarb and stir vigoriously so the rhubarb breaks down completely. You should be left with a beautiful pink puree. Set to cool in a cool area of your kitchen.
When the timer calls, stir the apple and rhubarb mix and then pour into a small saucepan. Over a low heat, gently bring the liquid to a gentle boil, stirring constantly! When little bubbles have been appearing on the surface for a couple of minutes remove it from the heat. Stir one final time.
For the squares above I used a deep square silicone jelly mould and used a 1/4 cup measure to even out the dosage. This mix made 12 small squares and a medium ring of jelly in another mould. You get plenty for your money! lol. Once you have poured your jelly into you containers, place them infront of a fan to cool off and then carefully place them in your fridge to set completely. This takes a minimum of an hour.
Take the drizzled pumpkin and almond flakes and break them up into individual pieces..carefully.
Unmould each jelly and place in the centre of individual servings dishes. Using a small spoon, spoon little amounts of the rhubarb puree at four points around the jellies. Take the broken up drizzled pumpkin seeds and place a little pile of them at each corner of the jellies. Then finally place a small pile of the drizzled almonds on top of the jellies. And serve...
Gratuitous foodie shot..lol
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Tuesday is being very good to you...
NB: This is my creation and I have no problem with you using it or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where it is due as I always try to. Many thanks...Namaste. ~R~