Watermelon can be an elegant summer dessert—what is more tempting than frosty pink fruit shimmering in the heat. At your next sophisticated soirée, you can serve watermelon without worries about the seed-spitting, juice dripping antics disrupting the urbane atmosphere of your affair, if you make watermelon gélatine!
Japanese jellies made with agar-agar are cool and refreshing.
Agar agar (”kanten” in Japan) sets and melts at higher temperatures than animal gelatin, and it sets more firmly, though acid weakens its jelling power, and some raw fruits have enzymes which will break its structure. It’s made from a seaweed derivative so it’s vegetarian friendly.
4 half-cup molds
- 2 cups watermelon cubes, all seeds removed
- 1 tube of powdered kanten (agar-agar powder) (1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (taste)
- 24 beautiful blueberries
- 4 “Black Velvet” apricots
Puree the watermelon in a food processor. Strain the juice through a cotton cloth—you want 1 3/4 cup of juice.
In a small saucepan, combine the water and kanten powder over low heat. Add the sugar and cook until it is dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the watermelon juice. Stir to combine and heat over low heat. Add a little salt and taste. Add more salt until you like it.
Remove the pan from heat. Pour a little of the liquid into 4 wet 1/2 cup molds.
Note: The blueberries will float in the unset liquid so you must fill the molds a little at a time so the fruit stays inside the geleé.
Place 3 blueberries in each cup. Put the molds into the fridge for a few minutes to cool, but keep a close eye on them so that no “skin” forms on top of the gélatine or the layers won’t meld together.
Add a little more of the hot liquid to each mold and arrange 3 more blueberries. Cool the gélatine in the mold again, then fill the molds with the remaining hot liquid.
Chill until well set. Serve with more blueberries on the side or with slices of “Black Velvet” apricots.
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