This is another in the summer jewel kanten experiments. Blueberries are so lovely eaten out of hand that one could say that making this dessert is superfluous. But it is pretty.
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons agar-agar powder (1 packet)
In a small saucepan over low to medium heat, cook the blueberries with 1/2 cup water and sugar. Stir to encourage the berries to pop and release their juices. When all the berries have disintegrated, strain through a cheesecloth lined sieve. This takes several hours. I remember my mother making jelly with a variety of fruits and she said not to sqeeze the fruit to force out the juice or the jelly would be cloudy. But I finally resorted to squeezing the crushed berries in the cheesecloth. I ended up with about 1 1/4 cups of juice. (There was still a lot of flavor in the “pulp.”)
In a medium saucepan, heat the water and agar-agar to dissolve. Taste the juice, and if you like, add sugar to this mixture. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Add the room temperature juice and stir well. Taste, and if you add more sugar, heat to be sure it dissolves.
Dip 4 half-cup molds into water, shake out excess. Pour in the gelatin. Cool. Chill. EAT!
I started out with a small amount of sugar, and didn’t add more, but I don’t have a sweet-tooth. My theory is that you can always add more, but you can’t remove it if you add too much.
You could simply puree the berries, but I wanted a smooth clear gelée.
I think that making this with agar-agar sticks would result in a softer texture. Or perhaps I should have added a little more water: this turned out to be quite firm.
Just purchasing bottled blueberry juice would be much easier. Of course, the blueberry juice I’ve found is bottled as concentrate in rather large expensive containers.
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