Summer experiments: savor for red jelly
To take care of a big garden is a lot of work, above all in the summer period. The timeslot between end of May and end of July is a hot phase for every garden owner. Nearly all the berries maturate within this period and they all have to be reaped and handled at their own right time. Marmalade, jelly and jam are the magic words bringing up the beads of perspiration to the gardener´s forehead at that time. After the first week of happiness about the red glory it soon begins to turn into real work. A shelf full of tasteful jellies in autumn is a hard won area. But when you open a glass in winter and feel all those exploding summer flavour flirting with your tastebuds, be sure that every bead of summer harvest sweat has become completely unimportant.
The most challenging berries in my opinion are red, white and black currants. Their harvest is demanding as well as time-consuming. Never the less their taste transformed into jelly is wonderful straight: light acidic aspects in the base, covered by an unagitated sweet.
White, black and red currant... and not to forget: Jostaberries
White, black and red currant are different concerning their sepcific taste. The white berries are the lightest, the red ones carry the mots fruity lines and the black ones are overlaying nearly every other taste with their broad dark berry tone. It´s similar to the colors of a painting: White is the brightest colour, red is the most intense one und black is the deepest - overwhelming all the others.
The Jostaberry is a crossbreed of black current and gooseberry: considering their size, they are located between the two original breeds, concerning the outside color tey are as dark as the black currant, the inside color is near to a gooseberry. But their layers of taste are simple and not that intense. They are the handsome ones among all the listed berry breeds.
The conclusion out of these differences is a very simple one: essential for the taste of your jelly is the right mix of berries .-)
As mentioned before, the sweetness of currant is not as complex as for example the sweetness of a strawberry. The more experienced you become by having passed jellysummer by jellysummer, the more you want to have new compositions of jellies with new flavours on your shelf.
1 The "red childhood" combination
Being invited to a wonderful country house garden of an equally wonderful woman at currant harvest time, I was asked to bring in my ideas for the creation of new taste levels for jellies.
Closing my eyes and excavating all the different moments of currant taste out of my brain, the first combination that came to my mind and tongue was butter caramel.
We tried that new verison of jelly with mostly white and red currant and a few jostaberries. Therefore we prepared the sugar (portion according to the amount of fruits) with butter - as you do it for the creation of soft caramel candies. After the buttercaramel was melt, we added step by step the clean fruits (be careful, caramel is a very hot thing to handle!). The result was such an extraordinary taste combination, that we could not resist to try a bit of the new lukewarm jelly on a slice of fresh buttered bred.
This new taste I called "red childhood" because caramel candies were the first candies I can remember.
2 The "dark cool summer" combination
The next challenge was to handle a hughe amount of black currant, those who overlay every other partner in the jellypot with their deep taste. The idea was to cook them with a bunch of strong mint (spearmint is fine for that).
We were content about the new taste, but there seemed to be a fine dark taste layer missing to perfect it. The additional component we were looking for appeared quickly:
We melted a bar of strong dark chocolate (70% or 80%) in the pot right before the jelly was finsihed. There it was! The new jelly composition got the name "dark cool summer".
For my role as "harvest girl" I was so generously rewarded with our extraordinary new jelly compositions, that I believe I will open the last glasses of "red childhood" and "dark cool summer" around Christmas - unless it continues to rain until the beginning of autumn.
dolce vita ahoi • mobile minds • monika ebert