It’s been hot in TO this weekend. A dry heat, for a change, making us think a bit of Summer in Johannesburg. I’ve been longing for a swim in a pool and a bowl of ice-cream afterwards. So I made a couple cold desserts to keep our temperatures under control. Now, I must be honest with you. This jelly nearly didn’t make the cut for the blog because, it turns out, Mr P doesn’t have much love in him for jelly. How I can have been married to him so long and not already know this I’m not quite sure. Suffice to say he’s a secretive man and I’m still glad to be learning new things about him all the time. I, on the other hand, love a big bowl of bright jelly and Ultramel custard. I guess it reminds me of being seven years old again. Nothing wrong with that. In any event, I got the ‘have you made me eat bugs?’ face from my number one critic on the first spoon of jelly in his mouth. My first reaction is always, ‘oh no, catastrophe’ but it turns out it’s the texture more than anything else he doesn’t like.
Well, mostly. The other thing you need to know about this jelly is that it’s perfumed with Lavender, which, like rose flavoured Turkish Lokum, is only for a very select few of us. I love rose flavoured goods. I remember my Mom buying a jar of rose petal jam on holiday one year and the two of us devoured it eagerly over the few weeks on toast and crackers and teaspoons. The boys of the family wouldn’t so much as sniff it. So yes, this is maybe a slightly more Risky dessert to make if you’re unsure of your feedee’s tastes. I decided to put it in anyway, because, well, I can. And I loved the sweet blueberries combined with the perfume of the lavender.
*note: I used gelatin leaves instead of powder for the first time and it is so much easier this way.
*note 2: you can use fresh lavender flowers from your garden if you have them. Just be sure to wash them thoroughly before.
Blueberry and Lavender Jellies
makes 6 individual cups
for the blueberry jelly:
1 cup wild blueberries
2 Tbsp + 1 cup water
⅓cup castor sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 sheet gelatin
for the Lavender Jelly:
1 Tbsp edible, dried lavender petals
2 cups boiling water
⅓ cup castor sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 sheets gelatin
– put berries and 2 Tbsp water into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until berries soften and juices run. Add 1 cup water, sugar and lemon juice.
– bring back to a medium rolling boil and cook until liquid has reduced by about half. Remove from heat.
– soak 1 gelatin leaf in cold water for a couple minutes, until soft. Squeeze off excess water and add to berry mixture, stirring well.
– divide between 6 cups and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour
-meanwhile, put lavender and water in a small saucepan and heat gently. Leave to infuse for about 10 minutes. Strain. Retain water in the saucepan. (at this point I used the spoon from the blueberry jelly to stir the Lavender in order to give it a bit of extra colour)
– heat lavender water (do not boil), add sugar and lemon juice and stir to dissolve. Soak 2 gelatin sheets in cold water for a couple of minutes and add to hot Lavender water, stirring well.
– let lavender cool to room temperature.
– remove blueberry jelly from fridge and add equal amounts of lavender jelly to each cup. Return to fridge to set, about 1 hour.