With school holidays upon us I thought I would treat my girls with a tasty dessert one night, it was a bit of a bribe actually. I’m not really a fan of the cheap supermarket packets with all the sugar, artificial colours and flavours. I know of a nice packet jelly that is vegetarian and only has natural colours and flavours, but it costs about $5.00 a packet*. Loitering in the back of my pantry was a packet of Agar-Agar powder** so I thought I would have a go at making my own jelly with it.
The base recipe is very simple and it can be adjusted and adapted to make so many different flavours. Berries and other fruit can be added for extra flavour and variety.
2.5 – 3 cups of liquid (see below for more details)
1 teaspoon Agar-Agar Powder
1 – 2 tablespoons of natural sweetener,such as Agave Syrup or Stevia (optional)
Berries or other cut fruit, fresh or frozen (optional)
The liquid can be straight fruit juice, a fruit juice/water combination or water that’s been sweetened that will then have a flavour essence added. If the juice is tart you might want to add a natural sweetener to it. The quanitity of liquid you use depends on how firm you like your jelly, more liquid will give you wobblier jelly, less liquid a firmer jelly.
Combine the liquid and the Agar-Agar powder in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
Allow the liquid to cool a little and if you want to add food colouring or flavour essence do this now.
If you wish to add berries or fruit to the jelly, pop them in the moulds and then pour the jelly liquid into your mould. You could use one large mould or individual containers such as ramikins.
The flavour possibilities are endless, I’ve used apple juice with strawberries and blueberries added in the red jelly photos, and pineapple juice in the yellow photo. Other juices to try are orange, lemon, pomegranate, kiwifruit or berries could be added to water to achieve berry flavoured jelly. Use your imagination and experiment a little, that’s what life’s about isn’t it!
* If your want to buy the vegetarian packet jelly it’s by Just Wholefoods and is available at Organic stores and also at The Cruelty Free Shop.
** I bought my Agar-Agar powder from the Asian Grocer in Auckland city. The brand is Gold Cup and it only cost a couple of dollars for the little packet which will make heaps fo jelly.