(Ignore the fork in the first picture. The breakfast table was set, so there was a spoon nearby as well...)
About 300 years ago I bookmarked this recipe in Patricia's blog, and I really wanted to test it.
Ana Elisa posted another real fruit jelly, and I started to like the idea very much.
People say jelly is good for many things, and it's quite easy to prepare but, honestly, those boxed jello flavors can't be appealing.
So the other day I stumbled upon the agar agar package almost expiring in the back of the drawer, I looked at the overripe mango crying for help, and I knew what would I have for breakfast.
And why agar agar instead of regular jelly?
Well, because it's hard to stop myself from buying cute packaged things in the grocery stores of Liberdade. Anyway, I try to keep those purchases down to things that might be useful, even though they're not necessary in my life.
Confessions set aside, let's get to the recipe.
I used the guidelines in the package to base myself and avoid proportion mistakes.
The end version was like this:
1 large ripe mango, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon sugar
4g (1 level tablespoon) agar agar powder
1 cup water + water to process in the blender with the mango
(Cup measure: 250ml)
I roughly chopped the mango directly into the measuring jug, completing it with water until I got 500ml (2 cups).
I processed it in the blender and strained through a sieve to remove the lints.
In a small pot I poured 1 cup cold water, sprinkled the agar agar over it, and turned on low heat, stirring once in a while to dissolve it all.
After the water started to simmer, I left it for 2 minutes more over the heat, then turned off.
I added the sugar and stirred well, then added the mango juice.
I let the jelly cool down for 2 minutes before transferring to 100ml bowls. When they were lukewarm I took them to the fridge.
The texture resembles a flan.
A couple hints about real fruit jelly:
- You have to take it easy with the acids, otherwise the protein becomes unstable and the jelly curdles, taking the most awkward texture ever. I tried making lemon jelly once, and it didn't work at all. I'd have to try it again using new proportions, or maybe flavoring it with the zest only.
- Agar agar becomes solid at room temperature, it doesn't even need a fridge. But it's recommended that you serve it chilled.
- If the jelly stays in the fridge longer than two days, it's a good idea to cover it with plastic wrap, otherwise it looses liquid and changes texture.