Sparkling grape jelly with frosted fruit

Sparkling grape jelly with frosted fruit

By
From
Saraban
Serves
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

This is our homage to the city of Shiraz, famous through the centuries for its wine grapes. These days the memory of wine lingers only in the much-loved poetry of Hafez, and local grapes are grown for the table or pressed to make juice or verjuice. This easy and lovely jelly is made from sparkling grape juice that makes the finished dish refreshing and lightly fizzy on the tongue. It is lavishly decorated with sugared fruit and we like to imagine that something similar might have been served as part of a banquet spread in the Shah Abbas’s summer pavilion.

We set the jelly here in a ring mould. For an alternative, and equally stunning presentation, set the jelly in pretty glasses or glass bowls so the trapped bubbles are visible. Top with the frosted fruit, or serve it on the side.

Any tender fruit may be frosted, but always select unblemished, ripe fruit, and note that varieties with firm skin work best. Try a mixture of green and red grapes, cherries, blueberries and mandarins, perhaps. Prepare the fruit no more than three hours before serving, or the sugar will start to dissolve. You’ll need to prepare the jelly the day before it’s needed to ensure a good set and proportion of bubbles to jelly.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750ml sparkling grape juice
4 leaves titanium-grade gelatine
1 lime, juiced, strained

Frosted fruits

Quantity Ingredient
400g firm-skinned soft fruit
1-2 egg whites, lightly whisked, caster sugar

Method

  1. To make the jelly, pour 100 ml of the grape juice into a small saucepan and reseal the bottle tightly. Bring the juice to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile, soften the gelatine leaves in cold water for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry. Stir the gelatine into the grape juice, then pour the mixture into a large jug and stir in the strained lime juice. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. At the same time, chill a jelly ring mould in the freezer.
  2. Pour the remaining sparkling grape juice into the gelatine mixture, taking care not to let it fizz too much, otherwise you’ll lose the precious bubbles. Stir very gently to combine, then carefully pour into the chilled mould. Return the mould to the freezer for 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge to set, nudging the mould every now and then to create more bubbles. Leave at least overnight, which also allows the bubbles to develop
  3. To make the frosted fruits, line a baking tray with baking paper. Brush each fruit lightly with egg white and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar until evenly coated. Leave to dry on the lined tray
  4. When ready to serve, briefly dip the base of the jelly mould in hot water. Loosen the edge with a small knife, then carefully invert onto an attractive serving plate and shake gently to release. Mound the frosted fruits in the central cavity and serve any extra fruit on the side.
Tags:
Saraban
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Iran
Iranian
Middle Eastern
Persian
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