Passion Fruit Jelly

For the alternative option for dessert at the Dinner at the Manor Nigella Feast supperclub event we held, Martini Man (Dan) made up the most wonderful wibbly wobbly jelly. It was sweet, tangy, laced with wine and tasted absolutely heavenly!

I asked Dan to write up his method for making it, so here it is!

When we first opened up bookings for our Leeds secret supperclub one of our first reservations was from somebody who required a gluten free diet. We were not put off by this, but it did completely throw us as when we came to look at our menu, as nearly everything we intended to cook had some form of gluten in it! I was tasked with coming up with a decent gluten free dessert. Now, considering Susie was baking an amazingly luscious and indulgent Lemon Meringue Cake I had to make sure that my dessert was just as good and that cake eaters would be just as envious of it!

I opted for Nigella’s ‘quivering with passion jellies’ which seemed delightfully fruity but still with a naughty, creamy edge. I immediately adapted the original recipe, which required 350ml of white wine to be boiled with the pulp of at least 8 passionfruit. My first hurdle was that I could not find a single passionfruit for sale ANYWHERE! Panic aside I also wasn’t convinced that 8 passionfruit would yield enough liquid and that the jelly would be a bit stingy and too winey. So instead I bought a carton of orange, mango and passionfruit juice and upped the quantities so that including the wine I had a litre of liquid. The juice I used was nearly verging on a smoothie, with a velvety texture and a really tart, summery flavour.

Nigella is also a bit stingy with the gelatine leaves. I would always use gelatine leaves rather than powder. They are easy to use and always give a consistent result. The packet instructions required at least 8 leaves to set a litre of liquid. However I was desperate for a lovely, quivering, soft set so I only used 6 leaves. This probably would not be appropriate for a large mould, but as I was using individual glass bowls, this was fine. Once boiled, 200g of sugar was dissolved into the liquid. Nigella only suggests 100g but the liquid was so tart that I opted to put a little bit more in and it was worth it. The soaked gelatine leaves were then whisked in and once the liquid had been portioned off they were put into the fridge for a good 24 hours to properly set. For ages it looks like they won’t set, but don’t worry, they will!

When ready to serve I made a very quick syllabub to spoon on top. This was about 160ml of double cream whipped up to medium peaks. Then a couple of tablespoons of white wine and icing sugar are stirred through as well as the pulp of about 3-4 passionfruit. This helps to give it a lovely fruity flavour and a brilliant crunch from the seeds. This was then spooned onto the top of the jelly followed by some extra passionfruit pulp – for colour and presentation. Not a single bowl came back with any left – surely a good sign! The recipe made 6 decent sized jellies, but you could easily get 8 out of it. I have to say that when I had a little try I was pleasantly surprised that the jelly almost had a creamy texture – probably due to the use of the smoothie-esque juice. I will certainly make again, it’s a very easy dish to do and has that wow factor as well.

I really do think you should give it a try – it’s a simple elegant dessert and demonstrates how easy a jelly is to make. Now, where’s my jelly mould?

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