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July 22, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Sweet Scoop – Red-Wine Jelly

This might be kind of confessional. You see, I sometimes feel like I’m not a real student. Not only have I never lived in a hall, never ended up on Overheard @ Vic, never went to Big K, and I often come home with half a bottle of wine left. I know, right? Shall I hand over my student ID now?

Anyway, this recipe was invented to deal with that problem, since there are only so many half-drunk bottles of wine that can fit in a fridge at one time without (a) feeling like those AA ads are meant for you, and (b) running out of space for all the cake, cream and other dessert things that a fridge is for. And there are only so many times you can make risotto before you start to go slightly mad. Hence this jelly.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never made actual, non-Pams-purple-crystal jelly before. It is almost as easy, and is way more delicious, impressive and exciting. The only special ingredient you need is a packet of gelatin (if you are a stricter vegetarian/better person than I am, I’m sure agar would work instead). You can find this in any supermarket, or even in the Kelburn Four Square.

With about five minutes of actual work (i.e., stirring some liquid in a pot), you get a gorgeous ruby-red jelly with a perfect texture. The wine isn’t overpowering, and the touch of cinnamon is great. Jelly gets stereotyped as a children’s food, which is a pity, because well-made, creative jelly is a wonderful thing. Artisan ice-creams became a thing. I’m sitting here waiting for the same thing to happen to jelly. You may scoff. But you heard it here first. Also, if you want to be fancy, you could pour this into wine glasses and leave it to set like that.


Red-Wine Jelly

1 cup red wine
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
A pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of gelatin (follow instructions on the gelatin packet; the amount used should correspond to what is needed to set 500 mL of water)
(Serves 3)

Combine wine, water, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. The longer you heat it, the more alcohol will boil off. Your choice! Place the gelatin in a cup, and add a small amount of the hot liquid. Stir until dissolved. Add the dissolved gelatin into the hot wine mixture, and stir to combine well, heating until it is totally dissolved. Pour into one large bowl, small bowls, or wine glasses. Once they have cooled a little, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Leave until set (this will take at least 4 hours).

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