4.01.2012

Sophie Dahl's Elderflower Jelly


I've always been intrigued with 
gelées like Sophie's; I've already posted three: one with port wine and fruit (a really old one from the 50's, served to us by a bachelor friend), one with passion fruit and a basil creme and another with prosecco and elderflower liqueur. I also remember posting something about the molds, which are so important with these simple, clear gelées. They have to be gorgeous. I wish I owned some prettier ones. I'm going to keep my eyes open at the antique malls. There are a few lovely old ones pictured in some older issues of Gourmet. Years ago, I scanned one table with two gelées...it was a summer tea. Would you look at the shape of those molds!
And then more recently, while researching Elena Arzak for our game-changer series, I came across Lorraine's post about the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, where she had taken two master classes. One was with  Elena Arzak and the other with two young men named Harry Parr and Sam Bompas who were big into glamorous gelées. The photos gave me lots of gelée-making inspiration, but I thought I'd post this unpretentious one, perfect for a refreshing summer dessert.
I served it with sweetened whipped cream and a cookie. The recipe calls for elderflower cordial, but I used St. Germain elderflower liqueur, which I already had in my pantry. 

The difference between cordials and liqueurs are 1) the items used to make them and 2) their flavor. Cordials are made from fruits. They are sweeter than liqueurs. Examples of cordials are Chambord, which is a black raspberry cordial, and Grand Marnier, which is an orange cordial. You can use them in fruity desserts and drinks. You could use either of these in this recipe.

Liqueurs are made from nuts, herbs, spices and/or seeds. You can use them in coffees, sweets and savory foods with complimentary tastes. Well-known liqueurs include Amaretto (made from almonds), Kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur) and Jagermeister (made from herbs).

The St. Germain I used has a more robust flavor, but is not as sweet as an elderflower cordial, which is why I 
suggest serving it with a sweetened whipped cream, or you could add a bit of superfine sugar to the warm liquid. At any rate, you will need to taste as you want the mixture to be fairly strong and ever so slightly sweet. I added more liqueur than the recipe calls for; even Sophie suggested you might wish to do so.

Elderflower Jelly

From Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl




Ingredients:
2 envelopes Knox's unflavored gelatin (double check fluid to gelatin ratio if you add more liqueur; usually it's one envelope to every two cups liquid. Sophie's recipe called for 1 "packet", which may be a different quantity in Great Britain than 1 envelope. At any rate, this recipe required 2 envelopes, which yielded a gelatin that was soft, but held together nicely.)
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial (I added at least another 1/4 cup more of the liqueur)
2 cups cold water

Method:

Add 1/2 cup cold water to the gelatin to soften and then heat on the stove until dissolved.
In another bowl, mix the the cordial with the 2 cups cold water (and superfine sugar if you wish; I didn't), tasting to make certain it is strong enough. You'll be able to tell. Add the gelatin and pour into a pretty mold. (I sprayed it with Pam first)
Place in refrigerator to set (a few hours or overnight), unmold by holding the mold in hot water for 10 seconds and then turn it out on a pretty cake dish.
Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

41 comments:

  1. very nice jelly Barbara!!

    cheers form sunny paris !Pierre

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  2. Beautiful Barbara! I've never attempted anything like this.

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  3. Looks nice....I have never had elderflower cordial.

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  4. That jelly is just lovely! So elegant. I actually never realized that there was a difference between cordials and liqueurs. I'm going to give this a try - I've love to see the results for a fancy spring dinner.

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  5. Delightful! Very spring-like and fresh.

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. How pretty Barbara. Love your presentation too.
    Sam

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  7. I think they're stunning. The Knight loves anything "jello-like", but I do not... but at least these are easy on the eyes!

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  8. What a beautiful and, in this day and time, unusual addition to a luncheon or dinner party.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  9. I think this year I just may try to make some cordial from my own garden. I hope it works out...nothing ventured nothing gained I guess.
    These sure do make a beautiful table!
    hugs from here...

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  10. Hi Barbara,

    What a wonderful feast for a summer party, the desserts look divine.
    Jelly always looks so good when made in a mold.
    Thanks for sharing the Elderflower jelly recipe.

    Happy week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  11. Your gelee is so pretty, and that's a great mold! I made a wine gelee with strawberries once, but I think I used a loaf pan since I had nothing remotely pretty to use. I'll be keeping an eye out for them now too!

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  12. I beg to differ Barbara! I think your gelee is abslutely pretty. Love the golden colour too. But I know what you mean, I'd love a fancy multi-tiered mold too. Maybe a fancy bundt pan might work, I've seen some cool ones around.

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  13. Stunning and elegant. Definitely a dish I'd like to try.

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  14. How lovely! Perfect for summer on the deck...

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  15. Your jelly is lovely, Barbara, and so elegant! It would be the perfect refreshing spring or summertime treat.

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  16. how lovely! i declare, gelatin does such amazing things.

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  17. How beautiful those molds are in the photo! What elegant entertaining! I think yours turned out very pretty also and I love the soft yellow color of your gelee. I've never tasted Elderflower cordial or liqueur! I'd love to try some.

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  18. Thank you so much for the lovely shout out! Bompas and Parr were such an interesting duo and I can only imagine what their collection of jelly molds looks like. Your elderflower jelly looks wonderful! :D

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  19. oh love this elderflower is lovely very British lots of drinks in the UK with it

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  20. Beautiful mold! I love the taste of elderberry too :) And I'm somewhat obsessed with how cool and chic Sophie Dahl is.

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  21. I love elderflower cocktails. So, a jelly would be even more awesome. I bet this is so refreshing at the end of a meal, too.

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  22. I always wondered what the difference between liqueurs and cordials were and now I know. This is a beautiful jelly that is worthy of serving at a big party.

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  23. Your gellys look terrific but I don't like to eat gellies because of the amount of sugar in them & because of the gelatin! :(

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  24. That first photo left me open mouthed because it's so beautiful. I guess I've always associated jelly with children's birthday parties but it can also be for grown-ups as you rightly show us. Love the shape and colour of yours Barbara.

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  25. I love this post, Barbara! It brings back some lovely memories of my mother's cooking. Gelatin molds were so popular in the 50's and 60's and the beautiful tin molds that my mom used turned out some stunning creations. I don't think I have ever tried elderflower cordial. It sounds wonderful.

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  26. Beautiful post and delicious and nice dish...I love the color,Barbara!

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  27. Hi Barbara, these are dazzling!
    also, so interesting that the gelees are making a comeback.

    Elderflower has a distinct taste that would work beautifully.

    thanks, too, for outlining the differences between cordials and liqueurs.

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  28. Barbara, this is just beautiful. I love that almost amber color and can imagine just how good this must taste. I will have to try this when I find some elderberries. I hope you have a greatday. Blessings...Mary

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  29. Elderflower cordial? Never heard of it...but sounds good. Love the idea of gelatin and liquor :) Beautiful mold Barbara.
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are having a great week!

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  30. The jellies look amazing. I love to imagine them gently wobbling in a cool breeze. Thanks for your tips distinguishing cordials and liqueurs. I never knew that and sort of used the terms interchangeably.

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  31. From my childhood I was attracted by jellies. I loved their colors and that transparent look they have! Yours is very impressive. Again I was attracted by its colored transparency! Beautiful!

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  32. Such a pretty jelly!

    I love elderflower cordial, although what we call cordial is a soft fruit drink and not alcoholic.

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  33. I don't think I've ever made a gelee before...OR had elderberries! I think it's time to change both.

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  34. Makes for a very elegant table!
    Mimi

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  35. Well, this recipe is not something I would of thought to make. But, I love trying new recipes and this looks like a fun one to make. ;-)

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  36. Your molds are gorgeous! And you've set up your table so beautifully.

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  37. beautiful post Barbara I love Sophie Dahl recipes!!!beautiful!

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