Ahoy, sailors and sailorettes! (Sailoresses? Sailorixes? Now I’m just being silly.) Look what I made!
More accurately, look at what Tito and I made! My good friend and dear co-blogger at Nisaba Be Praised came to visit a few weekends ago, and one of the fun things we did was make these little fruit jam jellies. They’re exceptionally easy to make; just pick a flavor of jam you like that’s knocking around the fridge, throw some in a pot with some sugar, water, unflavored gelatine, and citric acid, get it up to a certain temperature, and then dump it in a dish and put it in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to set.
We ended up trying out four flavors of jam, because I apparently have ALL THE JAM IN THE WORLD in my fridge: pear, blackcurrant, and a raspberry/lingonberry mix.
Some thoughts: the original recipe, which we took from here (check them out, they’ve got prettier pictures and a nice step-by-step PDF!), was pretty good, although we ended up cutting back to three tablespoons of sugar because the jams I had were already pretty sweet. When I make these again, I might even cut it down more, to two tablespoons, because the sweetness of the sugar tended to overpower the more delicate flavors (namely the pear). As Beth advises, pick a jam flavor you really like, otherwise you’re going to end up with a bunch of mediocre candy sitting around.
Also, I’d say pick a jam with a fairly smooth texture; of the three kinds we made, I liked the flavor of the blackcurrant jam jellies best, but the blackcurrant jam we used was extremely chunky and made for an oddly-textured end result. I wouldn’t say that some fruit bits or seeds here or there would be unpleasant, but if the jam’s more pulpy fruit than anything, save it for a different occasion.
Ours was pretty tasty, I gotta brag, even though my powdered sugar had bugs in it (ughhhh) and we had to fudge things and coat the candies in a mix of granulated sugar and cornstarch. It was a fun little project that didn’t take too long and is extremely adaptable for flavor preferences, and I got to take my share of the leftovers to work for Valentine’s Day! Plus, it finally gave me an excuse to purchase a candy thermometer, and if you know me you also know that I will not rest until my kitchen overflows with every niche cooking appliance known to man. One step closer to victory!