Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Pair of Flower Scented Jellies

I love using floral essences like orange blossom and rose waters to impart a note of Arabesque mystique to certain sweets and savouries. I've noticed, however, that most men don't fancy such flavours much - W ("Sweetie, have you been spraying the food with Ce Soir ou Jamais again?"...I adore Annick Goutal's Turkish rose perfume...) certainly doesn't, however subtle the application. I've long stopped attempting to sneak these flavours into our meals, indulging my weakness only when I'm cooking for myself. However, as I've discovered, jams and jellies may well be an excellent outlet for my compulsion even when I'm not alone - they keep, and given the array of other non-scented spreads available, nobody need feel excluded whether at breakfast or tea-time.

Raspberry and Apply Jelly with Rose
I've gone on and on about my fixation with Pierre Herme's Ispahan before, his dreamy rose macaron, lychee and raspberry signature confection. So as soon as I saw this recipe in Mes Confitures, Christine Ferber's fabulous book on the art of preserving, I knew I had to make it. An apple jelly infused with rose water and dried rose petals is layered over raspberry jelly - if a taste could be described as pretty, this would be it. Beyond being alluring to look at, keeping the flavours suspended in separate layers makes perfect sense; all the better to appreciate the exquisite coalescence of the distinct yet harmonious. Minus the lychee element, it comes close to the sensational taste of the glamourous Confiture Ispahan the fairy godmother of jams and jellies makes for Pierre Herme's boutiques. I've flagged her Raspberry and Lychee with Rose Water jam - which sounds promisingly like a chunky cousin of the Confiture Ispahan - to try making some time soon.

Aside from enjoying on toast, it makes an admirable filling for cookies. I made Linzer Cookies, setting aside some W-friendly ones filled with plain raspberry jelly.

Lavender Jelly
This recipe comes from The English Summer Cookbook by Thane Prince, which I simply had to make as soon as I laid eyes on the gorgeous picture in the book. Fortunately, the taste lives up to its jewel-like good looks. A plain apple jelly is infused with the intoxicating scent of lavender flowers (go easy here - lavender is an instance where less is more), while the fabulous garnet hue is courtesy of adding a few blackberries. A plain buttery cookie (I made vanilla bean shortbread) is good alongside.

17 Comments:

Blogger Clare Eats said...

They are Stunning J!!!!

Wow I have been on a Jam kick lately but that is SOMETHING ELSE altogether! You go grl!

2:38 pm, September 20, 2005  
Blogger JellyGirl said...

I adore any form of jellies, and yours look too perfect for words. I'd love to try the Raspberry and Apple jelly with rose!

5:21 pm, September 20, 2005  
Blogger Cathy said...

Jocelyn - both jellies (and cookies) look and sound delicious, but most of all your photos are absolutely beautiful! As usual, I'm beyond impressed with all the work that must have gone into this post. I don't know how you do it!

7:19 pm, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Hi J, just beautiful! I also love the exotic perfumes flower essences lend to food - it seems to raise things to a level of sophistication far beyond most other herbs and spices. Lavender, in particular, is my Achilles' heel - I almost jumped for joy when I found an entire cookbook devoted to lavender recipes. I'll definitely bookmark these recipes too - they're simply stunning.

7:44 pm, September 20, 2005  
Blogger Pille said...

Hi J - I'm not really into clear jellies (something to do with the 'wobble' element) whereas I really like creamy ones & panna cottas (oh and sour wine gums in cinema, obviously, though not sure they count:) But your pictures and descriptions are so tempting that I may need to reconsider my food pet hates and loves:) Especially as have a bunch of English lavender growing at my window sill at the moment (inspired by Melissa by the way)

7:51 pm, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous jeanne said...

Lavendar and rose are two favorites also. Alas, I either have to say there's a "secret" ingredient in order for others to try the sweet or jam. I've won over a few this way ;-)

9:16 pm, September 20, 2005  
Blogger Ruth said...

Your site is one of my favorites. The photos are always stunning and the food spectacular. This post is no exception. Thanks for sharing.

11:27 am, September 21, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi clare, thanks for your kind words...the process of making jam is pretty addictive, i must say...

hi jellygirl, thanks :)

hi cathy, thanks...w affectionately calls my condition Compulsive Baking Disorder

hi melissa, thanks...that book looks fabulous! what a find...look forward to your future lavender scented posts from it...

hi pille, thanks...wow! your very own home-grown lavender...i'm totally envious...re:sour wine gums; no trip to the movies is complete without a tube ;)

hi jeanne, thanks for the sneaky "secret" ingredient trick...will try pulling it sometime ;)

hi ruth, thanks, you are always so very kind..

3:42 pm, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am like Pille--not so much into the jellies. But, like her this post could definitely change my mind, or at least inspire me to try again--only with flower essences this time.

Amy

9:45 am, September 23, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi amy, glad to be of any service ;)

4:32 pm, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Reid said...

Hi J,

The lavender jelly sounds quite interesting and I can see how you would pair it with something so simple as a shortbread and/or butter cookie. The taste sensation must be truly amazing!

As always, great work.

BTW...when are you going to be opening up your own shop? Don't forget to let us know OK? =)

I'll be sure to make a special trip to Singapore for the opening!

7:45 pm, September 23, 2005  
Blogger obachan said...

Hi J
First time commenting here. I love your photos! I can just keep watching them for hours. And these jellies look so tempting. Ah...

9:26 pm, September 24, 2005  
Anonymous S said...

Just had the raspberry-apple jelly with a croissant fresh out of the oven for brekkie. I really like the loose jelly texture and subtle floral flavour. Would be delish in jam-filled donuts. Now, to get an industrial deepfryer...

10:45 am, September 25, 2005  
Anonymous keiko said...

Hi Joycelyn - aren't these jellies just beautiful? I'm not a jelly person in general but just looking at your pictures makes me happy. Speaking of Thane Prince, do you know that she teaches at Aldeburgh cooking school where I took a day course once. I took a modern British course so some of the recipes we tried on that day were included in this book. She is such a funny lady (yes, funny!), I post about it a while ago so have a look when you have time.

6:07 pm, September 28, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi reid, thanks, you are much too kind...i thought if i made anything too highly flavoured it would probably "fight" with the lavender...glad you approve of my deduction!

hi obachan, thanks for visiting and your very kind words - i can't believe i didn't come across your wonderful site earlier!

hi s, really glad you liked the jelly - all of christine ferber's recipes which i've tried so far always result in a lovely loose set, and as far as french-to-english books go, i must say hers is one of the better-translated...funny you should mention doughnuts; i was thinking beignets!

hi keiko, i've read (and enjoyed very much) your post on the modern brit course but i never put two and two together till now...i must say i bought the book originally because it was so pretty, and evocative of the fleeting quality of english summers, but upon closer inspection, there are loads of recipes in it i want to try...

11:15 pm, September 28, 2005  
Blogger Pim said...

These look gorgeous. Can you please send some to San Francisco?

cheers,
Pim

6:57 am, September 29, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi pim, thanks, i'll gladly trade you for some june taylor jams anytime...

12:15 am, October 02, 2005  

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