Thursday, 19 July 2012

Pimms Jelly

One of the most common questions I get asked about this 'odyssey' that I'm on is 'What do you do when you just want a pizza for tea?'  Well the simple answer is that I don't actually like pizza so it's not a problem.  I'll admit that I enjoyed making Dan Lepard's pizzas a while back, but still, I never crave pizza because historically I've not liked it so I can live without it.

It was actually set at this point...
Of course, pizza is just one of many things that could be substituted into that question.  I'm just being a bit pedantic.  If pizza was replaced by toast/poached eggs/spaghetti bolognaise/sausages and mash etc etc then the more accurate answer as regular readers will know is that I make cake.  Or a dessert.  Which I guess is a bit cheaty in the grand scheme of things.  But I made the rules so I can bend them to suit.  I've still tried - and blogged about - a new recipe every single day for the last 300 days.

Sometimes I've tried two new recipes in one day.  Sometimes I've written about them both.  More often than not, I've actually only written about the more worthy recipe.  I've not documented some of the failures I've had - like the time I tried to make Lorraine Pascale's Totally Naughty Mini Toad in the Holes for Miss A's tea.  They ended up looking nothing like in the book - God knows how she got the sausages to stand to attention (*snigger*) - and Miss A refused point blank to eat them - despite being on an exclusively sausage-and-fruit diet at the time.  The picture was just so rubbish that I ended up writing about the lovely Chilli Chocolate Cookies I'd also made courtesy of a recipe from Jaim's Kitchen.

Thursday is normally the day I crack.  If I was dealing with a more adventurous family, I'd probably be more inclined to make an effort.  But Thursdays and I have never seen eye-to-eye.  Once upon a time it was free paper delivery day - not fun if you're a 15st 15-year-old lugging 200-odd free papers plus assorted leaflets from door to door.  Then Thursdays became working-late-night-opening-at-Debenhams night.  A brief respite appeared in my mid-twenties when it was go-to-the-nearest-bar-after-work-and-get-hammered-on-one-glass-of-wine.  And now, in my mid-thirties it's the day of the week when the fridge is bare and my patience is low.  Couple that with a husband who rolls his eyes at anything I ever suggest for tea unless it's takeaway and you start to understand why I struggle with recipes on Thursday nights.  

Even Instagram couldn't save these
I've been thinking about trying a Pimm's jelly recipe since the weather was last bright and sunny.  Having waited endless weeks to do it, I was motivated into action after buying some cute jelly moulds for Miss A the other day.  I was determined that rather than just buying packet jelly, I'd make my own from scratch so I know exactly what's going into it.  So used the Pimms jelly recipe as an excuse for a bit of pre-production testing before the weekend when I plan to make fresh fruit jellies from scratch.  Plus it meant I could have a 'dirty' tea of scrambled eggs with tomato sauce and didn't have to worry about making something exotic like Thomasina Miers' Huevos a la Mexicana.  Good old runny 'eggy-scrambles' with a big splodge of Heinz 57 on a toasted English muffin.  Bliss.

I had a can of pre-mixed Pimms that has been lurking in the fridge for the last six weeks (I rarely drink) so it seemed like a simple task.  Melt gelatine, mix with Pimms, bung in fruit, chill, eat.  I was rather relieved that it set, although a little disappointed that the fruit floated to the top.  I removed it from the fridge for it's pic.  Left it on the side whilst we ate tea.  Went to eat it an hour later and discovered that I now had a glass of flat Pimms with very soggy fruit in it.  Major disappointment.  I'm guessing it has to be eaten pretty much straight from the fridge.

Plus, the fizz had gone from the lemonade so I'm not quite sure why all the recipes advocate using lemonade.  I would've expected it to have a mildly carbonated fizz to the jelly but not a hint.  All in all a waste of a damned good glass of Pimms and somes strawberries.  Even though I don't drink often, I still felt saddened at this lost opportunity.  I'm really glad I didn't crack open the bottle of Prosecco that Ocado kindly gave me for being such a loyal customer and waste that on Jamie O's jelly recipe.  It's definitely going in a glass for drinking and nothing more.

Pimms and cake, however, works really well together.  My Pimms cupcakes got great reviews from my work colleagues a while back and I'm thinking of making a Pimms bundt for the Afternoon Tea Tent at Bridestock which is now only two and a bit weeks away!  But because Bridestock falls in the middle of the Olympic Food Challenge, I'm going to have another few days of double-recipe trying.  Oh well, at least it means I can eat a lot of toast for tea!

The recipe I used for the Pimms jelly can be found here.  Don't take my word for it that it doesn't work.

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