This weekend I made my first attempt at tackling a recipe from The Fat Duck Cookbook. I attempted orange and beetroot jellies as the recipe seemed fairly easy and blood oranges and beets are in season. The key to this recipe is it is supposed to create jellies that fool the diner with their colors. The orange jelly is red and the beet jelly orange due to the use of blood oranges and yellow beets — or at least that’s how it’s supposed to turn out.
On Saturday we went to the farmers market and picked up blood oranges and yellow beets. I also picked up some 170 bloom leaf gelatin. The next day I went to work on my jellies. The blood orange jelly went off without a hitch. It turned out a beautiful beet red color, was smooth, and delicious.
The beet jelly, however, was not without its problems. I had a very hard time juicing the beets. No matter how much I tried, I could not get more than a tiny bit of liquid out of them and I ended up breaking my blender in the process. To add insult to injury, the more I tried to juice the beets, the greener the liquid became. I ended up taking the green pureed beets and forcing as much as I could through a fine mesh sieve. I ended up with more of a thick green paste than a golden liquid. I decided to go ahead with the beet jelly as by that time I had invested quite a bit of time in juicing the beets. Plus, if the key to the dish was surprising colors, I certainly had that with my green jelly! The result left a lot to be desired. It tasted like beet paste and looked like baby food. I don’t know that I would try this dish again. Even if I were able to get yellow juice out of the beets and create a more delicate jelly, I’m not really sure that I would want to eat beet jelly again. I haven’t quite figured out how or why to incorporate that as part of a meal.