Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery/jellies
By vegetarian jelly we mean jellies made on vegetarian principles. To be consistent, if we cannot use anchovy sauce because it is made from fish, on the same principle we cannot use either gelatine or isinglass, which, of course, as everybody knows, is made from fishes. For all this, there is no reason why vegetarians should not enjoy jellies quite equal, so far as flavour is concerned, to ordinary jelly. The simplest substitute for gelatine, or what is virtually the same thing, isinglass, is corn-flour. Tapioca could be used, but corn-flour saves much trouble. Some persons may urge that it is not fair to give the name of jelly to a corn-flour pudding. There is, however, a very great difference between a corn-flour pudding flavoured with orange, and what we may call an orange jelly, in which corn-flour is only introduced, like gelatine, for the purpose of transforming a liquid into a solid.
We also have this advantage in using corn-flour: it is much more simple and can be utilised for making a very large variety of jellies, many of which, probably, will be new even to vegetarians themselves. We are all agreed on one point, i.e., the wholesomeness of freshly picked ripe fruit. We will suppose the season to be autumn and the blackberries ripe on the hedgerows, and that the children of the family are nothing loth to gather, say, a couple of quarts. We will now describe how to make a mould of—
Blackberry Jelly.—Put the blackberries in an enamelled saucepan with a little water at the bottom, and let them stew gently till they yield up their juice, or they can be placed in a jar in the oven. They can now be strained through a hair sieve, but, still better, they can be squeezed dry in a tamis cloth. This juice should now be sweetened, and it can be made into jelly in two ways, both of which are perfectly lawful in vegetarian cookery. The juice, like red currant juice, can be boiled with a large quantity of white sugar till the jelly sets of its own accord; in this case we should require one pound of sugar to every pint of juice, and the result would be a blackberry jelly like red currant jelly, more like a preserve than the jelly we are accustomed to eat at dinner alone. For instance, no one would care to eat a quantity of red currant jelly like we should ordinary orange or lemon jelly—it would be too sickly; consequently we will take a pint or a quart of our blackberry juice only and sufficient sugar to make it agreeably sweet without being sickly. We will boil this in a saucepan and add a tablespoonful of corn-flour mixed with a little cold juice to every pint to make the juice thick. This can be now poured into a mould or plain round basin; we will suppose the latter. When the jelly has got quite cold we can turn it out on to a dish, say a silver dish, with a piece of white ornamental paper at the bottom. We now have to ornament this mould of blackberry jelly, and, as a rule, it will be found that no ornament can surpass natural ones. Before boiling the blackberries for the purpose of extracting their juice, pick out two or three dozen of the largest and ripest, wash them and put them by with some of the young green leaves of the blackberry plant itself, which should be picked as nearly as possible of the same size, and, like the blackberries, must be washed. Now place a row of blackberry leaves round the base of the mould, with the stalk of the leaf under the mould, and on each leaf place a ripe blackberry touching the mould itself. Take four very small leaves and stick them on the top of the mould, in the centre, and put the largest and best-looking blackberry of all upright in the centre. This dish is now pretty-looking enough to be served on really great occasions. We consider this dish worthy of being called blackberry jelly, and not corn-flour pudding.
Lemon Jelly.—Take six lemons and half a pound of sugar, and rub the sugar on the outside of three of the lemons; the lemons must be hard and yellow, the peel should not be shrivelled. Now squeeze the juice of all six lemons into a basin, add the sugar and a pint of water. Of course, the lemon-juice must be strained. (If wine is allowed, add half a pint of good golden sherry or Madeira.) Bring this to the boil and thicken it with some corn-flour in the ordinary way, allowing a tablespoonful of corn-flour for every pint of fluid. Pour it into a mould and when it is set turn it out. A lemon jelly like this should be turned on to a piece of ornamental paper placed at the bottom of a silver or some other kind of dish. The base of the mould should be ornamented with thin slices of lemon cut in half, the diameter touching the base of the mould and the semicircular piece of peel outside. If a round basin has been used for a mould, place a corner of a lemon on the top in the middle, surrounded with a few imitation green leaves cut out of angelica. This improves the dish in appearance and also shows what the dish is made of.
Orange Jelly.—Take six oranges, two lemons, and half a pound of lump sugar; rub the sugar on the outside of three of the oranges, squeeze the juice of the six oranges into a basin with the juice of two lemons, strain, add the sugar and a pint of water. The liquid will be of an orange colour, owing to the rind of the orange rubbed on to the sugar. (If wine be allowed, add half a pint of golden sherry or Madeira.) Bring the liquid to boiling point and then thicken it with corn-flour, and pour it while hot into a mould or plain white basin; when cold, turn it out on to a piece of ornamental paper placed at the bottom of a dish; surround the bottom of the mould with thin slices of orange cut into quarters and the centre part pushed under the mould; place the small end of an orange on the top of the mould with some little leaves or spikes of green angelica placed round the edge.
Black Currant Jelly.—The juice of black currants makes excellent jelly in the ordinary way if we boil a pint of black currant juice with a pound of sugar till it sets; but a mould of black currant jelly suitable to be used as a sweet at dinner can be made by adding less sugar and thickening the juice with corn-flour, allowing about a tablespoonful to every pint, and pouring it into a mould or plain round basin. The mould can be ornamented as follows, and we will suppose a pudding-basin to be used for the purpose. We will suppose the mould of jelly to have been turned out on to a clean sheet of white paper. Pick some of the brighter green black-currant leaves off the tree, and place these round the base of the mould with the stalk of the leaf pushed underneath and the point of the leaf pointing outwards. Now choose a few very small bunches of black currants, wash these and dip them into very weak gum and water, and then dip them into white powdered sugar. They now look, when they are dry, as if they were crystallised or covered with hoar-frost. Place one of these little bunches, with the stalk stuck into the mould of jelly, about an inch from the bottom, so that each bunch rests on a green leaf. Cut a small stick of angelica and stick it into the top of the mould upright, and let a bunch of frosted black currants hang over the top. If we wish to make the mould of jelly very pretty as a supper dish, where there is a good top light, we can dip the green leaves into weak gum and water and then sprinkle over them some powdered glass.
Red Currant Jelly.—Red currant jelly can be made in exactly a similar manner, substituting red currants for black.
Raspberry Jelly.—The raspberries should be picked very ripe, and two or three dozen of the best-looking ones of the largest and ripest should be reserved for ornamenting. If possible, also gather some red currants and mix with the raspberries, on account of the colour, which otherwise would be very poor indeed. It will be found best to rub the raspberries through a hair sieve, as the addition of the pulp very much improves the flavour of the jelly. The sieve should be sufficiently fine to prevent the pips of the raspberries passing through it. The juice and pulp from the raspberries and currants can now be thickened with corn-flour as directed in the recipe for blackberry jelly. Raspberry leaves should be placed round the base of the jelly and a ripe raspberry placed on each. The best-looking raspberry can be placed on the top of the mould in the centre of two or three raspberry leaves stuck in the jelly.
Apple Jam and Apple Jelly.—The following recipe is taken from “A Year’s Cookery,” by Phyllis Brown:—“The best time for making apple jelly is about the middle of November. Almost all kinds of apples may be used for the purpose, though, if a clear white jelly is wanted, Colvilles or orange-pippins should be chosen; if red jelly is preferred, very rosy-cheeked apples should be taken, and the skins should be boiled with the fruit. Apple jam is made of the fruit after the juice has been drawn off for jelly. Economical house-*keepers will find that very excellent jelly can be made of apple parings, so that where apples in any quantity have been used for pies and tarts the skins can be stewed in sufficient water to cover them, and when the liquor is strongly flavoured it can be strained and boiled with sugar to a jelly. To make apple jelly, pare, core and slice the apples and put them into a preserving-pan with enough water to cover them. Stir them occasionally and stew gently till the apples have fallen, then turn all into a jelly-bag and strain away the juice, but do not squeeze or press the pulp. Measure the liquid and allow a pound of sugar to a pint of juice. Put both juice and sugar back into the preserving-pan, and, if liked, add one or two cloves tied in muslin, or two or three inches of lemon-rind. Boil gently and skim carefully for about half an hour, or till a little of the jelly put upon a plate will set. Pour it while hot into jars, and when cold and stiff cover down in the usual way. If yellow jelly is wanted a pinch of saffron tied in muslin should be boiled with the juice. To make apple jam, weigh the apple pulp after the juice has been drawn from it, rub it through a hair sieve, and allow one pound of sugar to one pint of pulp, and the grated rind of a lemon to three pints of pulp. Boil all gently together till the jam will set when a little is put on a plate. Apple jam is sometimes flavoured with vanilla instead of lemon.”
Damson Jelly.—Damson jelly can be made in two ways. The juice can be boiled with sugar till it gets like red currant jelly, or the juice of the damsons can be sweetened with less sugar and thickened with corn-flour. In order to extract the juice from damsons they should be sliced and placed in a jar or basin and put in the oven. They are best left in the oven all night. If the mould of jelly is made in a round basin, a single whole damson can be placed on the top of the mould and green leaves placed round the base.
Pine-apple Jelly.—The syrup from a preserved pine, should the pine-apple itself be used for mixing with other fruits, or for ornamental purposes, can be utilised by being made into a mould of jelly and by being thickened with corn-flour. It will bear the addition of a little water.
Apricot Jelly.—The juice from tinned apricots can be treated like that of pine-apple. When a mixture of fruits is served in a large bowl, the syrup from tinned fruits should not be added, but at the same time, of course, should be used in some other way.
Mulberry Jelly.—Mullberries, of course, would not be bought for the purpose, but those who possess a mulberry tree in their garden will do well to utilise what are called windfalls by making mulberry jelly. The juice can be extracted by placing the fruit in a jar and putting it in the oven; sugar must be added, and the juice thickened with corn-flour. There are few other ways of using unripe mulberries.
Jams.—Home-made jam is not so common now as it was some years back. As a rule, it does not answer from an economical point of view to buy fruit to make jam. On the other hand, those who possess a garden will find home-made jam a great saving. Those who have attempted to sell their fruit probably know this to their cost. In making every kind of jam it is essential the fruit should be picked dry. It is also a time-honoured tradition that the fruit is best picked when basking in the morning sun. It is also necessary that the fruit should be free from dust, and that all decayed or rotten fruit should be carefully picked out.
Jam is made by boiling the fruit with sugar, and it is false economy to get common sugar; cheap sugar throws up a quantity of scum. Years back many persons used brown sugar, but in the present day the difference in the price of brown and white sugar is so trifling that the latter should always be used for the purpose. The sugar should not be crushed. It is best to boil the fruit before adding the sugar. The scum should be removed, and a wooden spoon used for the purpose. A large enamel stew-pan can be used, but tradition is in favour of a brass preserving-pan. It will be found best to boil the fruit as rapidly as possible. The quantity of sugar varies slightly with the fruit used. Supposing we have a pound of fruit, the following list gives what is generally considered about the proper quantity of sugar
APRICOT JAM.—Three-quarters of a pound.
BLACKBERRY JAM.—Half a pound; if apple is mixed, rather more.
BLACK CURRANT JAM.—One pound.
RED CURRANT JAM.—One pound.
DAMSON JAM.—One pound.
GOOSEBERRY JAM.—Three-quarters of a pound.
GREENGAGE JAM.—Three-quarters of a pound.
PLUM JAM.—One pound.
RASPBERRY JAM.—One pound.
STRAWBERRY JAM.—Three-quarters of a pound.
CARROT JAM.—If you wish the jam to be of a good colour, only use the outside or red part of the carrots. Add the rind and the juice of one lemon, and one pound of sugar to every pound of pulp; a little brandy is a great improvement.
RHUBARB JAM.—To every pound of pulp add three-quarters of a pound of sugar, and the juice of one lemon and the rind of half a lemon. Essence of almonds can be substituted for the lemon.
VEGETABLE MARROW JAM.—Add three-quarters of a pound of sugar to every pound of pulp. The jam can be flavoured either with ginger or lemon-juice.