After a huge Christmas dinner, the last thing I want is a heavy pudding. This dessert is light, refreshing, and the perfect palate-cleanser. It would also work beautifully at a New Year’s Eve party, especially since the prosecco retains its fizz if you keep all your components cool and chill the jelly quickly enough. I think the colours work best when displayed in a festive wreath-shaped creation (moulds are commonly available and inexpensive), although I was also tempted to make individual servings in champagne flutes, not least because it does away with the risky business of having to unmould the finished product.
I looked at a few recipes before making this, notably Nigella’s and Jamie’s versions, as well as the champagne jelly in the fantastical Bompass and Parr cookbook. I kept closest to the Jamie O recipe, although I played around with the fruit and gelatine quantities – having skimmed over the readers’ comments on his website, there was clearly an issue with the latter in the original recipe.
Note: make absolutely sure to use a PYREX bowl for melting the gelatine and cordial; I used a regular thick glass bowl (thinking it was heatproof) and it actually EXPLODED. Probably my most terrifying kitchen experience ever. Thankfully I survived unscathed, as a Christmas trip to A&E was definitely not part of the plan.
Jewelled Prosecco Jelly
a few drops of flavourless cooking oil
7.5 leaves of gelatine (I used Costa quick dissolving fine leaf gelatine, which is derived from pork; 7.5 leaves equates to 12.5g)
140ml elderflower cordial
2 heaped tablespoons caster sugar
Put a few drops of flavourless oil onto a piece of kitchen towel and lightly grease the inside of your jelly mould (mine had a capacity of 1450ml/3 pints). Put the fruit into the mould and refrigerate.
Put the gelatine in a pyrex bowl with a little cold water and soak for a few minutes, then drain and return the gelatine to the bowl and add the elderflower cordial. Suspend the bowl above a pan of simmering water over a medium heat and stir constantly until it takes on a syrupy consistency. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then remove the bowl from the heat and let it sit at room temperature for a minute or two.
Take the fruit-filled mould and the prosecco from the fridge. Pour the prosecco into the cordial mix and pour it gently over the fruit. Ensure that all the fruit is submerged in the liquid then return the mould to the fridge and leave to set, ideally overnight.
To serve, stand the mould in a bowl of hot water and leave for 5-10 minutes to loosen the jelly, then turn it out onto a plate.