Saturday, 17 May 2014

Citrus, Strawberry and Sunshine

Finally we got some typical British summer today. Hot sunshine tempered with cloud now and again to give a little shade. Doors flung open at both ends of the house to give it an airing it felt like it was time to get the kitchen sorted out. Having spent the morning clearing out and cleaning the cupboards and then sharpening all my knives it felt like time to play.

First on the menu today was an attempt to make some cocktail pearls. Basically, reverse spherified lemon pearls that I can store in sweetened lemon juice and use some time soon in a liquigel G&T. I am still a novice at the spherification techniques so, although there were a few pearls, there were a number of Nik Naks ( inspired shapes too. The result was good though. Small tart perls that burst in the mouth to give a zing of citrus. I have stored those away in the fridge ready for the bank holiday weekend. 0.5 % sodium alganate to de-ionized water in the water bath. 1% Calcium Lactate and 0.5% Xanthan Gum in to the lemon juice with some simple syrup to sweeten it to taste.

Next it was the drunk strawberries  turn. I made up a daquiri jelly using 200g of water into which I dissolved 70 grams of sugar, 5.5g of Agar Agar and 1g of Carrageenan Iota. Once everything was dissolved (with the help of an immersion blender a.k.a. the Bammix) then I added 400g of pineapple juice and 100g of Triple Sec. I had already cut up the drunken strawberries I pickled the other week so that a good chunk was placed into the silicon moulds ready for the jelly to be poured in. This made 36 2cm cubes that are currently setting in the fridge. Do not boil the jelly liquid after the alcohol is added or you will lose the vital spirit.

I now had the rind from the 3 lemons I had used earlier and a remaining 3 lemons which I took the rind from and juiced. These were huge lemons giving about twice the juice of a normal lemon. The rind is currently sitting in the souse vide at 70 C in a bag of vodka ready to make another. batch of limoncello (I'will add simple syrup to this later to taste). The juice was matched in weight with sugar and boiled until the sugar was completely dissolved. This has two great uses. Instant lemonade when sparkling water and ice are added or just drizzle it over a lemon sponge.

The last act of the day was to pass the strawberry flavoured rum through a coffee filter paper into a waiting bottle. I'm sure I can find a good use for that soon either in a cocktail, spherified or just poured over a good vanilla icecream.

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