There’s a popular saying, “Coffee keeps me going until it’s acceptable to drink wine.” Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy your morning with your favorite red, along with your coffee and toast?
This may sound extravagant, but this recipe published in 1896 was originally intended for those with very little appetite or who had difficulty keeping more substantial foods down.
Wine jelly is tasty on top of toast, biscuits, roast beef, turkey, spooned from shot glasses, squeezed from paper cups, and licked from spoons. It’s not overly sweet, and it keeps in the fridge for months.
It’s simple to make, but will take some planning, as it has one uncommon pantry ingredient that will need to be acquired in advance…
Gum Arabic is a natural, edible gum made of the hardened sap of the Acacia tree. It is currently used in the food industry as a stabilizer. It is also the key ingredient in the favorite science experiment of elementary kids: the Diet Coke and Mentos eruption; as it is responsible for reducing the surface tension in liquids, which leads to accelerated fizz in carbonated drinks.
I bought my Gum Arabic on Amazon. You may also find it available in your local health food store — or art supply store, for that matter, as it is used in some painting techniques. The more modern preparation is in powdered form, which makes mixing and emulsifying much more efficient, but I used the solid chunk form for the sake of testing the original recipe. Make up a batch of the Gum Arabic Water and keep it in a tight jar in the fridge. It will keep just fine in between batches of jelly.
Wine Jelly (Modern translation):
- Dissolve 2 packets of unflavored gelatin into ½ cup water in a small saucepan.
- Stir in 1 tsp gum Arabic water (made beforehand), ½ tsp nutmeg, and 1Tbs sugar.
- Add 1 cup port. (Port has a higher alcohol content than table wine, and doesn’t all get boiled out)
- Heat to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and pour into mason jars or serving glasses. Chill.
Tip: Wrap a ribbon around the jar, and you’ve got a hostess gift ready at a moment’s notice!
See you for brunch!