Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jellied Cucumber

This can be used as a base recipe for jelling any base liquid that you do not want to heat to preserve the raw flavor. I am using gelatin in this recipe because I want this jelly to melt in your (or my...our?) mouth, but you could use another jelling agent like agar agar with the same basic approach. Although, every hydro-colloid has its own unique properties to be aware of when using.
265g burbless cucumber
50g ice cold water
1 pinch salt
1 pinch agave nectar
1/2 pinch malic acid powder
7g sheet gelatin
Wash and cut the cucumbers. Place the cucumber, with the salt, agave nectar, malic acid, and half of the water, into a blender. Blend on as high as possible until everything is smooth. Pour out the mash and strain through a fine filter, I used a 250 micron mesh bag. Add the rest of the water to the blender and swirl to get the fine pulp that sticks to the side. Dump this into the rest of the straining mash.
Bloom the gelatin in ice cold water and place into a small pot. Pour 1/4 of the strained cucumber juice into the pot and warm to 100F while stirring, or until the gelatin melts. Dump all of the warm cucumber and gelatin liquid into the unheated cucumber juice while stirring rapidly. Pour into desired container and cool in the fridge until it sets.

This concentration of gelatin produces a very soft jelly, you can see on the right that it can be shaken easily, but it is just firm enough to not break apart from being giggled. Only warming a small portion of the cucumber retains most of the fresh, raw flavor of the fruit. You can substitute another acid for the malic acid, citrus, vinegar, etc. I think just blending the cucumber produces a nice flavor, but I prefer to balance the flavor with some additional seasonings. Also, I use the measurement "pinch" in this recipe because I do not have a gram scale accurate enough to read in tenths of a gram; the idea is that I want this jelly to taste like cucumber, but a little (a pinch of) sweetener, salt, and acid improve the finished flavor, but you do not want them to be noticeable on their own. That is to say, in a side by side tasting you would notice the altered (and improved) flavor, but by itself, all that will be perceived is that this cucumber tastes really good, not that the cucumber is altered.

Plate it up!
This one needs three pictures:
1 Caviar tin
2 Breaking through the first layer
to find cucumber
3 Shallot cream on the bottom



Anonymous said...

How does one obtain a pinch of agave nectar?

Adam Starowicz said...

Borrow from your neighbor, or I guess you are suck buying 8oz.

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