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Perfect match: nectarine jelly with muscat


You'll need

300 ml thickened cream 2 tbsp elderflower cordial, plus extra to drizzle To serve: thin crisp almond biscuits   Crushed raspberry ice 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar 300 gm (2 punnets) raspberries   Nectarine jelly 375 ml (1 bottle) Muscat de Beaumes de Venise or other sweet wine 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar 2 pieces of orange rind, removed with a vegetable peeler 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 6 firm ripe nectarines 4 leaves of gelatine (titanium strength), softened in cold water

Method

  • 01
  • For crushed raspberry ice, heat caster sugar and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add raspberries and cook for another 5 minutes, then cool. Freeze mixture in a 2 cup-capacity metal container for 3 hours, scraping frequently to form coarse crystals.
  • 02
  • For nectarine jelly, combine Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, sugar, orange rind, vanilla bean and seeds, and 1 litre of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add nectarines, cover closely with a round of baking paper, and weight using a small plate to submerge. Bring just to the boil, reduce heat to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes or until nectarines are tender and skins have split. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer nectarines to a bowl, cool, then peel and refrigerate until cold. Bring poaching liquid back to the boil and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until reduced to 3 cups. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to reduced syrup and stir to dissolve, strain and cool. Halve nectarines, remove stones and cut into wedges. Divide nectarines among six 1½ cup-capacity glasses. Pour ½ cup of syrup into each and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  • 03
  • To serve, whip cream and elderflower cordial to soft peaks, spoon on top of jellies, drizzle with a little extra cordial and scatter with spoonfuls of crushed raspberry ice. Serve with thin, crisp almond biscuits to the side.

You can find sweet wines made from muscat grapes right across the bottom of France, but the most famous example is the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise from the southern Rhône. Unlike the rich, strong, dark brown barrel-aged fortified wines made from muscat in Australia, the French version is pale in colour, fresh and bright in flavour, and drunk young. The sugar-rich juice of late-harvested muscat grapes is fermented slowly at low temperatures (to retain the muscatty perfume) until half the sugar has converted to alcohol. Neutral grape spirit is added to stop fermentation (the alcohol kills off the yeast cells) and bring the wine up to around 20 per cent alcohol. The result is strength from the spirit combined with sweet delicacy from the aroma and flavour of the grapes which makes it the perfect match for this fruity dessert to enjoy on a summer's day.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Jan 2008

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