Sakura Rhubarb Jelly

nam zest

It’s still pink blossom time here so delicate pink preparations are in vogue. Pink frosting is an easy option on cakes for a seasonal dessert, but how about something with a less sweet taste, something that can work as either a dessert or a palate reviver between courses, either Japanese or Western?

Rhubarb is flourishing at this time of year and it looks pink, at least when it’s growing, although it tends to lose that blush when it’s cooked. Its sharp tang has been prized and traditionally used in English puddings. Here I present another option and it’s a sakura-rhubarb-jelly-weblight jelly – perfect for modern tastes.

1kg Rhubarb, cut into 1-2cm lengths

850ml water

120g sugar or to taste

1 drop red food colouring (optional)

6 leaves of gelatine soaked in water to soften, or follow the instructions on the box for setting 750ml of liquid.

Pink blossoms as garnish (optional)

You will also need some muslin for straining.

Place the rhubarb and water in a large pan. Bring to the boil and simmer till the rhubarb is tender.

Strain the rhubarb and liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and then pass the resulting clear liquid through a couple of layers of muslin. Measure 750ml. Reserve the cooked rhubarb for use in desserts later.

Return the liquid to a clean pan and add enough sugar to give a slightly sharp flavour. Add jelly-2-weba very small amount of red food colour, if using, to give a pleasing pink hue.

Simmer the liquid till all the sugar has dissolved and add the gelatine but not its water. Stir till all the gelatine has dissolved. Allow the liquid to cool slightly.

Fill champagne glasses, wine glasses, fruit salad glasses, tea glasses or sake cups with the cooling liquid. When they have cooled to room temperature put them in the fridge for 4 or 5 hours. Decorate as desired and serve.

You will still have the cooked rhubarb left over – this will be delicious made into rhubarb and strawberry crumble, or a rhubarb cake to go with a nice cup of tea. Two dishes for the price of one.