Prosecco jelly with raspberry & passionfruit - When disaster strikes
September 1st, 2010

Last Saturday wasn’t exactly my day. I’ve been canning and preserving for many, many years, and consider myself familiar with the whole process – you give me fruit and I can turn it into some delicious jam without having to look up instructions or recipes. And yet, my  self-confidence didn’t prevent me from turning my kitchen into a sublime mess.

Why, what, how?!? I stumbled upon a list of random jam ideas, ones that didn’t make it into my upcoming book: One a scribbled note, it said “Prosecco jelly paired w. berries“. Since we had an almost full bottle of Prosecco sitting in the fridge (no, we didn’t really like this one, they usually don’t last long chilled) and some raspberries, too, so I began pureeing the berries through a sieve.  Oh hello forgotten passion fruit, you look shriveled and perfectly ripe, wouldn’t you want to join the berries? Sounds good so far?

Within minutes my jelly was boiling on the stove and I started pondering over the fact that many people think canning jam is a time-consuming and sticky affair… just in time when the problems started: The jelly didn’t play along as nice as I was used to, it foamed vigorously and wouldn’t calm down. Skimming the foam off wasn’t an option, otherwise I’d also have skimmed off the passion fruit seeds, which I wanted to stay in the jelly. So I decided to wait and see. It took a while, but more than 12 minutes later I was finally able to fill it into the sterilized jars. It was the very last jar I filled, still doing great. With a tea towel in my hand I closed the lid and turned it swiftly upside down… SPLASH! Jelly, Floor – Floor, Jelly. A pretty significant, boiling hot stream shooting for the floor took a detour via my shoes & over a small built-in shelf, where I keep chocolate spreads and honeys. Over the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers.

Completely caught off guard, not even being able to scream, I stood there in my pink misery and thought about my choices. There were no choices. This must have been the biggest test for quick jelling, that mankind has ever seen. My jelly did set – I could see it on the floor, on the drawer handles, on the glass of my beloved thyme honey, everywhere! To make a long story short, I did spent a good hour cleaning up the mess. Today, three days later, the kitchen floor still feels kind of sticky, the jelly on the other hand turned out fantastic – that’s the least it could do, no?

I’m not yet 100% satisfied with this recipe’s process, it still has some minor flaws (persistent foaming, uneven distribution of the passion fruit seeds), that leave some room for improvement. Taste-wise though, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Sterilizing the jars: Put clean and empty jars with separate screw lids in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove them (I use my BBQ tongs), place them on clean kitchen towels and fill them (while still hot!) with the boiling hot jam.

Heat the raspberries in a small saucepan and stir until they start to release their juices (frozen raspberries will take longer, but they can be thawed overnight in the covered saucepan beforehand). Pour through a fine-mesh sieve and press down with a tablespoon or ladle until only the seeds are left in the sieve (discard them). Add the puree to a large pot.

Halve the passion fruits, scoop out the pulp and seeds, then stir into the raspberry puree. Add the Prosecco and the preserving sugar to the pot and stir until combined, then bring to a boil and keep stirring regularly. This is were the bubbly Prosecco started to act up: While boiling jam usually just foams vigorously for 2 or 3 minutes before it calms down, my concoction didn’t want to calm down – I blame the Prosecco’s carbon dioxide. It took more than 12 minutes until the foam finally subsided and vanished completely – and I could transfer the jelly to the sterilized jars.

Fill sterilized jars with boiling hot jelly (use a funnel tube), leaving less than a centimeter of head-space. Close jar with the lid (a tea towel helps to protect your hands) and allow to cool upside down for ten minutes before turning back to an upright position. Store jars in a dark and cool place (given a vacuum has developed).

Prosecco jelly with raspberry & passionfruit

Recipe source: own creation

Prep time: ~30min.

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Ingredients (yields 5-6 small jars):

175 g raspberry puree (~250 g raspberries)

2 passion fruits

500 ml Prosecco

700g preserving sugar 1:1

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