Summer fruit is the perfect dessert. But if you’re looking for a spectacular yet healthy way to finish a meal, go no further than this easy recipe.
(4 large or 8 small serves)
1 litre clear apple juice
3 – 4 tsp agar agar (see note)
pinch of salt
Juice and zest of half a lemon (optional)
1 punnet blueberries, washed and dried
Bring the apple juice to a simmer in a medium sized pot and whisk in the agar. Simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, whisking frequently until agar is fully dissolved. If the juice has created any scum on the surface, skim it off. Once dissolved take the liquid off the heat and stir in the salt, lemon juice and zest.
Distribute the rinsed and dried blueberries in cups or bowls (clear ones look prettiest) and pour over the liquid. Leave to stand at room temperature (or if it’s a hot day, in the fridge) for a couple of hours until set.
Variation: any fruit juice (fresh or good quality bottled) and fruit can make a great kanten. Clearer juices show off the fruit best.
A note on agar agar: this crystalline substance is technically a sea vegetable and used widely in Japanese and vegetarian cookery as an alternative to gelatine. A little goes a long way. Most recipes suggest 1 tsp per cup (250 mls) of juice however this produces a very firm jelly. I’d suggest ½ tsp per cup for a soft but set gel, or experiment with a small quantity of juice until you find your favourite consistency. Take a look at Modernist Cooking Made Easy for a more scientific approach to using agar.
This recipe was first published in the January 2015 newsletter. Sign up for a free dose of great food, healthy links and original articles on wellbeing every month.