Earl grey and pear pastilles Makes 60-65

Homes & Gardens - - NEWS -

Soft and del­i­cate, these pastilles need plenty of space when pack­ing – and don’t for­get the waxed pa­per.

Veg­etable oil, for greas­ing 8 ripe pears, ap­prox­i­mately 900g peeled and cored weight 4 tbsp le­mon juice 700g caster sugar 2 Earl Grey tea bags 90ml ap­ple-based liq­uid pectin 300g gran­u­lated sugar

Lightly grease a 20x20cm bak­ing tin and line the base and sides with cling film. Cut the pears into small pieces and cook in a pan with the le­mon juice and 4 ta­ble­spoons caster sugar for 5 min­utes, un­til just soft­ened. Stir in the tea bags, cover and re­move from the heat. In­fuse for 5 min­utes, then re­move the tea bags, squeez­ing any juices into the pears, be­fore dis­card­ing. Blend to a smooth purée, then strain through a fine sieve.

In a medium heavy-based pan, stir the purée and the re­main­ing caster sugar over a low heat to dis­solve the sugar. Add a sugar ther­mome­ter to the pan and in­crease the heat to medium. Sim­mer, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til it reaches 107°C. Add the pectin and con­tinue to stir. Once the tem­per­a­ture re­turns to 107°C, test the set­ting point by drop­ping a lit­tle mix­ture into a bowl of chilled wa­ter. If it sets into a ball, it’s ready, if not, stir over the heat for an­other 2-3 min­utes.

Pour into the pre­pared tin. Once cooled, cover with cling film and set overnight in the fridge.

The next day, cover a bak­ing sheet with the gran­u­lated sugar. Turn the set jelly onto the sugar, then care­fully peel off the cling film. With a lightly greased large cook’s knife, cut into small di­a­monds. Toss the jel­lies in sugar and leave to dry for 1 hour be­fore pack­ing in boxes be­tween lay­ers of waxed pa­per. Keep in the fridge.

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