Wednesday, December 19, 2012

espelette ♥

 never mind the müesli :)

 discovering espelette pepper jelly and falling in love was the same thing. like any  new love it turned into an obsession and thus started the quest for espelette jelly. in the meantime i bacame aquainted with the village and its products.

it was impossible to get the jelly here, i would inevitably  be confronted with the usual no, but we have tomato jelly sales pitch. i finally located some on line stores in france, however, having them deliver was akin to a nightmare of bureaucracy  and red tape, not the way to go.

thus was the situation when a year ago while in aix en provence i found ground pimient at the market. a pinch goes a looong way and the 50 gram jar  i bought is still two thirds and three quarters full :)
then last september happiness appeared in getaria in  the shape of a 50 gram jar of dried and ground pimient d' espelette without the seeds. i had enough, i could splurge and try my hand at making jelly myself.
my trusty chemist from around the corner had pectin, which incidentally is the E440 listed in food labels. why oh why doesn't the food industry list ingredients for the lay-man-woman? 
i guess the operative word is industry.

locating loupiac wine was as simple as going to another trusty purveyor and having him order it.
you can use any sweet wine, but i wanted to :
1. try it after having made the discovery this september 
2. being coherent and keeping the ingredients  more or less within the region of la côte basque.
a word of warning though: port and pedro ximenez have too much character, try  any muscat  as 
moscato bianco, muscat de frontignan, muscat d'alsace. or if splurging nothing better than sauternes.

if you've made jelly before this is a no brainer. if you haven't do not dissolve the pectin in cool water or you'll be stirring till you die without being able to get rid of the curds.
potand keep an eye on the sugar content because it is the sugar that jells pectin, but you don't want the jelly too sweet or it will overpower the spiciness.                                                                                                                  

my quantities are as the saying here goes, eyemetered, that is very ballpark. 
the jelly is moredrately hot, if a hotter one is preferred add 1/2 -1  extra teaspoon of pimient.

here we go: this fills two 50 gram pots.

3 teaspoons pectin
1/3 bottle sweet wine 
2 teaspoons ground pimient d'espelette.
1 teaspoon sugar
dash of apple cider vinegar

cook over moderate heat until it gels.
while still hot transfer to sterilised pots.
if too solid re heat and add more wine, if too runny  reheat add more pectin to the hot liquid.
i didn't skim the froth while cooking as it would have meant throwing away precious ground  pimient.
i can live with a cloudy jelly.

it is delicious with blue and goat cheese as well as a good brie de meaux and the left over sweet wine.
also divine with lamb.

and what if pimient d' espelette is unavailable ? my dears,  here is one and another fierce sub.
WEAR GLOVES and MASK while handling habaneros!!!

bon appetit. 

neki desu
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  1. This brings to mind the hot pepper jelly that my hubby's mom used to make. OH so good.

  2. Thank you, thank you! My sister grows, dries, and grinds hot peppers to give as gifts, so I've got the hot stuff available. Wine also no problem. This sounds great!


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