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Gelatin and Grape Gelee

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello Pastry Chefs,

I'm hoping that someone here can help me. 

I am the chef of a small, bistro restaurant.  I also do all the desserts. 

I am having trouble with one of my desserts.  I am trying to make a grape gelee using a concord grape reduction, cooling that down and then adding gelatin to that, letting it bloom and then heating that mixture up.  It never gels.  Is there something in the concord grape juice, an enzyme or something, that prevents it from gelling.  The only way I have gotten it to gel is too...gasp... (add some grape Jello).

Any suggestions?

Thank you!

post #2 of 10

@Sherman452,

Hey Chef, I'm thinking that after making your reduction you should strain and add the gelatin while warm or hot, sheet or powder. Stir it in, don't whip it, it will make it cloudy. Then refrigerate. I think reheating after adding the gelatin is your problem.

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post #3 of 10

I agree with Panini. Also grape jell-o has none or very little grape in it. Most  real grapes are treated with Sulfur Dioxide to stop spoiling or mold. Sulfur will retard the gelling  procedure.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 10

Hi Sherman452,

 

There are no protein digesting enzymes in concord grape juice unlike in papaya or pineapple.  I do not think this is at play here.  I know I am coming from left field but according to many references acidity affects the gelation time and strength of gelatin.  According to the reference below, it appears that tartaric acid (the main acid in grapes) retards the gelation of gelatin. 

http://chestofbooks.com/food/science/Experimental-Cookery/Gelation-And-Stiffening-Power-Of-Gelatin-Continued.html

I actually suspect that the concord grapes you have must be very ripe so they are not very acid to start with and the acid they do contain is tartaric which doesn't help your cause.

 

Adding Jello will work because it contains specific acids that work well with gelatin, adipic and fumaric acid, and, acid buffers, phosphate and citrate. (http://www.labelwatch.com/prod_results.php?pid=142505)

INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Gelatin, Adipic Acid  (for Tartness), Contains Less than 2% of Artificial Flavor, Disodium Phosphate and Sodium Citrate  (Control Acidity), Fumaric Acid  (for Tartness), Tannic Acid, Red 40, Blue 2.
 
this would be my approach:
add lemon juice (easy) if you want to stick with using gelatin
Use pectin instead (with lemon juice works better)
 
if you are looking for cutability (make pieces) stick to gelatin but for gelling thickness only go for pectin.
 
P.S. A little factor that may be at play here: powdered granular gelatin (Jello) has a higher bloom index (stronger gel making capacity) than sheet gelatin.  Maybe just adding more sheet gelatin and waiting longer could be the trick.
 
good luck!
Luc H.
 
I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Luc H.-  Thank you for that very useful information!!  I can certainly experiment with a little more acidity.  What if I just use a pectin based concord grape jelly?  Would that be essentially what I am looking for?

I cannot stand the taste of the grape Jello, but it definitely helped the concord juice gel.  I will keep experimenting.

Thanks, again!

post #6 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sherman452 View Post

What if I just use a pectin based concord grape jelly?  Would that be essentially what I am looking for?

gelatine is good to make shapes, as in cut into squares.  I assumed that is what you were going for by adding gelatin to your grape reduction.  If your looking for a collapsible gel,like a fruit filling, then grape jelly will work.

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to make layers in between some panna cotta.  I think I'm looking for a firmer gelling of the grape juice. 

post #8 of 10

@Sherman452,

Chef, I not real sure about your idea. I just think there will be different textures inside the dessert that may not work. Contrast in texture is great but with an enhancer. I'm thinking you might be better off using your panna recipe and doing something like a Bavarois with a grape puree on the bottom. You can pour a half of the vessel and top it off with the bavarois or Bavarian cream. and maybe boost the bottom color with a little color

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

I was able to make one batch of the dessert when I was experimenting.  The peanut butter panna cotta and the grape gelee tasted great together.  And it looked really great with the dark layer of the grape gelee and the light panna cotta.  It was a hit.  But now I can't get it to set up again and that's what I am having trouble with.  I'm going to experiment with some of the suggestions I've received here.

Maybe a peanut butter pastry cream is the way to go.

post #10 of 10

@Sherman452,

I didn't realize that is what you were going for. Sounds great. Chef, make sure your gelatin is not getting old. Even if you bump up the gelatin without going overboard, you can always let them sit out for a while before serving to avoid any rubbery taste.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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