Featured Ingredient: Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is made from grape pressings that have never been permitted to ferment into wine. These grape pressings are boiled down into a dark syrup and then aged for various amounts of time under various conditions. Gourmet balsamic vinegar is often slowly aged in wooden barrels. It’s usually a good idea to pay a little extra for a quality bottle of balsamic vinegar. Some balsamic vinegars are aged for over 100 years and cost a small fortune. I would say that you can get really great stuff for between $15 and $20.
One of the food magazines I read monthly for kitchen inspiration is Bon Appetit. A recent issue included a recipe for balsamic jelly formed in ramekins. So being a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, I thought I would give these a try in muffin cups. The flavor of the balsamic vinegar is definitely in the forefront with the sweet honey playing a supporting role. The magazine recommends serving on toast with whipping butter. I did not have any whipping butter, but it’s good on its own spread on hearty, whole grain toast.
These sweet and sour jelly molds would also be a cool addition to a cheese platter.
I only made half the original recipe because a little of this jelly goes a long way because of the pronounced punch of the balsamic vinegar. If you want to make more, simply double all the ingredients. If I make these again, I think I’ll try adding in some orange zest.
Does anyone out there have any other suggestions for what to do with this stuff?
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoon honey
Add vinegar to a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand for 10 minutes. Heat vinegar over medium, stirring often, until gelatin has dissolved and vinegar is warm (do not boil). Remove from heat and stir in honey. Divide mixture among 3 medium sized muffin tins. Chill for 8 hours to let set.