Aspic jelly is a traditional recipe used in Europe for centuries, and once popular in the United States. It is a delicious when used with meats, seafood, eggs, fruits or vegetables.
Historically, it was used to preserve foods when serving so that foods could sit safely on the buffet table without spoiling, adding decorative appeal as well. Aspic moulds were made in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and chefs became incredibly creative with designs for aspics. Shown below is a very simple ring of vegetables in aspic.
Often, aspic jelly is made in large sheets and cut into shapes for decoration of other dishes, or chopped to create a jewel-like garnish for other dishes. Any aspiring cook must learn this important recipe and technique to be successful in the kitchen.
- 1 liter brown stock
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 40 to 50g gelatin
- bouquet garni
- whipped whites and crushed shells of 2 eggs or white stock
- 125 ml white wine or 4 Tablespoons white wine and 4 Tablespoons dry Sherry (for use with red meats or game)
- Leave the stock to cool completely, if necessary.
- Skim off all the fat.
- Whisk egg whites to soft peaks, add the crushed egg shells.
- Put into an enamel or tin-lined (not aluminum) pan with the rest of the ingredients.
- Stir with a whisk until the gelatine softens; then bring almost to boiling point whisking all the time.
- Remove the whisk and leave for a few minutes.
- Let the liquid rise to the top of the pan, and remove from the heat.
- The egg whites and shells will clarify the stock, picking up all the solids. This will rise to the top of the pan as a floating mass. Leave it intact as much as possible.
- Strain the crust and liquid very gently into a basin through muslin or a jelly bag; do not break the crust as it acts as an extra filter.
- If it is cloudy, strain again to obtain a sparklingly clear jelly.
- Use the jelly for garnishing other dishes or add to pates or terrines or make jelly moulds with meats or vegetables.
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