Jelly from potatoes

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I’ve spent all day sieving things.

First there was the nettle plant food.  When decanting and straining it, it’s wise to ensure the jugs and bottles can’t tip over into your shoes.  A peg for the nose seems like a good idea.  The slimy remains go to enliven the compost bin.

Provident housekeepers collect some bottles beforehand, rather than having to rummage for the nearly empty ones at the back of the cupboard.

More seed compost to be made.  I think it does help with the tiny seeds, though the beans probably don’t care.

A job I have been putting off:  as the glaze buckets haven’t been touched for so long, the glazes need to be sent through a fine sieve to deal with lumps, ingredients which have settled out, insect corpses etc.

Then, taking a hint from Alice Thomas Ellis (see previous post) I tried the recipe she quotes for making jelly from potatoes.  First grate your potatoes (I’ve lost my shredding disc, so just chopped them in the processor).

Stir grated potato thoroughly in a good quantity of water, and strain into a jug.  Allow the water to settle, then carefully pour off the clear liquid to find a layer of fine starch grains below. At this point, it no longer smells of potato.

Add boiling water, stirring furiously, to make a jelly.  Bizarrely, this works.

I then made some more potato starch and a syrup from blackcurrants and sugar, and added the boiling syrup to the starch instead of water. I then set it in the fridge.  The consistency is a bit odd, tending to drool off the spoon like a giant amoeba, but it’s definitely edible, perhaps with a little cream or ice cream or some fresh fruit as garnish.

Perhaps I should reassure everyone that I don’t plan to try the candied mice.

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5 responses »

  1. I suppose it’s pretty much the same idea as using cornstarch as a thickener – I wonder which of the various possibilities are most effective? Considering your drooling jelly, I suspect potato starch isn’t one of the more powerful thickeners around, but it probably has its uses…hmmm….going into experimental cook mode……..

    Thank you, I think, for triggering one of my lurking obsessions (not that that’s ever hard to do!) 😉

    • Yes, exactly the same, except I think the potato starch was even finer and made a lighter and more delicate ‘jelly’ when done with water – more like arrowroot, perhaps, though I haven’t used that often enough to really know its tricks and its manners. The currant syrup was a bit too heavy with sugar, and made the jelly ponderous.

      What surprised me was how easy it was to extract the starch without any apparent trace of potato left behind, even the smell. If you were picky you could remove the gross matter with the sieve, and then strain the liquid again through a jelly bag, but I don’t think it would make a lot of difference.

      Hope you are going to keep us posted with your experimental cooking?

  2. Re the nettle plant food. I’ve got some of this on the go, also some made from comfrey, which the old lads on the allotment used to use for feeding tomatoes. A very important tip, and one I have learnt to my cost, it to wear rubber gloves at all times when handling it because your hands stink for days otherwise, no matter how much you wash them. It’s good stuff, but I don’t know if you can make jelly out of it.
    Alen McF

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