One of the simplest Molecular Gastronomy techniques is cheap yet powerful. Gelification simply means turning something into a gel. Your mother or granny (or come to that the people who cooked your school/hospital/prison dinners) used gelification if only when making jellies (what the Americans call Gello).
This post will introduce the fun and delicious results you can get through gelification by making edible pearls.
What you will need
Juice (I used commercial beetroot and purple carrot 1 This commercial juice is sweetened with apple juice, so I’ll use the pearls as a decoration/sauce for roast pork. but I have also used orange and lemon, and balsamic vinegar pearls are really fun for brightening a salad – almost any liquid you can eat can make edible pearls)
Agar agar sounds complicated but you can buy it at many Asian stores, some supermarkets, or online from stockists like Equagold. 2 $16 sounds expensive for a mere 60g, But that will make 60 times the quantity I used for Barbara and me, and if your local stores have it they will be much cheaper.
Tall glass or jam jar the taller and narrower the better within reason.
Put the oil in the glass or jar (not too full, you need space for the juice) in the freezer for about 30 mins (some oils like olive need to be watched, so they do not set to solids) others can be left much longer.
Sprinkle the agar agar on top of the juice in a pan, warm till just bubbling, stirring as needed.
Dribble the hot (as near boiling as is comfortable) juice 3 Agar agar sets at 32-40⁰C but only melts at 80⁰C into the oil. Enjoy watching the pearls form as they drift to the bottom of the glass. As in this video:
Coming soon: gelification recipes and suggestions, starting with a Vegan crème brûlée with citrus pearls.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||This commercial juice is sweetened with apple juice, so I’ll use the pearls as a decoration/sauce for roast pork.|
|2.||↑||$16 sounds expensive for a mere 60g, But that will make 60 times the quantity I used for Barbara and me, and if your local stores have it they will be much cheaper.|
|3.||↑||Agar agar sets at 32-40⁰C but only melts at 80⁰C|