Agar agar jelly is a delightfully refreshing treat on its own. It’s also perfectly versatile so you can add just about any fruit to it. The sweeter the better … according to my sweet tooth. Ha!
What is agar agar?
Agar or agar agar comes from red algae and has gelling properties after being heated and cooled.
It usually comes in powder form or dried strands. And both types melt at about 85°C (or 185°F) and then solidify at around 35°C (or 95°F). So it can become jelly at room temperature, even here in the Caribbean.
That’s why agar agar is a wonderful vegan alternative to gelatin.
Just so you know, agar is sometimes called kanten, Ceylon moss, and China grass.
As for nutrition, 100 grams of agar agar can provide about 30% of your recommended dietary fiber. And more than 100% for iron and magnesium.
We are all used to brilliant red pomegranate seeds, but I got my hands on a white variety. The pulp around the seeds are either clear or light pink. It’s so pretty and not sour at all. Yay!
Agar Agar Jelly with Pomegranate
This agar agar jelly is a three-ingredient recipe: agar agar, pomegranate seeds, and sugar. Does water count as an ingredient? You’ll need it too.
The strands should soak in water for an hour or so. While that’s happening, I like to add the pomegranate seeds to the sugar and squeeze the pulp a bit. This adds a mild pomegranatey flavor to the sugar which comes through in the jelly.
Once soaked, heat on a medium flame to melt all the strands. Stir continuously until everything has dissolved. You shouldn’t see any faint white strands or specks when this happens. The liquid should be completely clear and slightly viscous. This could take anywhere from ten minutes to twenty.
It’s important that the strands fully dissolve! If you are using agar agar powder, you can skip the soaking step. But the powder must melt properly.
With everything dissolved, add the sugar and pomegranate seeds. Stir again until the sugar dissolves.
Transfer to your mold and chill for a couple hours. Once it’s firm, you can flip the agar agar jelly or serve as is.
Agar Agar Jelly with Pomegranate Seeds
- 1½ cup water
- ⅓ cup agar agar strands or 1 tsp agar agar powder
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- Add the agar agar strands to the water and leave to soak and re-hydrate for 30 – 60 minutes. Skip this step if you are using agar agar powder.
- Bring the water to a boil on medium heat and stir continuously to prevent the strands (or powder) from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Continue boiling until the water is clear and everything has dissolved. This can take 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
- Add the pomegranate seeds and sugar to the liquid.
- Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Pour the liquid into molds.
- Stir while cooling to distribute the seeds throughout the jelly.
- Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Serve as is or flip the jelly, slice and serve.
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