Agar flakes

I’ve had another first experience today. Earlier in the year, I made rhubarb jelly out of juice left over from stewing a few stalks. This was a success which I wanted to repeat – but since lockdown I’ve not been able to find any gelatine.

Traditionally, I make Turkish Delight at this time of year. Since a gelling agent of some kind is an imperative, I therefore decided to try my luck at the health food store we go to during our monthly outing into Leeds.

The upshot is that we came home with a bag of Agar flakes, which I had heard of but never used before.

After collecting elderflower at the farm where I am part of a vegetable CSA, I was making cordial this afternoon and realised there weren’t enough bottles. Usually, in this situation, I pour any excess into jam jars for immediate consumption – or it goes in the freezer. This time, however, the Agar flakes beckoned.

They were easy to use: simply add 1 tablespoon of the flakes per 240 ml of liquid and heat without stirring until the mixture boils. Then boil until all the flakes have dissolved.

Having seen how glorious the rose bush is at present, I couldn’t resist adding petals, which would soon have fallen, to the jelly. It will be interesting to see if any of their flavour infuses the jelly but in any case I think they are decoration for what would otherwise be a plain dessert.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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6 Responses to Agar flakes

  1. I’m so glad you mentioned this, Helen. I used agar years ago and had forgotten about it! This is especially good for those following vegetarian or vegan diets, as opposed to gelatin. Your jelly looks lovely with the rose petals!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Becky.

      I’m no longer vegetarian but I do have qualms about the life of the animals whose bones have been used to make gelatine. They may well have been kept in factory farms, for example. So, I’m glad to have been introduced to Agar flakes.

  2. That looks really pretty! I haven’t tried agar flakes but have heard of them. My elderflowers are just opening so I will be making things with them soon too.

    • Helen says:

      I tried some of the jelly this morning. In terms of jelly consistency it was fine, so would say Agar flakes are a good deal (the packet cost me about £6 but will last a lot longer than a packet of gelatine sheets).

      On the other hand, the taste of the elderflower was too strong for my liking. I realised, of course, that I would normally dilute a cordial, and this had not been done for the jelly. It might work okay as an accompaniment to fruit or even as a preserve, so all is not lost, though. The rose petals were a bit chewy!

      Anyway, thank you for the compliment 😊

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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