These little gems are somewhere between a fancy pate de fruit and a klassy jello shot. But they are decidedly delicious. The kicker: they take about a half hour to make. Yes, you can stir your path to fruit paste sainthood by slowly reducing whole fruit and sugar until it surrenders its liquid and sets. Or, you can cheat, as I have, and fill that free time with a pre-party cocktail.
Speaking of cocktails, the variations to this recipe are as infinite as a cocktail itself. I've chosen Vincent Cranberry Juice and Oregon pinot noir with some fresh ginger thrown in, but you could just as easily incorporate liquor, a splash of bitters, some orange zest - you get the idea.
Pinot Cranberry Gems
Makes about 40 gems
2 tablespoons (2 packets) gelatin
1 cup pinot noir
3/4 cup Cranberry Juice
1 1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
1 cup fine white sugar
Chill an 8-inch square baking dish.
In a small bowl, soften the gelatin in the wine.
In a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat, add the cranberry juice and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, stir to dissolve, then allow to gently boil for 10 minutes.
Add the ginger, then the wine-gelatin mix and continue to gently boil on medium heat, this time stirring frequently.
Pour into the chilled pan and let set at room temperature.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once the jello has set, cut it into 1-inch squares and roll through the sugar to coat. Transfer to your lined baking sheet.