Citizens, your unquestioned Leader – the ever-questing TFD! – is always on the hunt for great recipes from the Republic of Georgia!
This one certainly fits the bill – and unlike my last post, is anything but complex. Like all Georgian recipes, Pelamushi is insanely good for you and has barely any added sugar. A rare treat indeed! 🙂
As noted on the site mygeotrip.com:
Pelamushi is a sweet dish that resembles a frozen pudding. Georgians usually prepare it in cold season using grape juice and walnuts. More specifically, pelamushi is the shell of Imeretian churchkhela (a Georgian grape candy repared in the western part of Georgia).
For its preparation, you need to boil grape juice with corn flour and sugar until the mass gets thick. Hot pelamushi should be poured into bowls and put in the refrigerator.
When the mass hardens it is time to turn the bowls on the plate. Ready pelamushi can be beautifully decorated with chopped nuts and served.
Traditionally Georgians use the juice of red grapes; the white grapes are used only for weddings – that symbolizes the purity of the bride.
Few recipes are as toothsome and satisfying as this one – but of course, TFD must put his own stamp on it!
Sadly, nowhere else will you find grapes as flavorsome and fragrant as those from Georgia (where winemaking was born several THOUSAND years ago, by the way). I make up for this by first specifying a brand of Concord grape juice that meets my taste criteria, and then adding some saba to it.
Saba is a reduced grape juice from Italy, where the grapes are excellent indeed and will help amp up the flavor! For a more complex flavor profile, I also add a tiny amount of Balsamic Vinegar to it – don’t worry, you won’t taste it.
If you are lazy (and YOU don’t fit that profile, do you Citizen?!), eliminate the saba and balsamic and just use the grape juice.
In this recipe we shall use the classical method of making pelamushi with flour and badagi (reduced grape juice).
As always, enjoy the unmatched flavors of Georgia, Citizens – you can find all of my Georgian recipes if you look on the right hand side of your screen in the tag cloud and click the “Georgian” tag. 🙂 I might suggest pairing this with some Georgian chicken with garlic sauce!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 8 ½ cups slowly reduced over 2-3 hours to 4 ¼ cups (1 liter) red Concord grape juice (reduced grape juice is called badagi in Georgian)
- ⅛ cup saba (optional, omit if not using but TFD strongly encourages you to use it)
- 2 tbsp. good-quality (not great) balsamic vinegar (very optional but TFD likes it – omit if you prefer)
- 200 grams (⅞ cup) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- Add the flour and sugar to a bowl.
- Gradually add up to 500 ml (a scant 2 ¼ cups) of Badagi and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Once the flour, sugar and badagi have been mixed with a spoon, use an electric blender to ensure that the mixture is absolutely smooth.
- Add remaining badagi and balsamic vinegar to a deep cast iron pot and gradually add the flour/sugar/badagi mixture.
- Stir thoroughly.
- Heat over a high temperature, vigorously stirring all of the time. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a low temperature and continue to stir for 8-10 minutes. In the last minute, add the saba, if using.
- During that time it will thicken and you should test it to make sure that it does not taste of flour.
- Remove from the heat and immediately pour into serving dishes or a bowl. It can also be poured into jelly molds to create an attractive shape (TFD endorses this).
- Allow to cool. After a maximum of 2 hours the pelamushi should be firm enough and cool enough to serve. It can be stored in a refrigerator for several days. When removed from the refrigerator the surface of the pelamushi will be speckled with fructose.
- Turn the pelamushi upside down to serve the smooth side facing the diner, garnish with chopped nuts and a mint sprig. Serve immediately.
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