Sweet Grape Jelly (Palouze) | AΦRODITE's KITCHEN | A Cyprus Food Blog

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“Palouze”, or Cyprus grape jelly, is in my opinion most delicious when served warm. It has a jello-like texture with a hint of orange-blossom flavour. It’s an autumn delight that my family makes e.v.e.r.y. year. Without fail. Think of it like home-made grape jello, without any nasty chemicals.

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My family usually makes a lot of “palouze” so the process is A LOT of work. The pictures are from this process (and the process of making “soujoukkos” which is where people dip long strands of threaded almonds into a cauldron of “palouze”), but the recipe below is just for two large portions of “palouze”, which is easily made by one or two people.

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In short: first, the grapes need to be picked. Then the “grape must” needs to be made. And then the “palouze” can be made. So there are at three main steps. I am not sure if you can make “palouze” from any type of grape, but I know we use “xynisteri” grapes, which are the most common white grape grown in Cyprus and the ones that grow in our vineyard. If you have not made “palouze” before or watched someone else do it, this process might sound a bit complicated. But I assure you, it is surprisingly easy to make!

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For those of you outside Cyprus, I think it may be a bit tricky to make the traditional recipe outside of Cyprus because you will need the ingredient described as “white earth” (it is literally called that even though I have been searching for a more technical name!) and sweet-scented pelargonium, which is a type of fragrant plant. I think you may be able to find the latter in dried form in a health-food shop, but you may need to look for a substitute for the former. The reason “white earth” is added, is to purify the grape juice so perhaps there is another substance that can be used to do this. In any event, you may end up creating a better or alternative tasting “palouze” which can also be quite enjoyable!

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akstampLevel of Difficulty: 3/5
Preparation Time: about 60 minutes
Cooking Time: about 20-30 minutes on the stove
Makes about 2 large servings of “palouze”

ingredients

3.5 cups of freshly squeezed grape juice In Cyprus, we use “xynisteri” grapes, which are white grapes. If not in Cyprus, you can try well-ripened Malaga or sultana grapes, or another variety of white vineyard grapes.
1 small Greek Columnar Basil sprig This totals to about 20 small leaves of the Greek Columnar Basil variety. I am sure you can try to make “palouze” without other types of basil, but it may not taste the same as the traditional “palouze”.
1 small sprig of leaves from a sweet-scented Pelargonium Graveolens plant Otherwise known as “kiouli” or “arbaroriza” in Cyprus. You could also try to look for dry leaves in a health food store if you do not live in Cyprus.
3.5 heaped tbs of hard flour (village flour)
1 tbs orange blossom water
0range blossom water for lightly covering the bottom of a dish(es) to store the “palouze”
1 heaped tbs white earth (“asprochoma”) This is literally white soil which can be found in the mountains in Cyprus. It can be found in my family’s vineyard and others often ask my family for it when making “palouze.” If you are looking for some “asprochoma” and cannot find some, contact Afrodite’s Kitchen on christina@afroditeskitchen.com. You use this ingredient to “purify” the grape juice. When you boil the grape juice and add this ingredient, the boiling juice produces a white foam at the top which you skim away.

recipe

1. Wash the grapes, and drain the water. Press and squeeze the grapes to get the juice out.

2. Strain and pour the juice into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface. Once the juice reaches a boil, add the white earth “asprochoma”. This will produce more foam that you need to remove.

3. Once the foam has been cleared, add the sweet-scented pelargonium leaves and basil. Heat for a few minutes and remove the juice from the heat. Remove the leaves and basil from the juice. Let the mixture cool for about ten minutes. The “asprochoma” will sink to the bottom of the juice.

4. Pour the juice into another saucepan being careful not to also pour the “asprochoma” which will be at the bottom of the pan.

5. Take about 1 cup of this juice in a bowl and add about 3.5 heaped tbs of hard flour. Stir well until there are no clumps. Strain the flour-juice mixture into another bowl.

6. Pour the remaining juice (2.5 cups) which is already in a saucepan on the stove on medium heat. Add the flour-juice mixture. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. When the mixture begins to heat up, but before it begins to heavily bubble, add 1 tbs of orange blossom water.

7. Continue to stir. When the mixture begins to have a glossy shine you know it is ready. You also know that the mixture is ready if you put a teaspoon of the “palouze” onto a plate. Wait 10 seconds and turn the plate. If the jelly does not move much, it is done. For beginners, you can begin to test the mixture as soon as you add the orange blossom water.

8. Pour the “palouze” in a shallow dish previously sprinkled with orange blossom water. The sprinkling of orange blossom water is to prevent the “palouze” from sticking to the bottom of the dish, as well as for flavour.

9. Sprinkle with nuts of your choice on top. I added roasted pistachio nuts, but traditionally you can add almonds or walnuts.

10. Eat when warm, or store “palouze” in the fridge for later.

 

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8 Comments

  1. I think the asprochoma is chitosan and the Pelargonium Graveolens is citronella geranium.
    oak

  2. So after a little research I think I figured out that its bentonite clay.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bentonite#Purification

    I just ordered some online to try but i think some health food stores may carry it as well

  3. My pleasure, Im glad to help 🙂

    ok, so it came this morning (i love amazon) and i got to the part where you let the asprochroma settle and im having a little trouble.

    I can see that it has two distinct layers, one thats very clear and one thats more thick and cloudy, but it never fully seporates, and when i try to pour off the top the cloudy part comes with it (but some residue of the astrochroma IS left at the bottom of the pot).

    Anyways, is it ok to use the cloudy part or should i let it settle further?

  4. My pleasure, Im glad to help 🙂

    ok, so it came this morning (i love amazon) and i got to the part where you let the asprochroma settle and im having a little trouble.

    I can see that it has two distinct layers, one thats very clear and one thats more thick and cloudy, but it never fully seporates, and when i try to pour off the top the cloudy part comes with it (but some residue of the astrochroma IS left at the bottom of the pot).

    Anyways, is it ok to use the cloudy part or should i let it settle further?

    • afroditeskitchen

      Hi, from my memory the cloudy part is not good to use because I think it can also be bad for you to ingest, so I would let it settle further. I am trying to remember if when we made this we strained it through a cloth to ensure none of the dirt went through but I can’t remember right now to be honest as it was awhile ago. I might be tempted to do that, and then to let it rest again and see if there is any more cloudy part and re-strain. When we made it, I do remember that we let it rest for a long time – so I wouldn’t use the cloudy part. … Also just to double check, are you 100% sure that the stuff you got from amazon is the same chalk we use in Cyprus – I remember that it separated pretty distinctly.

  5. Ok ill try straining it and let it settle for a while.

    Im not 100% sure its the same, but I see it marketed as being used for winemaking, and i checked its food grade and nontoxic. So at least it shouldn’t be harmful if some amount is left over.

    i think maybe I didnt really describe it well. It does separate into 2 well defined layers, but the cloudy part just doesnt completely settle to the bottom, which just makes it hard to pour.

    Anyways ill try your suggestion and see how it looks, i have a feeling im just being impatient since im super excited to make soujouko 🙂

  6. hey so I just wanted to follow up. I let it settle for a while (overnight) and just poured off the top and it made some beautiful clear grape juice so it seems like the bentonite clay was the right ingredient.

    The rest of the recipe was pretty straightforward so I didn’t have any trouble and in the end it tasted just like i remember 🙂 Thanks again!

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