I love agar agar jellies and this pineapple nata jelly is one of my favorites.
It's a great dessert after a fulfilling meal, one that is light and refreshing with loads of tropical pineapple and yummy nata de coco.
Pineapple Nata Jelly
This is a fairly easy dessert to make. And the ingredients are pretty simple too. I used Japanese jelly powder (konnyaku jelly) and canned pineapple and nata de coco. All in all, only 4 ingredients required for this jelly, sugar being the 4th ingredient.
I made this pineapple flavored nata jelly in a bundt cake tin but it can easily be made into individual serving containers or even a flat tray if you like.
The nata jelly is best-served chill and is good at room temperature too. Once made, it can last in the refrigerator for a good 2 days.
How to Make Pineapple Nata Jelly
- Pineapple cubes (canned) + syrup
- Nata de coco (canned)
- Konnyaku jelly powder (Japanese jelly/agar)
Preparing the jelly mold
- The first step when making jellies is to prepare the containers or molds. This is because the jelly will start to set once the heat turned off, so it is important that the molds are prepared in advance. That way, you get to pour the jelly solution into them straight away without risking it setting in the pot while preparing the molds. I used a Nordic Ware bundt cake tin to make my nata jelly.
Cooking the jelly
- Start by mixing the konnyaku jelly powder with sugar until both are well combined. This is an important step, to avoid the jelly from becoming lumpy when you add it to the liquid solution later.
- Separate the pineapple cubes from the syrup in the can. Pour the syrup into a measuring cup.
- Add water to the syrup until it reaches 950ml. Pour the liquid into a pot and turn on the heat.
- Slowly add the combined sugar and jelly powder into the pot.
- Stir to combine, until the sugar and jelly are completely dissolved.
Assembling the pineapple nata jelly
- Arrange the pineapple and nata de coco at the bottom of the mold. Use a ladle to gently scoop the jelly solution onto the arranged fruit cubes. Add in sufficient jelly such that the fruits are about two-thirds submerged in jelly. The reason for not submerging the fruits completely is to make sure they are connected to the next layer of jelly. If there is nothing to connect the layers, they will separate as you remove the jelly from the mold and when you cut it.
- Let the first jelly layer set. Once the surface is set (test by touching it lightly, if it is firm to the touch, it is ready), pour another layer of the jelly solution. Use a ladle to scoop the jelly into the mold rather than pouring it in. That way, you don't risk making a hole in the layer underneath as you pour in the next layer of jelly. Add enough jelly such that the fruit cubes below are fully covered. To speed the setting process, place the cake tin in a larger tray filled with iced water. That way, the jelly sets faster.
- Let the jelly cool down a little (should still be liquid), and then arrange another row of fruits onto the jelly. The fruits should sink in slightly into the jelly solution underneath.
- Let the jelly layer set. If the water in the tray below is no longer cold, you can replace it with a new batch of cold water to help the jelly set quicker. Once the second layer of the jelly is set, add the final layer of the jelly. Let the jelly chill completely (at least 4 hours).
Removing the jelly from the mold
- Once the nata jelly is completely set and chilled, it can be served.
- Use a jam knife or a plastic spatula to very gently loosen the sides without poking the knife in too much or cutting the sides of the jelly. Turn it out onto a serving plate, shaking or tapping the tin lightly to allow the jelly to loosen out.
Pineapple Nata Jelly
Serving the nata jelly
- This pineapple nata jelly can be served as it is, chilled. Alternatively, you can also add more fruits in the center and serve it that way.
What is konnyaku jelly
- Konnyaku is the Japanese term for a plant-based jelly made from the plant Konjac. You can read all about it here on Wikipedia.
Do you need to line the jelly mold
- No. Jelly molds typically do not require any lining. Simply pour the melted jelly solution into the moulds and let them set.
- Silicone molds are easier to work with for jellies as they can be twisted and pushed to get the jellies out. Metal molds tend to be harder, but you can use a jam knife or even toothpicks to loosen the jellies from the molds before tapping them out.
Why do you need to mix the jelly powder with sugar before adding to the liquids
- Mixing the jelly into sugar helps avoid the jelly powder from forming lumps as it is added to the liquid. If you accidently add the jelly powder separately on its own, you will notice that the jelly lumps will take a very long time to dissolve and some might not even dissolve, leaving you with a lumpy jelly.
Can you substitute konnyaku jelly powder with normal agar agar jelly powder?
- Yes, you can. Simply replace it in the exact same quantity and use the amount of liquid as indicated on the back of the jelly powder packet. If there is no amount given, use the amount provided in this recipe.
How long do you need to chill the nata jelly before serving?
- This would depend on the mold into which the jelly is poured. Smaller, shallower moulds would tent to set faster as complared to larger, deeper ones.
- To test if the jelly is set, press it down lightly with your finger. if it is firm to the touch, the jelly is ready.
How long does the jelly last and how to store it?
- This jelly lasts for a good 2 to 3 days, however, it must be kept chilled in the fridge. Keep it in a covered container to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
- Sometimes, you will notice excess liquid in the jelly container after a day or two. This is normal, the jelly tends to release some liquid as you keep it longer. Having said that, the jelly is still as good to eat, nevertheless, and can be safely consumed.
Cut into smaller pieces when serving the jelly to the children and the old
- Konnyaku jelly or Japanese jelly is of a slightly chewier texture as compared to normal agar agar jelly. Because of this, is it harder to break and chew. Hence, when serving children and old people (who are unable to chew the jelly well), it is advisable to cut the jelly into small pieces to avoid the risk of them swallowing it in large pieces.
Can you add more fruits or substitute with other fruits
- Yes, you certainly can. Do take note, however, that too much of fruits in the jelly can cause the jelly to break easily when transferring out of the cake pan.
Can you omit the syrup from the canned fruits?
- Yes, you can. Simply replace the syrup with water and add an extra 100g sugar for the recipe measurement below. Increase or decrease accordingly if you scale the recipe.
Is Konnyaku jelly suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
- Yes. Konnyaku or Japanese jelly is derived from plants and is absolutely vegan. It's a great dessert choice for both vegetarians and vegans.
Can you use fresh fruits instead of canned fruits?
- Yes, you can. Simply substitute them in the exact same amount. As for the canned syrup, replace the quantity with water and increase the sugar in the recipe to 250g.
- If the jelly package comes with instructions on the amount of water to be used, it is best to follow the instructions on the package. Mine indicated 950ml hence the total liquid (pineapple sugar syrup + water) I used in making the jelly was 950ml.
Pineapple Nata Jelly
Pineapple Nata Jelly Recipe
Here's the full printable version of my pineapple nata jelly recipe:
Pineapple Nata Jelly
- 10 g konnyaku jelly powder (Japanese jelly/agar)
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 550 g pineapple cubes in syrup (approximate can size )
- 550 g nata de coco (approximately can size)
- Prepare the mold. Set it aside.
- Combine the konnyaku powder and sugar in a small bowl. Mix until both are well combined. Set aside.
- Drain the nata de coco. Discard the syrup and set the fruit aside.
- Drain the pineapple syrup from the can into a measuring cup. Add water to the syrup until it reaches 950ml. Pour the measured liquid into a medium sized pot.
- Add the sugar-jelly powder into the pot and cook it until the sugar and jelly is all dissolved. This should take approximately 10 minutes over low heat. Turn off the heat.
- To assemble the nata jelly, arrange a layer of pineapple cubes and nata de coco at the bottom of the tin. Spoon a layer of jelly into the bundt tin until the fruits are about two-thirds submerged in the jelly.
- Let the jelly set, for about 3 to 4 minutes. To speed up the setting process, place the bundt tin in a larger tray filled with cold water.
- Once the first layer of the nata jelly is set, pour the second layer of jelly and arrange another row of pineapple cubes and nata de coco on the jelly layer as it cools down (should still be liquid so that you can press the fruits in slightly. Let the jelly set again.
- Spoon on the final layer of jelly into the mold. Transfer the mold into the refrigerator and let the jelly set completely (for about 4 hours) before serving.
- Turn the jelly out onto a serving plate. Add more pineapple cubes and nata de coco in the center if you wish.
And that's pretty much my tropical pineapple nata jelly recipe.
Pineapple Nata Jelly
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