Make jelly for yourself not the kids!
When I was little, I loved nothing more than chewing on jelly cubes usually red and made by Rowntree. They were almost as good as the “proper” jelly itself.
As I got older, I rarely ate jelly. It was only when Marks & Spencer introduced their pots of raspberry jelly and again I was hooked.
More recently, Bompas and Parr have taken jelly making to the extreme. They create all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes and flavours. Their book inspired me to try making my own jelly. Yes, I could buy jelly cubes, but I wanted something fresh and fruity and natural. It really is surprisingly easy to make.
There’s nothing like cutting into a jelly with that satisfying squelch and enjoying the cool burst of flavour.
And if you want an excuse, why not make some for Hallowe’en and add some scary items in and on top of the jelly. Haribo type sweets work very well in the mixture. This is your chance to seek out jelly moulds – Ikea do some good ones, or even go down the vintage route.
Insipired? This recipe is very fruity, with a nice touch of sharpness. It’s well worth making the effort!
Jelly always seems to make everyone smile when it makes an appearance. It’s easy to make but just give it time to set. Top tip: Measure the volume of your container before you begin. Mine could take 1 litre of liquid. You can use the skins of the oranges to make candied peel.
Serves 6 Chilling time 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Sugar Syrup (for the orange jelly)
50 gr of sugar
50 ml of water
Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
300 ml of orange juice (approximately 4 large oranges)
Juice of ½ lemon
100 ml of sugar syrup
Leaf gelatin (5 leaves – easy to find in Supermarket’s baking section eg Dr Oetker)
Put the orange juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup in a jug. Top up to 500 ml with water.
Cut the leaves of gelatin up into 2 cm strips. Place in a heatproof bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the juice mixture and let it soften. You will be putting this bowl into a saucepan so check the size.
Bring about 3 cm water to the boil. Put the heatproof bowl in and turn down the gas. The gelatin will dissolve. When it has dissolved pour the juice mixture in and stir well. When it has cooled pour through a sieve to capture any bits into the mould. Once cool place in the fridge to set (this will depend on how cold your fridge is. I’d allow 3 hours minimum)
150 ml blackcurrant syrup or cordial (Belvoir make a lovely blueberry and blackcurrant cordial)
350 ml water
Leaf gelatin (5 leaves)
This is made in the same way as the orange jelly. Mix the cordial and water together in a bowl, then follow instructions above. Leave the jelly mixture out of the fridge until the orange jelly has set. Pour on top of the orange jelly when the first has set and return to the fridge.
To demould, pop the jelly mould into a larger container filled with water. Leave no more than 30 seconds and turn out. For Hallowe’en you can pop in scary sweets or add some on top, it’s up to you!
Use Vege-gel or agar agar if you are making this for a vegetarian but follow the instructions on the pack as it does differ to leaf gelatin.