This is a delicious old-fashioned jelly recipe that is firm enough to be used for a molded dessert. It’s quick to prepare and after you’ve tried it I’m sure you’ll prefer it to packet jellies. It can be easily modified to suit diabetics by using a sweetener instead of sugar, and is gluten and dairy free. If the oranges are very sweet you may not even need to use sugar, or may like to use a dash of stevia, natvia, agave syrup or honey instead if you are on a sugar-free and sweetener-free diet. (I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners but I’m suggesting it here for those of you who use them for yourself or loved ones.)
Vegetarians and vegans can substitute an equal amount of agar agar powder for the gelatine.
Ingredients: Four oranges, plus one or two extra if you would like to have orange segments suspended within your jelly. 4 tablespoons gelatin, 175ml (1/2 cup) of water, 175ml (1/2 cup) hot water, up to 4 tablespoons of castor sugar OR a sweetener of your choice.
Pare the rind from the four oranges OR zest them if you like a textured jelly. Place the rind/zest in a saucepan with the half cup of room temperature water. Simmer for five minutes to transfer the orange oils into the liquid. If you chose to use rind parings remove them now.
Now juice the four oranges, remove the seeds and add to the water in the saucepan. Test for sweetness and add sugar or sweetener to taste.
In the half cup of hot water dissolve the gelatin, letting it sit for a minute or so until all lumps have gone. A fork works well for stirring this! Add the gelatin mix into the saucepan of liquid and stir through.
If you would like to add orange segments to your jelly ( a delicious textural addition and well worth the little bit of extra effort), use your additional oranges for this. The youtube clip below shows the easiest way to do this. If you are going to present your jelly in a bowl you could keep some of these segments for decorating the top of your jelly after it has set.
Make sure you have removed any seeds/pips from the segments before you add them to your jelly. Don’t add any extra juice though – just the flesh.
*At this stage you may like to add a dash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier for a tasty adult dessert. Up to a tablespoon works fine.
Lastly, pour the jelly into a serving bowl or a wetted mold. (If you wet the mold first it helps the jelly come out easily later). I was recently given this funky silicone brain mold, and had been looking for a reason to try it out, hence the brain shaped jelly at the top of the page!
Cool in the refrigerator for four hours or until firm. This jelly sets much firmer than a conventional packet jelly. You could actually slice it to serve if you wished. It goes well with a good vanilla icecream, or you could whip a little cream and toast some almond flakes for a fancy finish.
I actually served this jelly with coconut milk yoghurt, for people who can’t eat dairy. Coconut cream would be another good choice. It makes an excellent flavour combination. Enjoy!