Blood orange and cardamom jelliesServes 8
Blood oranges are available only for a short time; at other times of the year make this with ordinary oranges. Serve in pretty glasses (Moroccan tea glasses are lovely).
For the jellies
- 4 blood oranges
- 950ml ( 1 ¾ pints) blood orange juice
- juice of ½ lemon
- ground seeds from 10 cardamom pods
- 75g (2 ½oz) caster sugar
- 20g (¾oz) leaf gelatine
For the candied peel
- 2 oranges (preferably blood oranges)
- 225ml (8fl oz) blood orange juice
- 100g (3 ½oz) caster sugar
- sweetened whipped cream
- To make the jellies, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of each orange. Set on its base and, with a very sharp knife, remove the peel and pith in strips, working from top to bottom. To remove the segments, cut between membrane and flesh with a fine, sharp knife and carefully slide each segment out.
- Put the orange and lemon juices, cardamom and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Put the gelatine in a dish and cover with water. Leave to soak for 3–5 minutes until soft. Squeeze out the excess liquid and add the gelatine to the warm juice, stirring to dissolve. Divide the orange segments between 8 glasses, then pour in the jelly. Leave to cool, then refrigerate.
- For the candied peel, finely pare the zest of the oranges (avoid the white pith) and cut into fine julienne strips. Put in a saucepan with the orange juice and sugar. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated (about 30 minutes). Scoop the zest out with a fork, gently separate and lay on baking parchment. Put somewhere warm to dry.
- Top the jellies with whipped cream and the candied peel.
All you have to remember is that it takes 25g (1oz) gelatine to set 1.2 litres (2 pints) liquid and any juice can be turned into jelly. The only thing which mucks up this ratio is alcohol (it inhibits gelatine’s setting properties), so closely follow any jelly recipes you see which include alcohol.
Orange and rosemary jellies
Citrus juice with rosemary is deliciously fresh and herby. Make as above but, instead of cardamom, add 2 rosemary sprigs to the juice before heating. Discard these before you add the gelatine. You can use grapefruit or pink grapefruit juice instead, but you will need more sugar.
Apple and blackberry jellies
Make as above but use clear apple juice, the juice of a whole lemon and, instead of cardamom, a cinnamon stick (discard it before adding the gelatine). Add whole blackberries before the jelly sets.