- Food & Drink
Funny how, as a grown-up, jelly disappears from your diet. You couldn’t have a party without bowls of jelly and ice cream when I was little. Our school always had square plastic dishes of jelly on the lunch menu, topped with fake cream and diamond shaped sweets. And we ate it after dinner once a week at home.
Yet now, it barely crosses my table. It’s one of those childish things that gets put away, like hopscotch and homework. But when it happens, when you find yourself eating jelly, it’s like a little of the past has sprung to life and made you young again.
One of the last times I remember eating jelly was at HIX Osyter & Chophouse. We went for Sunday lunch and ate fat-marbled roast sirloin with Yorkshire puds and fistfuls of spuds. Afterwards, heaving with grease and carbs, we sat back thinking we couldn’t eat another thing. Then they brought us little glasses of orange jelly and we found our appetites again.
It was such a light, happy way to end the meal. So fresh and joyful that I thought I’d definitely make more jellies. They’d be back on my radar. I mean, why would I not? Around five years later, here I am. Finally juicing a fruit bowl full of blood oranges and simmering it with sheets of gelatine.
This is a really easy recipe. The only thing you need to make it a success is time. Make sure you make the jellies the night before, and the dough for the biscuits too, as that needs a good few hours chilling before being rolled and cut.
Blood Orange Jellies with Orange & Cardamom Biscuits
For the jellies:
6 sheets leaf gelatine
600ml blood orange juice (around 10-12 oranges)
125g caster sugar
Whipped cream and orange zest, to serve
For the biscuits:
125g salted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
75g caster sugar
2 tbsp whole milk
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
6 cardamom pods
175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Snip the gelatine leaves into a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Pour the orange juice into a pan and stir in the sugar. Gently heat, while stirring, for a few minutes till the sugar is dissolved but the juice isn’t boiling.
Drain the gelatine and squeeze out any excess water. Add to the warm orange juice and stir till dissolved. Take the juice off the heat and pour through a heatproof sieve into a jug. Pour the juice into 4 x 200ml serving glasses. Chill in the fridge overnight to set.
Beat the butter in a bowl till soft. Add the sugar and beat together till fluffy. Add the milk and orange zest to the bowl. Crush the cardamom pods and discard the green papery skins. Grind the seeds to a fine powder and add them to the bowl. Beat together.
Sift the flour into the bowl with a small pinch of salt. Beat together to make a sticky dough. Wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
Heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Lightly grease a large baking tray. Dust your work surface with a little flour and roll out the dough till it’s 1/2 cm thick. Stamp out 16 biscuit rounds. Arrange them on a baking tray, well spaced apart and prick with a fork. Bake for 10-12 mins till pale golden. Cool on the tray for 2-3 minutes, then lift onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To serve the jellies, whip a little cream and spoon it on top of the jellies. Sprinkle over a little finely grated orange zest. Serve the jellies with the biscuits.