I don’t eat jelly. I’ve never liked the texture as an adult. I’m sure I sucked the goober textured sweet wobbly stuff down in bucketloads as a kid, but as an adult? I just can’t come at it. But, when I received 6.5kgs of blood oranges from Red Belly Citrus, one of the first things I thought of making was a blood orange jelly. And a couple of days later when I picked up a complimentary packet of Herbies Spices Mulling Spices from Cooking Coordinates in Bleconnen, I knew I had to make a mulled wine jelly. A posh, grown up jelly for the adults. I even bought expensive titanium gelatin sheets. Now, that’s hardcore jelly business. I wasn’t going to use the el cheapo powder gelatin (not knockin’ it, use it all the time for everything else), I was bringing out the big guns for this effort. And, as a non-jelly eating person of persuasion, it was pretty alright.
I had to make this one up. There are literally millions of jelly recipes on the internet. There ain’t that many that combine a blood orange juice with spiced mulled wine in the list of ingredients. And to be Franc with you, I forgot to write the recipe down. Frankly, as long as you’ve got the right amount of liquid to gelatin, Bob’s your uncle.
Ingredients – Give or take. Whoops.
- 500ml red wine (you will need the remaining cup of wine for later)
- 200ml blood orange juice
- 1c sugar
- 1TB Herbie’s mulled wine spices (or you could find a recipe for mulled wine and make it fit for purpose)
- zest of the 2 blood oranges
- 7 sheets of gelatin
I used this article on jelly making to figure out the amount of liquid per gelatin sheet. Looking back, it’s 4 years old, so you could very well find a more recent article if you so choose.
First things first, soften your sheet gelatin in warm water. You don’t want it to melt, just soften til it’s all squidgy and feels like that sticky snot-like rubber material you use to play with as a child. What’s that called? Now make the mulled wine. Pour the liquids, zest, sugar and mulled spices into a saucepan and simmer until at a rolling boil. Turn down, let it simmer away for half an hour or so and let your kitchen fill with the delightfully Christmassy spicy fragrance, of yesteryears traditions and woodsy folk. 118 days til Christmas, did you know that?
Take the mulled wine off the heat and let it cool a little, boiling gelatin reduces it’s setting capabilities. I read that. Pour the still hot wine over the squeezed out gelatin and whisk til it’s dissolved and fully whisked in. Pour into your 80’s Tupperware jelly mould. I was going to rub some oil around the edges to ensure a silky smooth unmoulding, and didn’t. Shoulda.
It’s at this point that you polish off the remaining cup of red wine. Why not, can’t let it go to waste. It’s only 10am? It’s wine o’clock somewhere in the world, right? I let mine set overnight in the fridge and took it out an hour or so before I was going to serve it, so it warmed up a little. Things also taste much better if you allow them to come a little closer to room temp before serving, chilled items don’t have the heightened taste as they should.
Unmould slowly onto a lovely crystal platter which will show off the jelly’s beautifully gorgeous red ruby hue. I was so taken with the colour of the jelly that I’d make it again and again just to admire the brilliancy of the redness and clear, unblemished shininess.
It sliced beautifully and was quite a solid mass. Not like the flimsy jelly cups you may have been served before. That’d be the titanic gelatin sheets. Cut up some blood oranges, create a caramelised blood orange syrup to serve on the side, arrange artfully on a plate, drizzle over some cream and serve the wobbly wedge of wonder to your awaiting guests.
I swear I took about 100 photo’s of this jelly I was so entranced with the colour of it. Jelly obsession.
No more blood oranges. They’re all gone 😦