If you were a sporty type at school, you may remember those little orange slices that were given out at half-time during matches. A momentary respite from jumping and leaping in the air on a cold windy netball court in the depths of winter seems to be a vivid memory from my early teenage years. Naturally, giving you a recipe for orange slices may have proven uninspiring so, with a bit of cooking magic, I would like to introduce you to my watermelon Jell-O shots... A happy walk down memory lane with a very modern twist. For an alcoholic version, replace ½ cup of the water with some vodka. Excerpt from Everyday Easy by Lorraine Pascale.
From Everyday Easy by Lorraine Pascale. Text copyright 2012 by Lorraine Pascale. Photographs copyright 2012 by Myles New. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Equipment: Kettle, small wide bowl, large tray or 2–3 12-cup muffin pans, heatproof measuring cup
Put the kettle on to boil. Then put the gelatin leaves into a small wide bowl, cover them with cold water, and set aside to soften.
Cut the limes in half lengthwise, rather than around their middles, and, using a spoon, scoop out the juicy flesh. It takes a bit of wiggling and getting squirted by the juice, but you will get there! The trick is to not break through the lime skin. (You don’t need the flesh for this recipe, but afterward I like to squeeze the juice out and freeze it in an ice cube tray for handy lime juice needs at other times.)
Set each half, cut-side up, on a large tray, or put each one in the cup of a 12-cup muffin pan. They fit perfectly and don’t move around too much that way. You will need two or three 12-cup muffin pans, but if you don’t have enough, you can nestle the excess lime shells on top in between the others and they should sit still.
Next, break up the strawberry gelatin a bit and put it into a heatproof measuring cup, then pour over enough hot water to reach 1 ¾ cups.
Pick up the gelatin leaves — they will feel all soft. Gently squeeze out as much liquid as you can from them, discard the bowl of water, and then put the soft gelatin leaves into the gelatin and hot water. Leave to stand for a few minutes until everything begins to melt, then stir a little until everything is completely dissolved. Next, stir in the sugar, if using, until dissolved also.
Use the gelatin to fill each lime shell right up to the very top so it is almost overflowing. Let the shells cool down for about 5 minutes and then put them in the freezer for about 25 minutes to firm up (but not much longer or they will freeze!). They will set in the fridge also, but allow double the time.
Meanwhile, prepare the passion fruit by cutting it (or them) in half and scooping out the seeds onto paper towels. Dab the seeds dry with the towels and set them aside.
Halfway through the setting time (once the gelatins are just beginning to firm up), remove them and carefully arrange the passion fruit seeds on top. Arrange about six seeds on each one, keeping them away from the middle as you will be cutting them in half later, and lightly press each one down a little so it will set into the gelatin. Then return to the freezer until completely firm.
Once they are firm, remove them from the freezer. Then, using a sharp, nonserrated knife, cut them in half, straight down (again, lengthwise), and there you have it!