I discovered the inspiration for this recipe ages ago in an issue of the Australian edition of Vogue, a magazine I tried to hunt down as often as possible because it had a consistently innovative food section. Though my Jell-O years already were well behind me, I was struck by the cleverness of this recipe, particularly as a healthy snack for children, and even more particularly at Halloween.
It couldn’t be much simpler: two ingredients, no added sugar. You combine fresh orange juice with unflavored gelatin, then chill the mixture in the empty orange shells. Once the shells are cut up, the individual wedges are ringers for actual orange slices — except that they jiggle in a slightly spooky, Halloween-ish way.
If you’re moved to stray from the recipe, one proportion should not change — you will need one package of gelatin for every 1¾ cups of strained fruit juice.
I’ve also included an adult variation on this recipe — the addition of vodka. If using, be certain to measure it carefully. More than the suggested 1½ ounces of vodka, and the gelatin won’t set up.
You don’t need to save this for Halloween. Minus the vodka, it is a child-friendly after-school snack any time of the year.
JIGGLY ORANGE WEDGES
Time: 4 hours 20 minutes (20 minutes active)
3 navel oranges
2 juice oranges (such as Valencia)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1½ ounces vodka (optional)
Cut all 5 oranges in half crosswise, then carefully juice them. Do not crush the skins of the navel oranges. Strain the juice through a mesh colander, then measure out 1¾ cups.
Carefully scrape out and discard the pulp from the navel orange halves to form 6 half shells. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of the juice with the gelatin. Set aside for 5 minutes to let the gelatin dissolve. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture is clear, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the remaining juice and the vodka, if using. Transfer the liquid to a measuring cup or small pitcher to make it easy to pour.