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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Citrus Jellies

It transpires that things really do happen in threes, like the arrival of those proverbial buses.  Shortly after the supper mentioned in my last post (which saw the announcement of one friend's pregnancy), the other friend revealed that she was also in the family way, and a couple of weeks after that, I too had fallen.  We are actual living proof that there's a baby boom on.

Pregnancy has, thankfully, not been anywhere near as scary/debilitating/uncomfortable as I had feared.  There was, admittedly, a period that started around the six-week mark in which I began permanently to feel as though I was on a listing boat.  This lasted for approximately eight weeks and corresponded with a three-week stint in Canada to celebrate my brother-in-law's wedding.  The timing wasn't ideal on a number of levels, not least being the fact that it confirmed to me that the enjoyability of weddings is proportionate to the extent to which one can get royally stuck into the fizz.  The upside was that I looked quite thin in my wedding outfits, and that my better half gave me a pass to return to our hotel room at any point during the proceedings, meaning that I was allowed to watch as many back-to-back episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress"* as I wanted. 

During those eight weeks I could just about stomach the following: fruit (especially nectarines), sesame seed bagels with cream cheese, pasta with butter and parmesan or very plain tomato sauce, margherita pizza, those little Kinder chocolate bars, and cereal (though not muesli or granola).  A whiff of a cooked vegetable or piece of meat was liable to result in a violent attack of retching, actual sicking up being a frustratingly rare occurrence.  

I reckon that I would have been able to stomach these citrus jellies during the morning sickness period if only I had been able to rouse myself from the sofa.  They are a good way of using up a glut of citrus fruit which, if you are the recipient of a weekly veg box as I am, is one of the perils of the season, the others being slipping on ice, central-heating hair, and Winterwatch on BBC 2.



Makes four jellies

425ml of citrus juice, strained (I used a mixture of ruby grapefruit, blood orange, lemon and clementine, but anything goes)
2 tspns caster sugar (or more to taste - and much will depend on the citrus fruits that you're using)
3 leaves of gelatine (I used Dr Oetker)

Begin by sweetening the juice to taste and stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  It's easier if you do this in a jug.

Cut the gelatine leaves into little pieces and leave to soak for ten minutes in about 50ml of the juice.  Do the soaking in a heatproof bowl.  After ten minutes, put the bowl on top of an appropriately-sized pan of simmering water. Heat the gelatine and juice, stirring gently, until the gelatine dissolves completely.

Add the melted gelatine to the rest of the juice and whisk it well to incorporate.  Leave the mixture to settle for a couple of minutes (so that the bubbles on top burst) before pouring into ramekins or sundae dishes.  

The jellies take about four hours to set completely.  Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.

*Google it and YOU WILL SEE.

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