A modern version of a favourite childhood party treat, using fresh fruit juice
No children's party in the Sixties, when I was a child, was complete without a tray of wobbling jelly-filled orange wedges. There had to be blazing red ones (cherry), and lurid green ones (greengage) made from packet-jelly, and there had to be plenty of them. I've tried to recreate the memory of those happy birthday parties with these stripy jelly wedges.
This is a fiddly recipe, I admit. It's not easy getting the stripes even, and it's quite difficult to cut the wedges perfectly. Use the sharpest knife you have, and keep dipping it into boiling water so that it glides easily through the jelly layers. Measure the gelatine exactly for a perfect firm set.
Makes 24 jelly wedges.
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Cut the oranges in half along their 'waists'. Run the tip of a very sharp knife a third of the way round the edge of the flesh, and then use a big spoon to scoop out all the flesh, making sure you remove all the membrane. Do this over a bowl, so that the juice doesn't escape. Trim away any fluffy bits of pith or core and set the orange shells on a plate. If they're not perfectly level, shave a little peel away from the the bottom of each shell, making sure not to pierce any holes. Refrigerate.
Place the orange pulp in a sieve set over a bowl and press out as much juice as you can. Add more fresh orange juice to bring the total amount in the bowl up to two cups (500 ml). Put four tablespoons (60 ml) of this juice into a little bowl and over it sprinkle exactly four teaspoons (20 ml) of the gelatine. Set aside to 'sponge' for a few minutes. Now place the bowl in a saucepan of boiling water (the water should come halfway up the sides) and leave it for a few minutes to melt, without stirring. When the gelatine is clear, remove the bowl from the heat. Stir it into the fresh orange juice, and then strain the mixture into a clean jug. Set aside at room temperature.
Now make the raspberry jelly. Put the raspberries, sugar and water into a saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer very gently for eight minutes, stirring now and then. Tip the mixture into a large sieve set over a big clean jug and allow the juice to drain out, pressing down gently with the back of a soup ladle. Discard the pulp. Sprinkle the remaining four teaspoons (20 ml) of gelatine over the hot juice and stir until it's completely dissolved. Set aside at room temperature.
Pour a layer of the orange jelly about 2 mm deep into the cold orange shells. Refrigerate until set. (You can put the shells in the freezer to speed up the layering process, but don't leave them too long). Now pour a thin layer of raspberry jelly over the top, and allow to set. Carry on layering the jelly until the shells are full. If the jugs of jelly begin to set, place them in a bowl of boiling water to liquefy them.
When the top layers of jelly are properly set, use a very sharp, hot knife to slice each orange-half into four wedges. Refrigerate until needed.