Saturday, May 16, 2015

Oranges Filled with Jelly for the Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge 25: Orange You Glad . . .

The Challenge: Orange You Glad . . .
May 3 - May 14
It can be orange-flavored, orange-colored, or just plain oranges - but the challenge is “orange”!

The Recipe:

Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery for Private Families, London, 1845/1864

I chose this recipe because I have always wanted to see if I could make the stripes look as nice as they do in the illustration. I decided that I would concentrate on the presentation and not worry about using homemade jelly. When I first conceived of making this dish, I convinced myself that Acton would applaud my use of Jello Brand Jello because in her recipe she's states, "Calf's feet or any other variety of jelly, or different blancmanges, may be used at choice to fill the rinds; . . .". So, really, I was just taking her advice! Well, I should have used plain old Knox gelatin because I had a very hard time getting the Jello to set up; therefore, this challenge was an epic fail for me.

Date/Year and Region
Victorian England

How Did You Make It

Cut a circle out of the top a an orange. Scrape out all of the flesh and juice inside the orange using a small grapefruit spoon. Juicing-oranges like Valencia work well because there is less flesh and more juice. Be careful not to pierce the skin of the oranges to prevent the gelatin from leaking out.

Be sure to keep your oranges upright when filling them with the gelatin to keep the layers even.  I used the empty Jello boxes to keep the oranges standing up. Layer equal amounts of alternating complementary colors; I chose orange and red (black cherry).

Epic Fail: The Jello would not set up properly for some reason! And, I really tried to make stripes but all of red fell to the bottom (strange, indeed).

Time to Complete
Lots of time waiting for the Jello to set-up properly, which it never did!

Total Cost
About $5 for the Jello.

How Successful Was It?
This was a complete failure. The Jello would not set up for some reason. I am going to try it again with colored Knox gelatin; I have had success with that in the past.

How Accurate Is It?
Since this was such a failure, I am going to pass on answering this question!! However, I am determined to try this one again.


  1. I wonder if it would work better by adding less than the recommended amount of liquid? That should make the Jello stiffer. I'm always unsure how the old recipes will work with modern gelatin, as opposed to the "strong broth" or calf's-foot jelly that they call for. The one recipe I made -- and it was with modern Knox gelatin and the recipe was from an old Knox gelatin recipe book -- failed, also, on the gelatin stiffness, and didn't set hard enough to keep its shape when I took it out of the mold. Maybe it needs to be more like "finger Jello" instead of "Jello that you scoop out of a bowl."

    1. I used the jiggler recipe. Last time I did a firm gelatin I used Knox and it work well so I am going to try it with that recipe again.


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