Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2021

© Stacy Newgent

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Lemonade jelly with basil

Lemon makes a tart, grown-up jelly, infused here with basil for a herbal aroma. (Leave out the basil if you just want simple lemonade jelly.) One tip, picked up from Bompas & Parr, two young jelly-obsessed Brits who have created models of architectural monuments out of fruit gelatin: add a bit of orange juice to turn otherwise pale lemon jelly into the bright yellow you’d expect from its sunny taste.

4 to 5 large lemons, juiced (¾ c./180 ml)
¾ c. (180 ml) sugar
1½ c. (375 ml) loosely packed basil leaves, plus more to serve
½ c. (125 ml) pulp-free orange juice
3 tsp. (15 ml) powdered gelatin
whipped cream to serve

Warm the lemon juice, 1½ c. (375 ml) water and the sugar to boiling. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Roughly tear the basil leaves and put them in a small bowl. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the basil leaves and let steep for at least 15 minutes.

Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over its surface. Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes then warm the pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Turn off the heat.

Strain the basil out of the lemon juice and whisk the juice into the gelatin mixture. Pour the liquid into six small cups or a 1-quart (1-L) dish. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until softly set. Garnish with whipped cream and basil leaves to serve.Makes sis ½-cup (125-ml) servings. Gluten-free. Dairy-free.

Flavour variations: For real lime jelly, substitute juice from 7 to 8 limes for the lemon juice. Substitute water for the orange juice.

Extra-sweet, less acidic Meyer lemons are also wonderful in this jelly, especially with the herbal-floral taste of lavender. Simply substitute Meyers for the regular lemons. Meyer lemons are generally smaller so you may need one or two extra lemons. Instead of steeping basil in the juice, steep 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried, food-grade lavender buds. Strain after 10 minutes and proceed as directed above.

To make skewers: To make little bites for a party, double the amount of gelatin to 6 teaspoons (30 ml). Pour the mixture into an 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm) square-baking dish and let set overnight in the refrigerator.

Cut it into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares or use a small cookie cutter to cut out 1-inch (2.5-cm) circles. Skewer one or two pieces on a party pick with a leaf of fresh basil folded and skewered at one end. Chill until ready to serve with whipped cream for dipping.

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