I remember being jealous beyond reason of my childhood friends for one particular delicacy they were allowed to consume. No, not the candy bars and Happy Meals (though let's be honest, those were definitely the runners up for Little Whitney). This was no mere junk food. This was dessert magic. Toy food. Entertainment on a plate. Pure Joy.
Clearly I was exactly the target demographic of their marketing campaigns, because nothing could convince my childhood self that joy was attained by anything short of being allowed to make (and consume) plate-fulls of Jello Jigglers.
Whenever I saw a commercial for these chemical fruit marvels, I would be transfixed by how their jello held its shape, how happy the children looked wobbling it around, how happy I would be if I could also dance and wobble jello. It's the little things in life, apparently. Also those marketers knew what they were doing.
Suffice to say, I never did get to make Jigglers. So, I thought the other week, why not indulge childhood Whitney and make some nice, form-retaining jello?
Of course now I have no interest in the chemical fruit flavor that so dominated the daydreams of childhood. Now my main dream was how to make jello that tasted like an actual piece of fruit. It was almost disappointingly easy. Disappointing only in that it hardly felt like I did any work to arrive at the goal. The taste, on the other hand, was perfection!
I stayed with simple straight edges for this batch, but they would very easily hold the shape of a cookie cutter too. Also you can swap out the grapefruit juice for any juice of your choosing. I think I'm going to try this with mango next! And just possibly even with some cocktails in the future...
real fruit grapefruit jello
1½ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 packages unflavored gelatin
¾ hot water
In a glass measuring cup or heat-proof bowl, add the fresh grapefruit juice and gelatin and stir to combine. Allow these to sit together for approximately 5 minutes, or until the gelatin has softened.
Add the boiling water to the juice and gelatin and stir.
Pour into a shallow dish/pan or into individual molds.
Cover the dish(es) with cling film and refrigerate for several hours until the gelatin has set and the jello is firm.
Slice into cubes or cut with cookies cutters and serve!