When the summer heat cranks lemonade cravings to Pavlovian levels, try these jelly squares from Bakeless Sweets. They're a delightfully jiggly version of the drink itself, made earthy with the addition of fresh basil.
Tips: If you're harvesting leaves from your own basil plant, use the large lower leaves for steeping, and the tiny, tender top leaves for garnish.
Tweaks: The recipe specifies using pulp-free orange juice to keep from clouding the jelly. Take the same care with the lemons; strain the pulp from the juice before adding to the basil leaves to steep. It's a simple extra step that makes an already simple recipe foolproof.
Reprinted with permission by Faith Durand. Copyright © 2013. Published by Abrams Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:makes six 1/2 cup servings
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:2 hours 30 minutes
- 4 to 5 large lemons, juiced (3/4 cup/180 ml)
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (25 g) loosely packed basil leaves, plus more to serve
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) pulp-free orange juice
- 3 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- Whipped cream, to serve
Warm the lemon juice, 11/2 cups (360 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.