I’ve seen all these different fruits scooped out, then filled with Jello Jigglers, then sliced to look like regular fruit on….drumroll….Pinterest! I had resisted making them because I can’t stand the thought of real Jello, all full of artificial flavors, colors, and sugar or sugar substitutes, which I think are even worse than the real thing. Now I’ll get off my soapbox.
I occasionally make Jigglers (because I can’t resist the molds they sometimes have at the grocery store) but I use plain gelatin and fruit juice. I made Phineas and Ferb ones that way last week. See, I’m not horribly depriving my hooligans.
So I decided to make watermelon fakeouts, using some form of red juice. In hindsight, I should have tried the watermelon juice, making it myself, but I didn’t. I searched and searched for a juice that was all juice and didn’t contain cochineal (the red coloring made from ground up insect wings and shells). I know, we’ve been consuming it for years, but now that labeling is required, I’m totally grossed out by it. And now I’m climbing off that soapbox, as well.
Finally, I found Hibiscus Cranberry Juice at Trader Joe’s with an ingredient list that didn’t make me cringe too much. While they were distracted by harassing their father when he got home last night, I finally found alone time to make these.
This one said how cool it was and praised my talent, and the other two didn’t, so he got to be in the blog post. So there. They all thought it was tasty, but the others apparently expect that kind of stuff from me.
To make this, wash a small watermelon with soap and water and cut it in half. Scoop all the flesh out of one half. Try to get all the red stuff. Then rinse it out and dry it as best you can. Fill it with water, to about 1/2” from the top, then pour the water into a large measuring cup to figure out how much gelatin you’ll need. I only needed 3 cups for my watermelon, so I made the following recipe (from the box of Knox gelatin).
Fruit Juice Knox Blox
- 4 envelopes knox unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup cold fruit juice
- 3 cups fruit juice, heated to boiling
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional) or 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice in large bowl. Let stand one minute.
- Add hot juice and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in sugar or honey if desired.
- Pour into 13x9x2 inch pan.
- Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
- Cut into 1 inch squares and serve.
Here’s an online version from Food.com
Obviously, when I got to step 4, I poured it into my watermelon half. I balanced the rind snugly in a plastic bowl to hold it level. Also, I did not add any sugar or honey. After chilling overnight, I sliced it up and fed it to my kids!
By the way, I didn’t actually read the whole recipe, just the ingredients, so I added the gelatin and cold juice to the boiling juice at the same time and stirred until it dissolved. It worked fine, and I had one less bowl to wash.
They spent most of dessert time discussing what other fruits I could do this to…perhaps they need to help out a little on the execution sometimes!