About this recipe:This irridescent milk jelly, delicately perfumed with almond, is set off to perfection by the exotic flavours and beautiful colours of the mixed fruit salad. Very little sugar is needed as the fruit provides natural sweetness.
500 ml (17 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp powdered gelatine
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp pure almond extract
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 cardamom pods, very lightly crushed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange-flower water, or more to taste
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Method Prep:30min › Ready in:30min
Pour 150 ml (5 fl oz) of the milk into a saucepan. Sprinkle over the gelatine and leave to sponge for 5 minutes without stirring.
Stir in the sugar and set the pan over a low heat. Cook gently, without boiling, until the sugar and gelatine have completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the remaining milk and the almond extract. Stir to mix. Pour into four 175 ml (6 fl oz) decorative jelly moulds. Cover and chill for several hours or until set.
Meanwhile, peel the zest thinly from 1 orange and cut into thin strips. Squeeze the juice from the orange into a saucepan and add the zest, the sugar, cardamom pods and 150 ml (5 fl oz) of water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Boil for 5–10 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and orange-flower water. Leave to cool.
Peel the remaining 2 oranges, removing all the white pith, and cut across into slices. Peel and slice the bananas. Scoop out the seeds from the pomegranate half. Combine the fruit in a bowl and pour on the syrup.
Turn out the jellies onto individual plates. Surround with fruit salad and serve immediately.
Some more ideas
For a banana-almond milk jelly, mash 3 ripe bananas, or purée with a hand-held blender. Mix with the milk, sugar and ½ tsp each pure vanilla extract and pure almond extract. Sponge 2 sachets powdered gelatine in 2 tbsp cold water. Heat the banana mixture almost to boiling, whisking or stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine until completely dissolved. Pour into a 900 ml (1½ pint) decorative mould and chill until set. * For a berry and red wine jelly, use 360 ml (12 fl oz) cranberry juice and 150 ml (5 fl oz) fruity red wine. Purée 250 g (9 oz) mixed blackberries and blueberries, then press through a sieve to remove the pips. Mix the purée with the cranberry juice and wine. Use 2 tbsp caster sugar and 2 sachets powdered gelatine, sponging and dissolving it as above. If you like, add a good pinch of ground allspice to the mixture. Pour into a 900 ml (1½ pint) decorative mould and chill until set.
Milk jellies were a popular dessert with the Victorians and a regular feature of nursery menus, because nannies recognised that the calcium provided by milk is particularly important for growing children to build strong bones.