Healthy, spooky, jiggly treats fit for Halloween

Matthew Mead/Associated Press
For an adult variation on this Halloween treat, add a little vodka. Go easy, though – too much will prevent the gelatin from setting. Enlarge photo

Matthew Mead/Associated Press For an adult variation on this Halloween treat, add a little vodka. Go easy, though – too much will prevent the gelatin from setting.

I discovered the inspiration for this recipe ages ago in an issue of the Australian edition of Vogue, a magazine I tried to hunt down as often as possible because it had a consistently innovative food section. Though my Jell-O years already were well behind me, I was struck by the cleverness of this recipe, particularly as a healthy snack for kids, and even more particularly at Halloween.

It couldn’t be much simpler: two ingredients, no added sugar. You combine fresh orange juice with unflavored gelatin, then chill the mixture in the empty orange shells. Once the shells are cut up, the individual wedges are ringers for actual orange slices – except that they jiggle in a slightly spooky, Halloween-ish way. (There’s nothing spooky about the way they taste.)

Virtually any member of the orange citrus family is a likely candidate for jiggly wedge-dom at Halloween: clementines, tangerines and tangelos. And the aptly-named blood orange, of course, is tailor-made for the job.

If you’re moved to stray from the recipe, one proportion should not change – you will need one package of gelatin for every 1¾ cups of strained fruit juice.

I’ve also included an adult variation on this recipe – the addition of vodka. If using, be certain to measure it out carefully. More than the suggested 1½ ounces of vodka and the gelatin won’t set up.

Finally, don’t save these for Halloween. Minus the vodka, this is a perfectly kid-friendly after-school snack any day of the year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.