Like everyone else, I’m a little bit obsessed with Pinterest. (Are you following me on Pinterest? Follow me!) I use it on my phone and it’s the perfect way to pass time while waiting in line or watching Real Housewives marathons. I’ve seen a few different recipes for Jello orange wedges pinned recently, and they were so colorful and fun that I decided to try to make a vegetarian version using agar agar. (Agar agar, in case you don’t know, is a seaweed that produces a vegetarian gelatin. It’s a little bit firmer than regular Jello, which works well with these wedges. Unlike gelatin, it does have a bit of a flavor to it–I don’t mind it, although my husband isn’t a fan.)
The great thing about using agar agar instead of Jello is that you can make your wedges with real fruit juice. Not only are there more flavor possibilities, but if you try to avoid excessive amounts of sugar and food coloring (or unnatural foods in general), using juice is definitely preferable to Jello. Since we’re in the tail-end of pomegranate season, I made pomegranate orange wedges. I only bought enough to make this recipe once, so I crossed my fingers hoping they would turn out right and they did! These do look intimidating, but I promise they’re much easier than you’d think. And they’re even prettier in person too.
Jello fruit slices are awesome, but they're not vegetarian. This version uses agar agar and fruit juice instead of Jello, so it's veggie-friendly!
- 2 large oranges, halved and insides removed
- 2 c. pomegranate juice
- 2 1/2 tbsp. agar agar flakes
- Whisk together pomegranate juice and agar agar flakes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until flakes are dissolved, continuing to whisk occasionally.
- Place orange halves upright in a small plastic container or dish. You want them to fit together snugly, but not be smashed in. Pour juice mixture into orange peels, careful not to over- or under-fill. Allow orange halves to rest on the countertop until almost solidified. (Agar agar is solid at room temperature.)
- Once filling is nearly solid, move wedges to refrigerator until completely chilled (about 2 hours). Carefully remove halves from container and cut into wedges with a sharp knife.