Gelatin is one of those mysterious baking ingredients that you either understand or you don’t. But remember: it’s just jell-o. The key is to “bloom” the gelatin before you use it. All that means is softening it in some of the liquid before you cook it which ensures it will dissolve evenly once it’s heated. You could make these same gumdrops with any citrus juice you like, or play around with other fruit juices: apple cider is fun in the fall or try mango or pineapple juice for a tropical spin.
1 cup fresh citrus juice (such as lime, grapefruit, tangerine, blood orange, or lemon), strained to remove pulp, divided
3 (¼-oz.) pkg. unflavored gelatin
¼ cup water
2½ cups granulated sugar, plus more for work surface, divided
How to Make It
Lightly coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Place ½ cup of the citrus juice in a bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top of juice. Let stand 5 minutes.
Combine water, 2 cups of the sugar, and remaining ½ cup juice in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Add gelatin mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until gelatin melts completely, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and chill until set, about 4 hours.
Just before serving, run a knife around edges of dish. Dip bottom of dish in hot water for 30 to 45 seconds. Sprinkle work surface with sugar, and invert dish onto surface. Cut gelatin into 1-inch squares, and roll in remaining ½ cup sugar, coating all sides. Serve immediately. To store, layer uncoated gumdrops between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container, and store in refrigerator up to 2 days. Coat in sugar just before serving.
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