The first two courses of our dinner party weren't quite as rich as I expected. They were an experiment with venison, you see, which none of us had eaten before. I think I could have actually gone for a creamier, richer dessert, (like my family's favourite -- caramel rum pie) but then, I'm a terribly harsh self-critic. You should see me worrying for days and nights on end after I've given a workshop.
Anyhow... I think this dessert would be perfect for lunch, especially in summer.
You make the jelly by boiling half a 375 ml bottle of dessert wine (Noble One is the best, but there are other cheaper options), then adding the rest of the bottle and three leaves of gelatine (that have been soaked in cold water) or half a sachet of gelatine softened in a little cold water. I always add a dash of extra gelatine just to make sure it sets.
When this is served, you top it with balls of watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew and then pile on shavings of a watermelon granita. The granita is made by blending half a diced watermelon with 60 mls of sugar and 60mls of vodka, passing it through a coarse sieve and setting it in a tray in the freezer overnight. When serving, you use a fork to scrape the grantita so it looks like piles of fluffy pink snow. I couldn't photograph the finished effort because it's assembled at the last minute, but I can show this hasty shot of the jellies lined up and ready in the fridge.
Speaking of food, my editor commented that she loved all the foodie references in The Cattleman's Adopted Family, which is now on sale in the UK and NA and online in Australia. Here's what the new Australian cover looks like. I rather like it, even though you need a magnifying glass to find my name.