It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been able to eat grapefruit. Although it’s hell on an Interstitial Cystitis bladder I would, on occasion, sugar one up and savor it only to suffer for hours after. But these days I’m on medication that make it a no go, which is really for the best. But that doesn’t mean others don’t totally dig the grapefruit.
Seeing these big, orange fruits made a big lightbulb pop up over my head in my favorite grocery store ever, HEB. I snapped up a few and then ran to the baking aisle to make my Halloween treat ingredients complete. I wasn’t sure exactly how this would pan out but in the end it was SO CUTE!
They do take a little bit of effort and they will only last about a day in the fridge before the cuts on the face start to dry out and not look so cute anymore. If making these for a group or a party you’ll want to make them no earlier than 24 hours before for the best looks!
For this project you will need:
- Lime Jello
- Black food coloring
- X-acto knife with a brand new blade
To pick out good grapefruit for this project you’ll need ones that can easily stand on their own. Nice and round, mine did really well. That pointy bit at the top didn’t affect the looks because it got chopped off anyway. Some of the grapefruit are more yellow and some more red. Go through and find the best looking orange hued ones you can. I can guarantee you that people are going to look at you sideways. Never mind them :)
Slice the top off of your grapefruit and set aside.
Using a spoon (or a grapefruit spoon if you’re lucky enough to have one) to scrape out the flesh inside of the grapefruit. Add to a bowl for later eating OR you can place the chunks in a bag in the freezer and use as a fabulous garbage disposal cleaner that will smell fab!
Be sure to hollow the grapefruit out completely but pay attention to the bottom. If you remove too much there will be a tiny hole in the bottom. I have to tell you that tiny hole will make this project a nightmare with Jello oozing out everywhere! It’s actually where the fruit connects to the peel so you might have to use a knife or scissors to keep that little flesh plug in place! It sounds confusing but you’ll see what I’m talking about once you get in there.
Make your Jello according to package directions adding black food coloring until the green becomes very, very dark. Don’t over do it or you might jack up the taste and a little goes a long way. If you’re not sure where to find black food coloring, it’s actually sold as a single color in the herbs and spices area of the grocery store. Allow the Jello to fully set.
Using a brand new X-acto knife that will hereafter only be used on food items (or used just this once for food works okay, too!) carve the peel of your grapefruit for a jack-o-lantern face.
Make deep cuts. You’ll go into the Jello a bit but that’s totally okay. With deep cuts you’ll completely cut the peel making it super easy to fish the piece out and reveal the black inside.
I thought there might be a bit of a learning curve but this was my first go. Huzzah!
You might be wondering why we used an X-acto knife over a kitchen knife… simply put the X-acto is much smaller making for more exact cutting. Ha! I just realized why they call it an X-acto knife. Nifty!
Grapefruits aren’t massively huge so the need for more control to get nice shapes is really important.
In the end I wound up carving 3 pumpkins. The first took about 10 minutes to get the hang of things but the other two I carved in about 5 minutes.
At first I was worried that each one would take forever making these for a party or whatnot a royal pain in the patootie to the point of making them a bad idea. I’d go ahead and give a few a go before adding these to your Halloween menu just to see if you can make them quickly enough to be able to rock them out no more than 24 hours before they’re needed.
Oh, and you’re probably wondering… does a Jello jack taste like grapefruit? If you ask my dad, yes, but if you ask anybody else no! :)