Picture this: You meet friends for a picnic and bust out these tart lemonade squares, infused with basil. What a fun flashback to childhood, yet they’re still elegant and delicious. Here, Faith from The Kitchn reveals how to make them…

The Best Jello You’ll Ever Have
by Faith Durand of The Kitchn, and author of the new book Bakeless Sweets

Lemon makes a tart, grown-up jelly, infused here with basil for an herbal aroma that sets off this summery sweetness. (Leave out the basil if you just want simple lemonade jelly.) One lemon tip, which I picked up from the Jellymongers themselves, Bompas & Parr (two young jelly-obsessed Brits who have filled rooms with alcoholic mists and created models of architectural monuments out of fruit gelatin): Adding a bit of orange juice turns otherwise pale lemon jelly into exactly the bright yellow you would expect from its sunny taste.

Recipe: Lemonade Jelly with Basil
Makes six 1/2-cup servings. Gluten and dairy free.

You’ll need:

4 to 5 large lemons, juiced (3/4 cup/180 mL)
3/4 cup (150 g.) sugar
1 1/2 cups (25 g.) loosely packed basil leaves, plus more to serve
1//2 cup (120 mL) pulp-free orange juice
3 tsp. powered gelatin
Whipped cream, to serve

Warm the lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups water, and the sugar to boiling. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Roughly tear the basil leaves and put them in a small bowl. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the basil leaves and let steep for at least 15 minutes.

Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over its surface. Let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes, then warm the pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Turn off the heat.

Strain the basil out of the lemon juice and whisk the juice into the gelatin mixture. Pour the liquid into six small cups or a 1-quart dish. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until softly set. Garnish with whipped cream and basil leaves to serve.

Lemon-Basil Jelly Skewers

To make little bites for a party, double the amount of gelatin in this recipe to 6 full teaspoons. Pour the mixture into an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish and let it set overnight in the refrigerator. Cut it into 1-inch squares, or use a small cookie cutter to cut out 1-inch circles. Skewer one or two pieces on a toothpick or party pick with a leaf of fresh basil folded and skewered at one end. Chill until ready to serve, and pass a bowl of whipped cream for topping.

How delicious for warm weather! Thank you, Faith. And here’s her new book, Bakeless Sweets, for anyone with a sweet tooth:)

P.S. More best recipes, including a peach tart and easy chocolate ice cream.

(Recipe by Faith Durand for her book, Bakeless Sweets. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)