Gummy Worms Recipe – Fruit-juice Sweetened
Gummy Worms Recipe Video – scroll down for recipe card
I’ve gotcha a fruit-juice sweetened, natural gummy worms recipe right here for Halloween. But first, a spooky Halloween story.
Halloween night, late 1980s. My family lived in the boonies so there were no good streets or even houses at which to trick or treat. All dressed up, my mom drove me and my brother into town to go trick or treating in my granddad’s neighborhood. We’d gotten maybe 5 miles down the road, bouncing along in the Ford F150 that many years later I would learn to drive on, when a big buck ran right out in front of us. We killed it, immediately I hope, but not on purpose of course. Living in the country, you know that hitting a deer on the road is bound to happen some day. But goddamnit why did it have to be on Halloween?!?! I was pissed as a 9-year-old can be. Rather than leave it there, my mom turned the truck around and went home and got my dad. The two of them drove back to the scene of the crime and loaded that big dead deer into the back of the Ford. They drove it home.
And hour later, we’d changed from our costumes (there would be no treats this year, but the tricks, there were plenty of those coming up…) and my dad has the the deer strung up on our own wooden swing set. Right between the two swings, there now swung a deer carcass. Can you imagine anything more gruesome, and on Halloween? I can. Because it gets worse.
I guess he’d learned to dress a deer from his grandpa and I guess “dressing” a deer is a euphemism really for “undressing” a deer by removing its skin from its body. And also removing all its organs. And when you do that, all the contents of its stomach end up on the ground. There were hundred of bloody acorns scattered all around. God, this is an awful story. I shouldn’t be writing any of this on a food blog. But it happened. And it was Halloween. And we were poor so we ate that deer. Half of it was too damaged by the Ford to salvage, but the rest of it was “perfectly good deer meat”. It took my dad most of the night to butcher it and package it. My little brother helped. I’m sure he was up far, far past our bed time. Paper-wrapped hunks of deer meat filled our freezer and my grandma’s freezer down the street for months. Deer sausage, chicken-fried deer steak, deer chili, deer stew. Forever.
The skull and antlers found a home nailed to a tree a ways off until insects and rodents and birds had picked it clean and then the sun had bleached it white. The piles of acorns under the swing set stayed there, decomposing as slowly as they could until all that was left was pink-stained dirt.
And if that’s not enough to get you in the mood to eat some very lifelike gummy worms, I don’t know what is.
Gummy Worms RecipePrint
- Prep Time: 12 hours
- Total Time: 12 hours
- 4 envelopes gelatin
- 2 tablespoons sugar (optional for sweeter worms)
- 1 cup cold juice (cran-grape, cran-apple, grape, cranberry, etc.)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons cream or half-and-half cream
- couple drops red food coloring
- about 50 large straws (“milkshake straws”)
- Find a straight-sided jar wide enough to hold all the straws. I used a wide-mouth 1 quart Mason jar. Place all straws in the jar and bundle them with a rubber band if necessary to keep them upright. Place the jar in an ice water bath at least 2 inches deep. (see video for demo)
- Dissolve gelatin and sugar in cold juice.
- Add boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved and the liquid is smooth and thick.
- Stir in cream.
- Pour about half of this this evenly into the straws to fill them each about 1-2 inches depth.
- Allow to set 10-20 minutes in the ice bath until mostly solid.
- Meanwhile, add food coloring to remaining gelatin and stir.
- Pour into straws, filling as evenly as possible. Remove jar from ice bath and refrigerate several hours or overnight until fully set.
- To remove worms from straws, dip straws into warm water for a couple of seconds, then squeeze from the empty end to slice gummy worms out. If worms do not easily slip out, the straws are too cold. Warm them again in water until they can be easily squeezed out.
- Worms can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic container for several days. Spray lightly with a little oil and gently toss to coat them, to ensure that they don’t stick together.)
Store gummy worms in the fridge
Experiment with different juices and food dyes to make multi-colored worms