How to Make It
In a large heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the gelatin softens.
In a saucepan, mix the cranberry juice with the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Pour the hot juice over the gelatin and stir until smooth. Stir in the Champagne. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Using a sharp knife, peel the oranges; be sure to remove all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the orange sections into the bowl. Pour off and reserve the juice for another use.
To assemble, spoon the gelée into glasses, alternating with layers of orange segments. Refrigerate until cold.
Cooking Club Tip When cooling or storing a gelatin-based dessert in the refrigerator, make sure it is tightly covered with plastic wrap, as it will start to lose moisture and form a thick, rubbery skin if exposed to air. This recipe can be doubled to serve a group of 12.