Saturday, January 23, 2010

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time in a land not so far away lived a little girl who loved Jell-O. The little girl’s mother would make it when she was sick, which almost made being sick not quite so miserable. Her favorite part of the holiday feast was the spectacular gelatin salads her mother would always make. As the little girl grew older, she began making Jell-O for herself.

One day, the now grown-up little girl decided to read the label on the packet of Jell-O. She wished she hadn’t been so curious, the label was filled with words she could not pronounce. In her head the now grown-up little girl heard her Memere’s voice, “If I can’t pronounce it, I have no business eating it!” This was a crisis! What was she to do?

The now grown-up little girl needed to know, “What did they do before Jell-O came in a box?” There was nothing for it, this question had to be answered. The now grown-up little girl began scouring cookbooks for a solution to her problem. Then one day while she was perusing the cookbook section in a used book store, the now grown-up little girl spied a book, just a little book published by the makers of Jell-O. She pulled the book off the shelf and hesitantly opened it’s cover wondering if this small volume held the answer to her question. The pictures were atrocious, some of the recipes were very scary, but there on that one page was the answer she sought. With great excitement, the now grown-up little girl carried her treasure to the counter, paid over the $1.00 and with great excitement brought her purchase home where she embarked on the adventure of gelatin.

What this adventure revealed to the now grown-up little girl was that delicious gelatin molds could be made using fruit juices, fruit, and little or no sugar. And, she could pronounce every single ingredient! The now grown-up little girl lived happily every after.

Raspberry Deluxe Gelatin Salad

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

4 c. frozen raspberries, thawed and drained, juice reserved

1 c. currant juice

1 c. pomegranate juice

2 c. orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)

Reserved raspberry juice

2 Tbsp. sugar, optional

8 oz. yoghurt

Select a 6 cup gelatin mold and set aside.

In a glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the currant juice and pomegranate juice. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and allow to stand for about 1 minute.

Measure the orange juice into a stainless steel saucepan, add the reserved raspberry juice, and heat to boiling. Pour the hot juice into the bowl with the cold juices and gelatin. If using, stir in the 2 Tbsp. of sugar. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, which could be as long as 5 minutes. When the gelatin is completely dissolved, place the bowl in the refrigerator, and chill until slightly thickened.

Remove the slightly thickened gelatin from the refrigerator. Measure 2 cups gelatin into another bowl and set aside. Put the yoghurt into the bowl with the 2 cups gelatin. Using an electric hand mixer beat on high until combine and slight frothy. Pour into the selected mold and refrigerate until almost set, 10 to 20 minutes.

Fold the thawed raspberries into the remaining gelatin and place in the refrigerator. When the yoghurt mixture is just set, carefully spoon the raspberry mixture on top. Smooth the surface and return to the refrigerator and chill until set.

To unmold the gelatin salad, select a serving dish and set close by. Fill a basin or dish pan with several inches of warm water set the mold into the water for several minutes. Remove the mold and gently shake to loosen, place platter upside down over the mold and flip. The mold should life off easily. Garnish as desired and serve immediately or return to the refrigerator until time to serve.

The mold can be made one day ahead and unmolded not more than several hours before serving.

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