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Fruit-Cocktail Gelatin Ring

Source: Retro Desserts
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  3 Hours 20 Minutes
  Makes 8 servings
By far the most popular way to make a gelatin mold was to mix in a can of "fruit cocktail." Each can contained five "lovely" fruits: peaches, pears, pineapple, cherries, and grapes. You could use them in "100 fun ways," for example, as a salad with walnuts and marshmallows, served on lettuce and dressed with a "blend of mayonnaise and a little fruit cocktail syrup." Make your own cocktail by dicing and gently poaching fresh fruit.
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Pear (Bartlett and Anjou are best), peeled and cored, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick wedges
Peach, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Nectarine, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Seedless grapes, split in half
Orange segments
Cherries, pitted
Mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
For the Gelatin:
2 envelope gelatin (5 teaspoons)
4 cups Concord grape juice, divided
1/4 cup sugar
If using a vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape out the seeds. Reserve all. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and vanilla bean pod and seeds or extract to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer.

Drop in the pear and pineapple, and poach for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drop in the peach and nectarine, and poach for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drop in the grapes and orange segments, and poach for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drop in the cherries and poach for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Since they will discolor the syrup, always do them last. When you have finished, put all of the fruit back in the syrup and set aside to cool down. Mango may be added raw.

In a large bowl, soften the gelatin by stirring it into 1/2 cup of the grape juice. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of the grape juice and the sugar to a boil. Boil until the crystals have dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour it over the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Mix in the remaining 2 cups of grape juice. Stir in the fruits and pour into a 7-cup mold. Chill for several hours until set.

To remove, dip the mold in hot water for a few seconds and invert onto a serving platter.

To peel a peach, drop it into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into a bath of ice water. Slice it in half around its crease, twist to separate halves, then pry out the pit with a spoon. The skin should slip off easily.

Gelatin was so popular that in 1957 gelatin envelopes were packaged in "modern, flip-top boxes," for easier access.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Gelatin Desserts
 Retro Dessert: Pudding, Mousse and Gelatin
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Makes 8 servings
Calories: 288
Sodium: 8mg
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 71g
Protein: 3g
% Cal. from Fat: 3%
Fat. Total: 1g
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