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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. Make your own cocktail by dicing and gently poaching fresh fruit. Pick and choose your fruits from those listed. Your total should add up to approximately 3 cups.
- 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.
FOR THE GELATIN:
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.
nutrition information per serving
288 calories; 1g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 8mg sodium; 71g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 3g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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