Cookbook

FYI: Jello

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Tips On Jello

Posted by Cory on 5/14/2000, 11:58 am

TIPS ON MOLDING JELL-O GELATIN
Some tricks used by the experts to make gelatin molds more beautiful. To prepare Jell-O Gelatin, dissolve the gelatin completely in boiling water or other liquid -- for a clear, uniformly set mold, gelatin must be completely dissolved. Then add cold liquid -- or use several ice cubes, see Speed-Set Jell-O Gelatin

To double a recipe, use two 3-oz. packages or one 6-oz. package of Jell-O Gelatin and twice the amounts of the other ingredients except salt, vinegar, and lemon juice -- you'll find about 1 1/2 times the amounts of these ingredients are sufficient.

For large molds, decrease the required liquid about 1/4 Cup for each 3 ounces of Jell-O Gelatin. (This has already been done in many recipes in this book for your convenience.) The firmer consistency makes the mold less fragile and less likely to crack at the base after it is unmolded.

For soft-set Jell-O Gelatin, increase the required liquid about 1/2 Cup for each 3 ounces of Jell-O Gelatin -- this gelatin will be too soft to unmold, but will have excellent eating quality.

To add fruits and vegetables, chill the gelatin until very thick. not set, before adding the other ingredients. If the gelatin isn't thick enough, the fruits or vegetables may float or sink. To mold Jell-O Gelatin, pour the gelatin into molds or serving dishes -- a 3-oz. package without fruits or vegetables makes 2 cups. a 6-oz. package makes 4 cups. Chill until firm -- several hours or overnight, depending on size of mold (Baking pans, metal mixing bowls and measuring cups, small paper cups, calls. and saucepans can be used as molds, as well as molds designed for the purpose.)

To layer gelatin mixtures, chill each layer until set, but not firm, before adding the next layer -- if the first layer is too firm, the layers may slip apart when unmolded. Many layers may be built up in this way. Except for the first layer, the gelatin mixtures should be cool and slightly thickened before being poured into mold -- if mixture is warm, it may soften the layer beneath and mix- tures may run or mix together.

To make special designs, foods can be arranged in gelatin to make a simple mold more decorative in two ways:

Simple way: Chill gelatin until thick; then pour about 1/4 inch gelatin into mold. Place a design of fruits or vegetables in gelatin. Chill until set, but not firm. Then pour remaining cooled gelatin into mold. Expert way: Pour about 1/8 inch of gelatin into mold; chill until set, but not firm. Cool remaining gelatin. Arrange design on set gelatin, cover carefully with a few spoonfuls cooled gelatin to anchor design, and chill until set, but not firm. Then pour remaining cooled gelatin into the mold.

To chill gelatin molds, leave mold in Refrigerator until firm. Since metal chills more quickly than glass, gelatin in metal molds will be firm in less time than gelatin in a glass mixing bowl or serving dish. To hasten chilling, chill the mold a few minutes in a pan of ice and water before placing in refrigerator. For storage overnight or longer, it's wise to cover the gelatin to prevent evaporation and drying.

To make one serving, dissolve 1 3/4 tablespoons Jell-O Gelatin in 1/2 cup boiling water. Chill until firm.

SPEED-SET JELL-O GELATIN
An easy trick -- substitute ice cubes for cold water in preparing gelatin to shorten the required chilling time. To use ice cubes, dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water as directed on package; then add 1/2 tray ice cubes (7 to 10, depending on size) for 3 oz. package Jell-O Gelatin or 14 to 20 ice cubes for 6-oz. package Jell-O Gelatin. Stir about 3 minutes to melt ice, or until gelatin is thickened. Remove any unmelted ice. Pour into serving dishes or individual molds. Chill until soft-set and ready to eat from dishes, about 30 minutes, or until firm enough to unmold, about I hour. To use ice and water mixture, dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water as directed on package; then substitute a mixture of ice cubes or crushed ice and water for the cold water, stirring until ice melts completely. Chill.

To add fruits or vegetables or to whip, let gelatin stand 5 or 6 minutes to thicken after removing unmelted ice. Then fold in ingredients or whip (see directions on page 84). Chill until firm.

To use premeasured frozen mold, freeze 3/4 Cup water in a 2- or 3-cup mold for 3-oz. package Jell-O Gelatin or 11/2 CupS water in a l-quart mold for 6-oz. package Jell-O Gelatin. Then dissolve Jell-O Gelatin in boiling water as directed on package and pour the hot mixture over ice in mold. Stir until ice is dissolved, or until gelatin starts to thicken. If ice does not melt completely, remove unmelted pieces before chilling mold. To add fruits or vegetables, freeze water in a larger mold to allow space for added ingredients and allow gelatin to stand 3 to 4 minutes to thicken before folding in the ingredients. Chill until firm.

TIPS ON UNMOLDING JELL-O GELATIN
The art of unmolding gelatin is easy to learn -- it just takes a little practice. Before unmolding gelatin, make certain that gelatin is completely firm -- it should not feel sticky on top and should not sag toward side if mold is tilted. If gelatin is firm, dip a small pointed knife in warm water and run tip of it around top edge of mold to loosen. Or moisten tips of fingers and gently pull gelatin from top edge of mold. When using disposable metal cans as molds, puncture bottoms -- this makes it easier to unmold the gelatin because it eliminates any vacuum in cans, which are usually deeper in relationship to top surface than other molds.

Moisten top of gelatin and a chilled plate -- the moist surfaces make it easier to slide the gelatin into the center of the plate after it has been unmolded.

Dip mold in warm water -- do not use hot water as it will melt the gelatin. (If oven-proof glass, china, or paper containers are used as molds, the water should be slightly warmer.) Working quickly, dip the mold just to the rim in the warm water -- about 10 seconds. Lift from water, hold upright, and shake slightly to loosen the gelatin from mold. Invert moistened plate on mold. Always unmold gelatin on a chilled or cold plate or platter -- a warm plate will melt the gelatin. Then invert plate and mold together. Lift off mold carefully -- if gelatin doesn't release easily, dip the mold in warm water again. If necessary, move gelatin to center of plate.

NOTE: If desired, try this new way of unmolding gelatin. Oil mold slightly; then place a l-inch strip of aluminum foil across bottom and up sides, letting it extend as tabs on both sides. Smooth foil to remove wrinkles and press to shape of mold. Add gelatin and chill until firm. Then moisten top of gelatin and a plate, place plate over gelatin, and invert together. Gently pull one of the tabs to break vacuum in mold; then remove mold and the foil strip.

HOW TO WHIP JELLO GELATIN
One of the easiest things you can do to change the texture and appearance of Jell-O Gelatin -- just whip it until thick and fluffy. Prepare Jell-O Gelatin (any fruit flavor) as directed on package and chill until very thick. Then beat with rotary beater or electric mixer until mixture is fluffy and thick -- about double in volume results in the best eating quality and flavor.

To shorten the chilling and beating times, chill the gelatin until slightly thickened. Then place the bowl of gelatin in another bowl of ice and water before starting to beat.

Pour whipped gelatin into molds or shallow pan, or add cubes of Jell-O Gelatin (page 85) or fruit and pour into molds. Chill until firm. Unmold, cut in squares, or spoon into serving dishes; serve with fruit or a custard sauce, if desired. A 3-oz. package makes about 4 cups, or 4 or 5 servings; a 6-oz. package makes about 8 cups, or 8 to 10 servings.

Snows: Prepare whipped Jell-O Gelatin, adding unbeaten egg whites to the thickened gelatin before starting to beat. Use I or 2 egg whites for a 3-oz. package Jell-O Gelatin, or 2 or 3 egg whites for a 6- oz. package.

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