This is another cleaning-out-the-pantry post, but it’s a little less nuts than the one we had on Monday. At least this one is a bit more common. It’s only got five ingredients and it’s super simple, and perfect for a hot summer day when you really don’t want to do any baking. Like when there’s a forest fire in Québec and the smoke has smogged up the whole island and the sun is a little pinky orange ball. Those kinds of days.
I have a ton of unflavoured gelatin packets in my pantry, as well as many cans of condensed milk. There are lots of things you can do with gelatin, making aspics and whatnots, but I like the idea of creating a terrine of happily suspended fruit. This one is a nice pretty example. Then, if you want to get super adventurous, you can try layering your gelatin, and create a lovely contrast by adding sweetened condensed milk to gelatin to create a nice white alternating layer. Beautiful, right? And then you can sort of combine the two techniques by creating stained/broken glass jello. So I’m gonna put all that together. Because I CAN.
Also I keep thinking of this, every time I make something with gelatin: I AM MADE OF JELLY.
Start with some juice. I like cranberry juice. Tart and tangy and a lovely colour. Pour half a cup of room temperature juice into a bowl and sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavoured gelatin on top of that (each package contains 2 1/2 teaspoons gelatin granules). Leave that for 5 minutes to “bloom”.
Here I have most of a container of strawberries that I picked up at the grocery store. I think it’s about 2lb worth of fruit. Anyway, wash that and cut it up to a manageable size. Use whatever fruit you want, but I’m going with strawberries because they’re pink and that’s what I have.
Take another 1 1/2 cup juice and huck that in the microwave (because I didn’t want to turn on my oven in this heat). Heat that until it boils, which will be a few minutes depending on the type of microwave you have.
Slowly pour the boiling juice over your bloomed gelatin. Stir that like a crazy person until all the jelly goodness is dissolved throughout the liquid.
Add in 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Stir to combine. It will curdle a little bit, but don’t fret. If you want your gelatin to remain clear, leave the milk out of the equation.
I also added in a splash of grenadine syrup, for more colour. Let that cool to just warm.
Toss your fruit into a loaf pan. You can layer it if you want to get fancy, with different fruits, but that’s a little too high-falutin’ for my tastes today. Plus my gelatin is opaque so you won’t be able to see the layers anyway.
Drizzle the gelatin mixture over your fruit, careful not to pour too hard (if you’ve got layers that could be disturbed). If you don’t want your fruit to float to the top (which will end up being the bottom when you flip it), drizzle only half your mixture in and chill that for at least 15-20 minutes first before adding the rest of the liquid. This will gel your fruits into the places you want them to be.
Chill that sucker for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
To serve, set the loaf pan in a sink full of warm water for a few seconds.
Wipe off the pan, and invert it over your serving dish to release the gelatin. I need a bit of practice with my dismount it seems.
Slice it up like a loaf of bread. I suggest you use a warm wet knife for this, as you can see that mine kind of fell apart a bit when I didn’t do that.