August 24, 2010

Mad About Molds

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Margaret's Morsels | Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad

I love congealed salads.  They are a cold side dish on a hot day, can be made with a variety of flavors with all kinds of additions, usually fruit and vegetables.  There is one exception.  Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme that prevents gelatin from congealing.  If you want to use pineapple, you need to use canned pineapple.

I don't know where I found the recipe for Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad, but I've been making it for over a decade.  It is my most requested congealed salad recipe.  People are surprised when they find out it only uses four ingredients.  You can't tell when you're eating it that those four ingredients are sugar-free.

Margaret's Morsels | Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad

I love to use decorative molds when I make congealed salads.  If you don't have a mold, you can use any food container that has a distinctive shape. I've used silicone pans, cake pans and muffin pans.  It's nice to make the congealed salad in holiday themed pans, if you have them.  It adds festivity to the holiday table.

Margaret's Morsels | Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad
Items I've used as molds.

A nice touch is to make the salad in individual molds.  Not only does this look pretty on a serving platter, it's also good for portion control when you're feeding a lot of people.  If you know how many people are attending, you can make one mold for each person.

If you want to buy some molds, I highly recommend plastic ones that have a top and bottom lid.  After you put the mold on the serving platter and remove the second lid, the salad drops out of the mold onto the serving platter.

Margaret's Morsels | Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad
This mold has a lid on the top and bottom.

No matter which container you use, be sure to spray it generously with nonstick cooking spray.  If you don't, you might have trouble getting the salad out of the mold or it might tear up in the process.

Right before you remove the salad from the mold, wet a paper towel and rub it on your serving platter.  The damp platter makes it easy to move the salad if it's not in the right spot.

To remove the salad from the mold, fill the kitchen sink with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the mold.  Put the mold in the water for 10 seconds.  Invert the serving platter over the mold and turn both upside down.  If the salad doesn't come out of the mold, run a thin blade knife around the sides to loosen the salad.  It should easily release from the pan.

Whether you mold it or serve it from a bowl, I hope you'll try this recipe.  It is quite tasty and you won't even miss the sugar!

 Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad
8 Servings

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 (6 oz.) pkg. sugar-free cherry gelatin
1 (12 oz.) can diet 7-Up
1 (8 oz.) can unsweetened crushed pineapple (undrained)

In a saucepan, bring the applesauce to a boil; remove from heat.  Stir in gelatin until dissolved.  Slowly add 7-Up and pineapple.  Pour into a mold or 2-quart serving bowl.  Chill overnight.

© Margaret's Morsels