I always got a kick out of the fact gelatin molds are referred to as “salads” – the sweet, jiggly stuff more often binding fruit and marshmallows than any form of vegetable. Cool Jell-O salads are fun in summertime though – cold and sweet, they make a great contribution to backyard barbecues. They’re best eaten outside, on a hot day, in flip-flops. I like to pull out my Grandma’s Jell-O mold for such an occasion. This creamy cherry mold is perfect when cherries are in season – use fresh pitted cherries and add cherry or grape juice to make up for the canning liquid.
This is a recipe I did for the holiday 2010 issue of Parents Canada magazine – inspired by one the editor grew up with. Sliced almonds are delicious but optional – leave them out completely if you like. Feel free to experiment with different gelatin flavors, paired with fruits in season – peaches would work well.
Cherry Jell-O Salad
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can pitted Bing cherries
1 170 g pkg. (8 serving size) cherry Jell-O
3/4 cup (185 mL) boiling water
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cherry or grape juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain yogurt or low fat sour cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced almonds (optional)
Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. You should have 3/4 cup – if not, add water to make 3/4 cup or reduce the quantity of juice.
In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin completely in the boiling water. Stir in the juice and syrup and refrigerate until thickened to the consistency of raw egg whites.
Whisk the yogurt into the gelatin mixture. Stir in the cherries and almonds (if using) and pour into a gelatin mould. Refrigerate until well chilled and firm.
Before unmoulding, dip the mould in warm water, then run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it. Unmould the jelly onto a flat, rimmed plate immediately before serving. Serves 12-16.
Per serving: 81 calories, 0.2 g fat, (0.1 g saturated fat, 0.05 g monounsaturated fat, 0.02 g polyunsaturated fat), 19 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g protein, 0.3 g fiber.