Sunday, May 18, 2008

Homemade Jello

Homemade jello is easy!!! You can customize the sugar content and flavors endlessly, and it has nothing artificial in it (unless you add it). You also aren't stuck with a million little boxes in your pantry. If you want to make it with juice saved from canned fruit (aren't we thrifty?!), you should know that most canned fruit (even mandarin oranges) can be found canned in juice as opposed to syrup (often, it's pear juice), and, save for mandarin orange juice, is pretty mild. Pair it with a stronger juice (such as grape or cranberry) or add the optional lemon juice and/or orange juice concentrate. Mandarin orange juice adds a distinctive flavor on its own and is also good with cranberry juice and apple juice (and all three together). 1 medium can of fruit yields approximately 2/3 cup juice; 1 regular-sized can mandarin oranges yields approximately 1/2 cup.

Recipe from More-with-Less (including variations at the end; notes in parentheses are mine)

Combine in saucepan:
  • 1 c. fruit juice, drained from canned fruit (or 1 c. regular juice)
  • 1 enveloped unflavored gelatin
Stir to begin dissolving gelatin. Then heat almost to boiling point until liquid is clear. Remove from heat and add:
  • 1 c. cold fruit juice or water
  • 1 T. lemon juice (optional; can omit if using strong juices such as grape or cranberry)
  • 1 T. frozen orange juice concentrate (optional; can omit if using strong juices such as grape or cranberry)
Chill until set.

Serves 4-6

  1. When partially set, fold in fresh or drained canned fruits as desired. If using fresh unsweetened fruits and tart juice, add 2-4 T. sugar to hot gelatin mixture.
  2. When partially set, fold in 1 c. whipped cream or cottage cheese.
  3. Replace second cup fruit juice with 1 c. chilled yogurt (this is good, but different).

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