Fruit Juice Jelly

Years ago, when I visited my aunt in Ootacamund in the mid-seventies, my eye fell on a five-sided aluminum Mickey Mouse mold with Mickey on top, and Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, Pluto, and Mickey again on the sides. Unbelievable. I asked Mani Masi if she would consider parting with it. It was the jelly mold of my happy early childhood and is still in use here in San Francisco.

Molded desserts are old-fashioned, certainly, but so much fun. The Mickey Mouse mold probably held many jellies made with crystals in the usual colors; it probably saw pink and white blancmanges, or even jellied port in the pre-Prohibition days. In this house, I use it for jellied fruit juice and a delicate jellied yogurt.

For methods of squeezing pomegranate juice.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 packet (½ ounce) powdered gelatin
  • 1 ¾ cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, or blood orange or tangerine juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Method

  • Put ¼ cup of the water in a small saucepan. Add the gelatin to it and let it soften and swell. This should take a few minutes. Over very low heat, melt the gelatin. Add a little of the fruit juice to the gelatin and then pour the mixture back into the bowl or pitcher containing the rest of the juice. Combine the remaining ½ cup of water with the sugar and bring to a boil to make a simple syrup. Let cool. The pomegranate mixture should be a bit sweeter than you would want it as a drink, so add the syrup to the juice bit by bit until it reaches that stage. You may need to add a squeeze of lemon juice to spark it up.
  • Pour the mixture into a mold dipped in water or simply into a serving bowl and refrigerate a few hours until set.
  • Turn it out to serve by dipping the mold briefly in hot water, holding a serving dish over it, and then quickly turning it over. Give it a sharp tap if the jelly doesn’t fall onto the dish at once.
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