Other Jellies and Gelées; Manufactured Gelatins

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

The first jellies were meat and fish dishes, but cooks soon began to use animal gelatins to set other ingredients into pleasing solids, especially creams and fruit juices, and prepared gelatin became a standard ingredient for the pastry cook, who also uses it to give a melting firmness to some mousses, whipped creams, and pastry creams. The most familiar jellies in the United States today, both made from manufactured gelatin powders, are sweet, fruit-flavored, fluorescently colored desserts, and “shooters” fortified with vodka and other spirits. More refined preparations, often named by the French gelée, take advantage of the fact that other ingredients can be added at the last minute when the mix is barely warm and about to set, so fresh and delicate flavors can be preserved in the jelly: such things as champagne or the “water” from a seeded tomato.