ThanksgivingFilter: Cranberry mold help, please!!
November 22, 2009 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Years ago, I went to my aunt's house, and she made this really fun Jello mold that was red and had bits of food-processed cranberries, walnuts, celery, and pineapple bits. It was soooo delicious! Since then I've tried to replicate it a few times, all to no avail. Each time, the Jello doesn't set and it comes out like basically a cranberry sauce that tasted like whatever Jello flavor I use. Can anyone point me to a good recipe AND include some tips for success? Many thanks in advance!!
posted by choochoo to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Bromelain in fresh pineapple will prevent the jello from setting - try it without.
posted by Paragon at 6:17 PM on November 22, 2009

You need canned pineapple. The bromelain breaks down at canning temperatures.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:19 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here ya go.

From Recipezaar

Cranberry Salad Mold
posted by raisingsand at 6:28 PM on November 22, 2009

Here's my grandmother's recipe:

Mix & let set for 1/2 hour:
1 pkg fresh chopped cranberries (12 oz or 16 oz)
1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1 cup sugar

Mix 2 small pkgs red jello with 3 cups boiling water in large bowl and let cool to room temperature

Then add:
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 chopped orange
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup chopped nuts
8 oz canned crushed pineapple
cranberry mixture

Stir. Let set in fridge until thickening begins
Stir again. Return to fridge to thicken
posted by MuChao at 6:40 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Are you following a recipe provided by your aunt, or are you trying to replicate a dish for which you don't have a recipe?

Instead of using flavored Jell-O, you can use plain gelatin with juice. (Instructions will be on the packet of gelatin. In the U.S., Knox is a standard brand, though there are others.) If you want cranberry flavor, you can mix plain gelatin with cranberry juice, as well as whatever cranberries your recipe requires.
posted by Elsa at 7:04 PM on November 22, 2009

raisingsand, is the recipe one you've tried?

MuChao, thanks for the recipe, have you tried it and is it foolproof? I need foolproof; if there's a way to mess up a recipe, I'll find it! So far, yours looks like a good candidate.

Elsa, I just found recipes on the internet and tried them, but none of them ever worked out. That's why I'm looking for tips. I figure I must be doing something wrong that wasn't obvious from reading the recipe, like not making sure the ingredients are dry or something like that.
posted by choochoo at 8:54 PM on November 22, 2009

Don't use fresh pineapple.
Drain canned pineapple.
Don't use canned cranberries.
If you use frozen cranberries, don't use MuChao's recipe (which sounds wonderful, and I may have to make it this year even though it doesn't go with our traditional lasagne), because they will release too much juice and the gelatin won't set.
Jell-O makes a cranberry gelatin.
posted by jlkr at 9:32 PM on November 22, 2009

If it doesn't set well, try the recipe again, and add less water.
You can get unflavored gelatin, and make very interesting jello creations. White grape juice is amazing.
posted by theora55 at 7:40 AM on November 23, 2009

this is foolproof, I've made it for zillions of Thanksgivings and my mom has made it for zillions more. It's delicious, everyone loves it, but it does not have celery as in your aunt's recipe :


2 cans whole cranberry sauce
2 small packs red jello of your choice (black cherry recommended)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
3 peeled oranges, cubed
1 cup broken walnuts

Drain can of pineapple, retain juice

Boil one cup pineapple juice (add water if needed to make 1 cup)

Mix boiled juice with jello mix until dissolved

Mix in ¾ cup cold water and refrigerate until thickened BUT NOT YET FIRM

Mix in remaining ingredients and chill.

Recipe calls for mixing before serving, but stays together better for leftovers if not mixed before serving—your choice!

Can be doubled
posted by Lylo at 7:42 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

choochoo: I just talked to my grandmother. She says it's totally fool-proof as long as you remember to stir just as the jello is beginning to set, otherwise all the fruit will fall to the bottom. That's also a good time to transfer to a shaped mold if desired (she usually just makes it in a regular bowl.

I've made it a couple of times without fail (and I can screw up some recipes like you wouldn't believe). 'Course, I don't think it's as good as when she makes it, but that may just be the lack of "grandma-love".
posted by MuChao at 10:23 AM on November 23, 2009

Oh yeah, and don't forget to drain the canned pineapple. Also, feel free to add nutmeg/allspice to your liking.
posted by MuChao at 10:25 AM on November 23, 2009

MuChao and Lylo, I'm torn between the 2 recipes! Maybe I'll make one recipe and have my brother make the other. Thank you so much for them.

Everyone else, thanks for all the tips. This is something that has befuddled me for years now and we may just get it right this year. =)
posted by choochoo at 2:00 PM on November 23, 2009

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