Post by Alison Hein.
My sister wanted a 1960’s theme for her birthday bash – music, decorations, clothing and yes, food. As we collaborated on the menu, Janet loaned me a couple of old cookbooks for inspiration.
I paged through many recipes when the idea struck. A Jello mold! Sadly, ingredients such as raw egg, cream cheese, canned fruit and other oddities didn’t feel right. So I followed one of my favorite bits of cooking wisdom – when in doubt, add booze. I knew I was on track when I peeled the foil from the proseco bottle and spied the tiny smiley face printed on the cork.
Lots of fresh fruit added a colorful, decorative touch, and the frosted grapes shimmered and sparkled in a perfect party-like manner. Janet couldn’t find her old jello mold, so I used one of my grandma’s old cake pans. Any pan will do, but be patient and let the jello set to just the right consistency for the fruit to “float”. 2 ½ hours was right for the size of my mold.
Jammin’ and jiggly, our shimmery jello was an evening birthday party smash! And the next morning, who’s to say it wasn’t a real groovy breakfast in bed?
Jammin’ Jello Mold
2 cups water
1 6-ounce package of raspberry Jell-o
2 cups proseco, chilled (or use ginger ale as a non-alcoholic substitute)
2 cups (1 dry pint) blueberries
6 ounces raspberries
1 small head Boston lettuce
Frosted Grapes (see below)
2 cups mixed berries (or other fruit) for garnish
Pour water into a heavy, medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour in contents of Jell-o package and stir for 2 minutes, until completely clear and smooth. Stir in proseco. Pour mixture into mold and refrigerate until partially set, about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Texture should be firm enough that fruit will remain “floating” when immersed in the jello. Slice lemon into very thin rounds. Press lemon slices down and arrange in a pleasing pattern to cover the bottom of the mold. Add the blueberries and raspberries, pressing down to “float” throughout the mold. Return the mold to the refrigerator, and chill for at least another 2 hours, or better, overnight.
When ready to serve, run a small, sharp knife blade around the rim of the jello to loosen. Then very briefly put the mold in warm water. Place a platter on top of the mold and carefully flip. Arrange lettuce leaves around mold, then garnish with Frosted Grapes and mixed berries. Serve immediately.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Frosted Grapes (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Salad Recipes)
1 bunch green grapes
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
½ cup to 1 cup sugar
Wash and trim grapes. Dip grapes into egg whites and shake off any excess amount. Dip and roll in sugar to cover fruit. Let dry on rack at least 2 hours before serving.