Sunday, July 27, 2008

Adventures with Gelatin

Today I decided to re-try the gelatin dessert, Pineapple Bavarian. I tried this last week with my brand new mini Jello molds and it didn’t set. Here is the exact recipe, verbatim, from The Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking circa 1959. “Bavarian” is a rich cream mixture thickened with just enough gelatin to make them set.

Pineapple Bavarian
1 T plain gelatin
¼ cup cold water
9 oz can crushed pineapple (1 cup)
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
dash of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 T Maraschino cherry juice
6 Maraschino cherries, halved

"Sift gelatin over the water measured into a custard cup. Let stand for 5 min to soften. Meanwhile turn pineapple into a 2 qt mixing bowl. Stir in cherry juice, salt, and sugar. Set custard cup of gelatin in a pan containing hot water and let stand until it melts into a clear liquid, then stir into pineapple mix. Set aside or in refrigerator until mixture becomes consistency of thick unbeaten egg white. Have cream whipped until just stiff, but not lumpy. Quickly scrape cream onto top of pineapple mixture, then using scraper, quickly cut and fold in the cream lightly but thoroughly. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill. Serve heaped lightly in sherbets. Garnish with cherries."

I really wanted a molded dessert so I amended a bit. I used a full package of gelatin, ½ pint whipping cream and 2 oz cream cheese. It is important you use canned pineapple as fresh pineapple has some sort of enzyme that inhibits the gelatin from setting! (This could be why my first attempt failed, though I cooked the pineapple.)

To release these guys from their molds I had to warm the bottoms a bit under warm water. It was too hot and the first one melted a bit. The second one was perfect. This is a very rich dessert to these little single serving size molds will be perfect for the party.