Breaking the Mold With Gelicious Gelatin

by Jessica Burchfield

Asparagus Terrine

6-cup terrine mold or 2 loaf pans and a
  canned drink to use as a weight

1 lb fresh asparagus

½ teaspoon salt

Kettle of water

1 envelope (2 teaspoons) unflavored
  powdered gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, room

10.5 oz chèvre, room temperature

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 tablespoons  fresh rosemary,

  minced fine

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced fine

2 tablespoons scallions, minced

½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 roasted red peppers, cut into strips

Cooking Instructions:

Wet the interior surfaces of the terrine mold or loaf pan with water, line with plastic wrap—with generous overhang on each side then spray the interior of the plastic wrap with olive oil. Bring water in kettle to boil, rinse and trim asparagus as needed and place it in a rimmed baking pan in a single layer. Pour enough boiling water over asparagus to cover each stalk. Add salt. Allow asparagus to poach in this water as it cools and turns bright green. In about 5 minutes the asparagus should be slightly tender and brighter in color. Drain the water from the pan and set aside asparagus. Pour the gelatin into a small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of water and allow it to bloom for 5 minutes.

Place ricotta, chèvre, garlic, rosemary, thyme, green onions and black pepper in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended. Heat the gelatin in the saucepan on low heat and stir until gelatin dissolves, about a minute. Slowly drizzle this gelatin into the food processor while pulsing to blend with the cheese. Scrape sides of bowl and pulse again.

Place a single layer of asparagus stalks in the bottom of the mold, with the stalks in alternate directions. Pour 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the asparagus layer. Place the red pepper strips in a layer over the cheese layer. Do another layer of cheese, then asparagus, then the remainder of the cheese. Use any remaining vegetables for garnish when unmolding. Cover prepared terrine with the edges of the plastic wrap, top with terrine weight or another loaf pan, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, remove weight and open plastic wrap. Place serving plate upside down on mold and invert mold, carefully lifting it off of the cheese. Remove plastic wrap and garnish plate with remaining vegetables and fresh herbs. Serve terrine with crackers or French bread.

Smoked Salmon Mousse

Individual molds or 1 large fish-shaped
  mold that will hold a total of 6 cups

Butter for greasing mold

1 envelope (2 teaspoons) unflavored

  powdered gelatin

¼ cup cold water

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup boiling water

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small shallot, grated

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sriracha

8 oz smoked salmon, diced fine or flaked

Garnish: baby lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, capers


1 tablespoon dry dill

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Cooking Instructions

butter. Pour gelatin in a large bowl, cover with the ¼ cup of cold water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes to bloom. In another bowl, whip the 1 cup of heavy cream.  Add the boiling water to the bloomed gelatin and whisk to completely dissolve.  Add the lemon juice and shallot to the gelatin and stir to mix. Add mayonnaise and sriracha, stir to mix, then fold in the salmon. Fold the whipped cream into the complete mixture, taste and add more salt or sriracha if needed. Pour mousse into mold and allow it to chill overnight. When ready to serve, place mold in a tray of hot water for about 10 seconds, place platter on top of mold and invert. Surround the fish with a bed of baby lettuce leaves and garnish with thin cucumber slices, capers, lemon slices and cherry tomatoes. Whisk together ingredients for dill sauce and serve on the side with the mousse.

Grandma Walton’s Strawberry Angel Food Parfaits

12 cylindrical 1-cup molds (or a standard cupcake pan for 12)

Butter for greasing molds

1 pint fresh strawberries

3 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 prepared angel food cake (homemade or from bakery)

6 oz strawberry-flavored gelatin mix

1 cup boiling water

1 cup ice

Strawberries and fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Cooking Instructions

Butter the inside of your molds. Cut angel food cake into slices about ½” thick. Use a circle cutter to cut 12 circles the same diameter as the bottom of your molds, and place one circle of cake in the bottom of each mold. Rinse strawberries, remove stems, and cut enough of them into thin slices (about half of the package) to place decoratively around the edges of the molds. After you have lined all of the edges of the molds, dice the remaining berries into ½” cubes. Cut 12 more circles of cake that are the same diameter as the top of the molds and set aside. Cut any remaining cake and the edges of the circles into small cubes.

Whip the heavy cream on high with your mixer until peaks form. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; continue beating until cream is stiff. Empty the gelatin mix into a large glass measuring cup. Add 1 cup boiling water and whisk to dissolve completely. Add enough ice to the measuring cup to increase the volume by one cup. Stir with a whisk to dissolve ice. Add a few tablespoons of the still liquid strawberry gelatin to dye the whipped cream pink if desired.

Add the cubed strawberries and cake to the gelatin mixture and a little of the whipped cream to lighten the color. Spoon the gelatin mixture into the lined molds. Top each mold with the remaining circle of cake, cover molds and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until gelatin is set. Place the unused whipped cream in a pastry bag in the refrigerator also.

When ready to unmold, fill a shallow dish with hot water and place molds in the water for about 5 seconds, remove from water and invert onto a plate. Garnish with the prepared whipped cream, strawberries and fresh mint.