Help With Gelatin Mold Technique

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Joined Jul 27, 2014
Hello Folks...Seasons Greetings...

Here's my deal. I have an aunt's, great, great grandmother's cranberry sauce recipe. Been making it for years and it is good. Then a few years ago, in talking wth a cousin, she said that her family has always used this heirloom recipe as well, but mentioned that they pour it into a nice mold pan to set. I have always just poured it in a glass bowl. However, when she said that, I remembered that all the goodies in the gelatin end up being at the bottom of the bowl, and that oveturning the mold on a plate would be far preferable...duh. My aunt and uncle failed to tell me that!

So, I tried it a few times having read 'on the internet' to set the pan in hot water for a bit. After two attempts, all I ended up with was a sloppy mess. I'm going to put it together again tonight, and I hope by tomorrow someone will chime in as to how to do this properly. I was thinking of wiping a thin layer of cooking spray inside the mold, maybe let it stand ouitside of the fridge for thirty minutes before turning it over.

The voice of experience would be much appreciated. I know this is probably simple to do, but I need to do better than trial and error. Thanks in advance!
 

kuan

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Are you using canned or fresh? Sometimes the amount of pectin doesn't remain constant. I would suggest fresh cranberries if you are already not doing so.

Next you could set half the mold, then dump in the goodies with the rest of the cranberries on top. When you invert it the goodies will be on the bottom.

You can also line the mold with plastic wrap.

You can also chill the mold, coat it with a thin layer of gelatin, chill, repeat, maybe repeat again, and then dump your cranberriy mixture in the mold.
 
82
17
Joined Jul 27, 2014
Are you using canned or fresh? Sometimes the amount of pectin doesn't remain constant. I would suggest fresh cranberries if you are already not doing so.

Next you could set half the mold, then dump in the goodies with the rest of the cranberries on top. When you invert it the goodies will be on the bottom.

You can also line the mold with plastic wrap.

You can also chill the mold, coat it with a thin layer of gelatin, chill, repeat, maybe repeat again, and then dump your cranberriy mixture in the mold.
Appreciate the quick response. The mixture is fresh cranberries, heated to 'pop' in water, then sugar is blended in, into which is dissolved a little package of cherry Jello. Crushed pineapple, nuts and chopped celery are added.

I have to think about these ideas. While the plastic wrap idea sounds expedient, but I suspect every crease in the wrap would spoil the look of the mold. Thanks, again.
 
Last edited:
82
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Joined Jul 27, 2014
As a last resort, I could call my cousin, but would be stuck on the phone for a while. She's just like her mother...LOL
 
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Before putting the mix in the mold, put a couple of tablespoons in a small container and then in the refrigerator and see how well it sets. If it doesn't set enough, you can add more plain gelatin. Then repeat the test.
Kuan is right, cook the pineapple. Raw pineapple destroys the setting ability of the gelatin.
When the mold is completely set, press on it lightly to make sure it is as firm as you want. You only need to dip it in hot water for about three seconds if using a metal mold. Place a sheetpan over the open top of the mold and invert it. If the mold doesn't release easily, you can turn it back over without losing the contents.
 

pete

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Yes, uncooked pineapple does have an enzyme that destroys gelatin, but that should not be an issue with canned, crushed pineapple. I have used it in jello many, many times, using many different brands and have never had a problem. I am going to assume that your recipe is fine (unless you tell me that when you have done it in the past it has a very loose gel). A couple of things I see as potential problems. First, if I am using a very detailed jello mold I will very lightly oil it with a nuetral flavored oil. Don't use pan spray. It contains a whole bunch of other things. Just vegetable oil. Secondly, you say you let the mold sit in the warm water for "a bit." I assume that your jello mold is a metal of some kind which means it transfers heat quite readily. When I unmold jello molds I take them right out of the fridge and submerge them, not quite to the top, in very hot tap water, for about 10 seconds. That is all it should take, along with the oil to release it. If your recipe has worked in the past, and you haven't changed anything and it set up firmly then it should work now. I just think you may be letting it get too warm.
 
82
17
Joined Jul 27, 2014
Yes, uncooked pineapple does have an enzyme that destroys gelatin, but that should not be an issue with canned, crushed pineapple. I have used it in jello many, many times, using many different brands and have never had a problem. I am going to assume that your recipe is fine (unless you tell me that when you have done it in the past it has a very loose gel). A couple of things I see as potential problems. First, if I am using a very detailed jello mold I will very lightly oil it with a nuetral flavored oil. Don't use pan spray. It contains a whole bunch of other things. Just vegetable oil. Secondly, you say you let the mold sit in the warm water for "a bit." I assume that your jello mold is a metal of some kind which means it transfers heat quite readily. When I unmold jello molds I take them right out of the fridge and submerge them, not quite to the top, in very hot tap water, for about 10 seconds. That is all it should take, along with the oil to release it. If your recipe has worked in the past, and you haven't changed anything and it set up firmly then it should work now. I just think you may be letting it get too warm.
This is an update and I appreciate the comments from all.

Everything in this quote is accurate, couldn't have said it better, however proceeded before reading this.

This recipe comes out fairly firm, so that is not an issue, although I did try once to add the additional gelatin, as earlier suggested.

What I did this time was set the mold in hot tap water for a quick three seconds. Turned it over and it did not come loose. Then I re-heated the water and left it in for ten seconds. Turned it over and it came out with quite a bit of melted gelatin, basically another fail. I may try this again since I know the fresh cranberries are probably still available and I have leftover crushed pineapple. I did surmise the pineapple would not be an issue due to it being canned. One thing is for sure, the margin of error on how long to leave in hot water is very brief. Not sure I can pull this off.

Thanks, again.
 

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