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Monday, January 12, 2009

How to Use Gelatin

How to Use Gelatin

Here's How:

1. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over a small amount of cold water taken from the recipe and let stand. If using sheet gelatin, immerse sheets in cold water for a few minutes (don't use liquid from the recipe for sheet gelatin).
2. Heat half of the remaining liquid used in recipe to boiling and pour over either the softened unflavored gelatin or commercial powdered gelatin in a large bowl. For sheet gelatin, pick up the
soft mass and squeeze excess liquid from it and drop into hot liquid.
3. Stir gently but thoroughly with a metal spoon until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Make sure that you don't see any tiny particles of undissolved gelatin in the liquid.
4. Add the other half of the recipe's liquid to the dissolved gelatin mixture and stir. This half of the recipe's liquid should be cool.
5. You can partially chill the gelatin if you are adding fruit, meats, or vegetables to the salad. Place gelatin mixture in the refrigerator and let chill for about 1 hour, until the gelatin looks
like thick unbeaten egg whites. The added ingredients will then be evenly distributed throughout the finished salad.
6. Rinse the salad mold with cold water. Do not dry. Pour in the gelatin mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours before unmolding.
7. To unmold the salad, run the tip of a knife around the edge of the mold. Invert the mold onto a dampened serving place.
8. Dampen kitchen towels in hot water, wring out, and apply to outside of mold for 30-60 seconds. Gently shake mold until gelatin slides out. Repeat process if necessary.
9. Return mold to refrigerator until serving time.
10. Store the salad, covered, in the refrigerator.

Tips:

1. Never use fresh or frozen pineapple, guava, figs, kiwifruit, or ginger root in molded gelatin salads. They contain bromelin, an enzyme which will destroy the gelatin's protein bonds. Canned
versions of these products are fine - the heat used in the canning process has denatured the bromelin enzyme.
2. You can oil your salad mold with a light, nonflavored oil instead of rinsing it with water.
3. Make sure that the gelatin is thoroughly set before you try to unmold the salad.
4. You can add other ingredients without prechilling the gelatin. They will just settle to the bottom of the mold and be on the top when the salad is unmolded.
5. You can pour gelatin into individual serving cups so you don't have to bother with unmolding a large salad.