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Impress your guests with a colorful Fruit Gelatin Mold. This dessert is bursting with delicious fruit and nuts! This easy to make and take with you vintage recipe has been around for decades.
Back in the day, at any family function or event, you would see at least one or two gelatin desserts. And if you remember, some of these were very unique.
We have decided to add a category to the site and focus on recreating old-fashioned recipes as they are originally written, and I won't make any changes to them.
- Strawberry or lemon gelatin
- Syrup from can of fruit
- Pineapple chunks
See recipe card for the actual quantities.
You'll notice I didn't do a lot of in process for these photos. Working with gelatin is pretty easy to do. However, I may add them at some point.
Cutting the fruit.
- Oranges - I used mandarin oranges for ours.
You change this up for different holidays to really add a fun festive touch to the dessert table.
- Whipped cream - serve up some creamy whipped topping so that the guests can add an additional yummy layer.
- Nut-free - the nuts aren't needed.
I think my favorite thing about making desserts like this is that the equipment is minimal. You will need a heavy-bottomed saucepan, a measuring cup, spoon, and the mold.
You can store the dessert in the fridge, in an air-tight container for up to five days. However, it probably won't last that long.
Remember that patience is key when making a fruit molded dessert. You have to give the gelatin time to set.
Even though they started to show up at gatherings as early as 1908, they didn't really become popular until the 1920s and 30s.
Make sure to spray the mold first lightly with cooking spray. If the mold is being stubborn and doesn't want to release from the mold. Set it warm water for 15 to 20 seconds and it should release then.
📚History Behind the Recipe
This recipe first appeared in the Betty Crocker's New Good and Easy Cook Book published in 1962.
This gelatin mold with fruit recipe is on page 101 under Molded Salads.
The original recipe called:
- 3 oz Lemon or Strawberry gelating
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup liquid (syrup from the fruit plus cold water)
- 2 oranges, diced
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 apple, diced
- 1/2 cup broken walnuts
Back in the day, molded gelatin desserts were definitely a hit to take to parties and to make for the holidays.
You can still find a variety of different molds at antique stores, thrift stores, and online. Or you would find them in Tupperware molded shapes. Did you know that you can still buy those?
Fruit Gelatin Mold
- small heavy-bottomed saucepan
- measuring cup
- large spoon
- gelatin mold
- cutting board
- 3 ounces Strawberry gelatin you can use lemon
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup syrup from the can of fruit and cold water you need enough water to make it a full cup.
- 2 mandarin oranges diced
- 1 cup pineapple chunks drained
- 1 banana sliced
- 1 apple peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- maraschino cherries optional
- orange slices optional
- lettuce optional
- whipped cream optional
- favorite cooking spray
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add in the packet of gelatin.
- Next, add in the boiling hot water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
- Slowly add in the water and syrup mixture and stir until well combined.
- Lightly spray the mold with the cooking spray and wipe out any excess. You just want it lightly coated.
- Pour in the gelatin and place in the fridge until it starts to set. This will depend on your fridge. You will need to keep checking it because you don't want it to get to set up or you won't be able to add in the fruit.
- Chop up the fruit and nuts while the gelatin is in the fridge.
- Once it has started to set, remove the mold from the fridge and add in the nuts and fruits.
- Place back into the fridge and let it set until it's firm. This should be about 45 minutes or so.
- Unmold and decorate with maraschino cherries and orange slices. You can also add a dollop of whipped cream to each serving.
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