10 Genius Tricks for Cooking with Gelatin
From using gelatin to flavor sugar cookies to keeping your Jell-O mold from sliding off the plate, here are our best tips for wiggly, jiggly success.
Unmold with Ease
No more struggling to get your gelatin salad out of the mold (isn’t this one pretty?)! Simply loosen the gelatin from the top edge of the mold by gently pulling it away from the edge with a moistened finger. Then dip the mold up to its rim in a sink or large pan of warm water for a few seconds or until the edges begin to release from the side. Place a plate over the mold and invert, setting it on a flat surface. Carefully lift the mold off of the salad. (But don’t forget the tip on the next slide!)
Stop the Slip & Slide
Have trouble getting your gelatin salad centered on the plate? Not to worry. Before inverting a gelatin mold onto a serving plate, wet the surface of the plate. This allows the gelatin to slide and makes it easier to center on the plate. Blot up any excess moisture on the plate with a paper towel.
Sprinkle a Sugar Cookie
It’s easy to add sparkle to your favorite sugar cookies. As they come out of the oven, brush them lightly with corn syrup and sprinkle with your favorite flavor of gelatin right from the box. Instant color and shine!
Layer It On
When making a layered gelatin salad, gently spoon (rather than pour) each layer onto the previous layer of gelatin so it doesn’t break through the other layers. Chill each layer until just set, but not firm, about 15 to 20 minutes, before adding the next layer. This prevents the layers from sliding off one another.
Shape It Up
When making potato or macaroni salad, dissolve a little unflavored gelatin in a small amount of water and mix with the mayonnaise before adding to the salad. Spread the salad in a mold and chill. When turned out, the salad will hold its shape.
Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting. When you’re making a Jell-O salad, be sure to use canned pineapple instead.
Try It in Pie
Give your cherry pie extra flavor and a rich, appetizing color by mixing a small package of cherry gelatin into the filling. Use raspberry gelatin for raspberry pie, and so on.
If you’re counting calories and want to make cheesecake with fat-free cream cheese, mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin for every 8 ounces of fat-free cream cheese. The gelatin adds no flavor but helps the cheesecake firm up nicely.
Boost the flavor and color of your gelatin by replacing the water with canned fruit juice.
When making gelatin, place the mold in the refrigerator before pouring in the last cup of liquid or fruit. This helps prevent spills when transferring a full mold into the fridge.