Ruby Cranberry Mold

Molded salads harken back to the Fifties when many things were served on lettuce leaves. But this will be a beautiful, delicious addition to your holiday table or buffet. And you can skip the lettuce leaves -- or not.

  • 1 small package Cherry Jell-O
  • 1 tablespoon plain gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 to 3 cups fresh cranberries (see Note below)
  • 1 seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Dissolve the Jell-O and gelatin in the boiling water, and stir until blended. Add the sugar, lemon juice and pineapple juice, and stir well. Chill until partially set (see Note below).
  2. Wash and pick over the cranberries, discarding any soft or white berries. Drain. Add 2 cups of cranberries to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until chopped, but not puréed. Spoon the chopped cranberries into a dry measuring cup until you have 1-1/2 cups of processed cranberries. Put cranberries in a large mixing bowl; discard unused cranberries or keep for another use.
  3. Scrape any unused cranberry bits from the processor bowl (no need to rinse) and add the chopped orange sections. Pulse just a few times. Add processed orange sections to the processed cranberries in the mixing bowl, and toss to combine. Add the crushed pineapple, chopped celery and chopped pecans, stirring mixture well.
  4. Very lightly spray a 6-cup ring mold with non-stick spray. Stir the orange-cranberry mixture into the partially set Jell-O mixture. Mix thoroughly and spoon into a 6-cup ring mold, pressing lightly on mixture to ensure that the mold is well filled. Chill until firm.
  5. Makes about 10 servings.

Note: Monitor the Jell-O/gelatin mixture carefully once it's refrigerated. Depending on the temperature of your refrigerator, the mixture can become partially set in as few as 18 to 20 minutes. When it is "set" to your satisfaction, give it a few good stirs before adding the solid ingredients.

If you do not have a 6-cup ring mold, it's possible to use a Bundt pan for this dish, although it's a little trickier to unmold. The dish pictured above was prepared in a Tupperware 6-cup ring mold that worked perfectly. Also very handy for making ice rings for punch bowls.

Lightly toasting the chopped pecans will make a big flavor difference in this (or most any other) dish. Spread them out on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 4 or 5 minutes, or until you begin to smell them.

Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 5 minutes; Ready in: 6 hours

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