This molded gelatin is an adaptation of one I came across in the late Laurie Colwin’s book “More Home Cooking.” The original recipe was titled Cider Jelly in an entry about Thanksgiving. I love Laurie Colwin’s writing and so wished that both she and Gourmet Magazine, for whom she wrote food articles, were still with us.
I try to incorporate a bit of my husband’s English/Welsh background as well as my Italian roots into our Thanksgiving feast. We begin with an antipasto. We used to have some sort of pasta or soup with pasta in it, but as I age I can’t handle the volume, so we just have a light antipasto of raw fennel, marinated celery, olives and roasted peppers, maybe some cheese with salami or pepperoni. Then we continue on with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and all the sides. This gelatin mold is now a part of our meal as a nod to my husband’s English roots. Part of his family also came from Savannah, Georgia so we have a sweet potato dish that my mother made when we were growing up. There is also stuffing and homemade cranberry relish. My mom is bringing the vegetables this year. I am not sure what she has decided to make.
Use whatever kind of three cup mold available to you. I have several English pudding molds that work beautifully for this recipe. It could also be made with blood orange juice, cranberry, or pomegranate juice.
Spiced Apple Cider Gelatin Mold
2 c. apple cider
3/4 c. sugar
1-1/2 pkgs. unflavored powdered gelatin
a pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. freshly ground cardamom
1/2 c. cold water
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Spray a 3 cup gelatin mold lightly with cooking spray and set aside. Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan. While the cider is heating combine in a bowl the sugar, gelatin, salt and spices. Mix well then add water with lemon juice and zest. Stir to blend. Stir in boiled apple cider and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and pour into prepared mold. Cover and chill overnight. To unmold, place in a bowl of warm water for 1 minute. Then invert onto platter. Serves 4-6.