This recipe is made with jello gelatin. If you don't like the added dyes or chemicals in jello, you can use agar (kanten), which is a vegetarian/vegan plant seaweed gelatin. Agar can be purchased at health food stores, Asian groceries, and in some regular grocery stores. Follow the directions on the package for dissolving the agar in hot water. Agar is a translucent white color when gelled. If you use the can of bing cherries, the gelatin will turn out a beautiful pink color. The rest of the ingredients can also be purchased at your grocery store or a health food store, such as Whole Foods.
Agar was discovered in 1658 by Minora Tarazaemon in Japan (where it is called kanten), an innkeeper who was said to have discarded some surplus seaweed soup and noticed that it gelled later after a freezing winter night.
This gelatin is creamy and rich. It can be used as a special dessert, or a side dish for a family meal.
Mom's fancy gelatin (5 servings)
- 4 small packages of cream cheese (set on counter to get soft for 30 minutes)
- 1 eight ounce bag of chopped walnuts
- 2 cartons of whipping cream
- 1 large can of crushed pineapple with juice or 1 large can of bing cherries with juice
- 2 packages of lime jello or cherry jello if using bing cherries
- Dissolve jello in 1 cup of boiling water in a large bowl, or follow package directions for agar.
- Put softened cream cheese into jello and mix well.
- Mix in the pineapple and juice, or the bing cherries and juice.
- Add whip cream and walnuts and mix well.
- Pour into decorative jello mold or leave in bowl and refrigerate overnight.