Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, so I absolutely have to post something Thanksgiving-related for my end-of-the-week recipe blogging. Thus, this week I present to you one of my family's most prized traditional Thanksgiving foods: Cran-raspberry-pineapple gelatin conglomeration. This dish is more affectionately known as "Cran-raspberry salad" by my mom, though I find a dish entirely lacking in fresh ingredients to be the antithesis of a salad.
This recipe is straight out of the 1950s: it's made from raspberry jello ("ooh, look, it gels!"), canned pineapple, canned cranberry sauce, and sour cream ("it's like cream, but sour"). This dish has started every home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner that I can remember, and every other Thanksgiving dinner I've eaten has seemed incomplete without it. Even my SO, who didn't grow up eating it, finds it delicious and would be disappointed if we didn't have it every Thanksgiving (which is just one of many things that makes my SO the perfect one for me).
This takes a few hours to set properly, so give yourself time to make it.
6 ounces raspberry gelatin powder (sugar-sweetened)
1 3/4 cups water, boiling
20 ounces crushed pineapple, in juice
16 ounces cranberry sauce, whole berry type
1 cup sour cream
1) In a large bowl dissolve the gelatin in boiling water.
2) Add undrained pineapple and cranberry sauce, stirring until the cranberry sauce melts.
3) Pour half of gelatin mixture into a 6 1/2 cup ring mold (we always use this Vintage Tupperware 3-Piece Jell-o Bundt Mold, which wasn't "vintage" when it was bought).
4) Chill gelatin in mold in the fridge until almost firm. Almost-firm gelatin will appear to be set, but should feel sticky to the touch. The mixture should also flow slightly when the mold is tipped to one side. Leave remaining gelatin at room temperature.
5) Stir sour cream until smooth, then spread evenly over the almost-firm gelatin in the mold.
6) Gently scoop the remaining gelatin mixture on top of the sour cream.
7) Chill until firm. Unmold onto serving plate.
The main problem with this dish is layer separation; the top often tries to slide off as it warms up and is sliced. One trick I use is to not spread the sour cream to the edges of the mold, which allows the gelatin to form a solid bond around the entire circumference of the mold, reducing slippage.
If you don't have a ring mold, you could probably make this in a shallow bowl.