This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
It is not at all necessary to follow cut and dried recipes in the making of gelatines, if one keeps constantly in mind the fact that a tablespoonful of powdered gelatine, dissolved in a little cold water, is enough to stiffen a pint of liquid. For a fruit gelatine the fruit flavoring should be pronounced, and the mixture should be made a little sweeter than would seem necessary, - that is, if it is tested while hot. The fruit juices should never be added to a hot liquid. To develop a gelatine into a sponge, merely reduce one-fourth the amount of liquid necessary to make a pint, adding, when cool, one or two well-beaten egg whites; then whip the whole till frothy, or add three-fourths cupful of whipped cream to make a Bavarian Cream.
In adding fruits to a gelatine, they should be stirred in after the gelatine begins to "set," or to have the consistency of an egg white. However, if the gelatine is to be moulded, and it is desirable to have a particularly attractive result, a thin layer of the gelatine mixture should be poured into the bottom of a mould, and the mould should be set in cracked ice. When this layer has stiffened, a layer of fruit should be set in place in an attractive design, and a little more gelatine should be poured over it. When this has become slightly "set," more fruit, nuts, or whatever is to be used, may be put in position. This process must be continued until the mould is complete.
A plain lemon or orange gelatine offers a splendid medium for using up odds and ends of fresh or cooked fruit. To this may be added as fancy and necessity of balancing the meal may dictate, quartered dates, broken nut meats, marshmallows, etc.
It is oftentimes a great convenience and just as economical to use commercially prepared quick gelatine mixtures that are put- in packages with all the ingredients exactly prepared for instant use In selecting a gelatine of this type be sure that it is of undoubted purity, free from coal tar dye, and flavored with genuine condensed fruit juices.