Rworange got me all excited w/ her Jello quest and reports here:
You see, JELL-O (the packaged brand) epitomizes carefree summers during my childhood. Days when we would ride our bikes to the public library (I was a nerdy child) or the local 7-Eleven for candy. JELL-O was probably where my love of creating in the kitchen began. My mother worked long hours at her job, and I would surprise her with a tri-color rainbow treat topped w/ Cool Whip that I had started the day before in order to get the meticulous layered effect. While my family seemed so non-American and out of place, JELL-O somehow made me feel "normal." Sorry for getting all sappy and nostalgic, but this gives you an idea of my deep connection to JELL-O.
I have not made JELL-O since I don't know when, but it's been a long time. As an adult now, panna cotta is one of my favorite desserts and I have made that numerous times. I don't think I'll ever make packaged Jello again since I know that it's not very good for me and that powdered, sweetened mix scares me like another childhood favorite, Kool-Aid.
So the idea of taking an old favorite and reinventing it from an adult angle, from the cook that I am now, was a fun prospect. What came together last night wasn't the result of any serious planning but a confluence of just what happened to be in my fridge. Peach juice from Trader Joe's; Peche Lambic (imported from Belgium and bought at Cost Plus); juicy O'Henry yellow peaches from the farmer's market. Here's how it came together:
1-1/4 c. peach juice
2 packets Knox gelatin (would use 1.5 packets next time)
1 c. Peche Lambic (or any other booze like Prosecco, rose wine, etc)
3/4 c. water
sugar to taste (I used superfine)
lemon juice to taste
2 fresh peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
In non-reactive bowl, sprinkle gelatin powder on peach juice and let sit for at least one minute. Heat up water til it comes to a boil. Add to peach juice mixture and stir to thoroughly dissolve gelatin. Stir in Lambic. Sprinkle in sugar a little at a time til desired sweetness is attained. I used about one TB. Squeeze in a little lemon juice til mixture tastes bright and has a nice tartness. Pour mixture into mold of choice (I used a glass loaf pan). Add as many sliced peaches as desired; they will float to top. Cover w/ plastic wrap and let chill in fridge overnight.
Guess what I immediately did when I awoke this morning? To my delight, it had firmed up very nicely and looked pretty to boot. And just like an impulsive, self-gratifying child, I had a sliver of my own boozy jello for breakfast...
Image in loaf pan:
Image on plate (I had this serving after work :-)):
Refreshing and effervescent, this peaches X 3 concoction was indeed peachy. Lemon juice brought out a nice tartness, and the lambic gave it the adult edge. Fresh thyme or tarragon would take it a step further, but not sure if I would like that. Now that gelees are all the rage at upscale restaurants, I could see many uses for gelatin-based creations. Floating some (savory or sweet) in a chilled soup or using as a condiment on top of oysters or sushi could be really interesting...or I may just stick to eating it from the pan for breakfast. ;-)
Thanks to Rworange for sparking my reunion w/ this beloved childhood treat!