Old fashioned cranberry molded salad recipe that I have been making for many years. This is from the first half of the 20th century when congealed salads was very popular. The newspapers always featured these type of salads on a regular basis because readers sent them in to share. Refrigeration was new as towns became electrified and cooks were utilizing this new appliance in wonderful ways. Gelatin salads played an important role in bringing cooking into the modern era. Before refrigeration gelatin molds was a treat that was not served often and only made for very special occasions. Cranberry molded salads was one of most popular holiday congealed salads. Every cook had their own version of this to grace the Thanksgiving table or Christmas family meals. It stayed the most popular until the strawberry pretzel salad was published in magazines and papers in the 1970’s.
This recipe is easy to make from fresh or frozen cranberries. I had some cranberries leftover from last year in my freezer. I always freeze several bags to bake and cook with through the year. They freeze wonderfully because all you do is bag them up and throw them in the freezer. Then all you have to do is take what you need out of the bag and return the rest back to the freezer. They stay loose in the bag since you don’t rinse or blanch them, just put them in the bag the way you buy them.
You are going to enjoy this salad because it is not bitter from using the whole orange only the zest of the orange. Also you can choose orange, lemon, cherry, raspberry or orange jello to match your taste.
Cranberry Molded Salad
This recipe can be doubled or tripled to serve more people. It makes 4 servings or 2 1/2 cups and uses a 3 cup mold.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- zest of half of a medium orange
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 (3 ounce) package of flavored gelatin
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Grind or process cranberries in blender or food processor. Use a microplane to finely grate orange zest. If a zester is used place the zest in with the cranberries before processing to chop the zest of finely. Pour the cranberries and zest into a bowl and cover with sugar. Set aside. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and cool slightly. Meantime chop celery and nuts. Mix cranberry mixture, nuts and celery into the gelatin. Chill until it thickens. Butter the interior of the jello mold. Stir cranberry gelatin and pour into mold. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours or overnight.
To flip out of mold. Set mold in a pan of hot water and loosen edges with a spatula. Just for a half of minute. Be careful not to splash water on the jello. It should flip out onto a serving plate easily. Garnish and serve.