If someone mentions gelatin, desserts are probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, gelatin is a meat product and as such it goes well with salty dishes and salads. Although almost all types of gelatin are sold in animal origin, there are also vegan variants.
Gelatin has many uses except in desserts. Since gelatin is 85% protein and has very few calories, it is a great choice for diabetics and people on a diet. There are also flavored and sugary gelatins on sale.
Gelatin has an unlimited shelf life as long as it is hermetically sealed and stands in a cool and dry place.
Store dishes prepared with gelatin in the refrigerator.
Never add fresh pineapple to gelatin. This fruit, together with fresh figs, kiwi, ginger and papaya, contains the enzyme bromelain, which causes the breakdown of gelatin, which consequently loses the possibility of thickening. This enzyme is deactivated during cooking, so you are free to use canned fruit.
To avoid lumps, first mix dry gelatin with a little cold water and let it swell for 3-5 minutes before adding hot liquid.
You will get a thicker and tastier soup from veal bones than from beef, because veal contains more collagen, which affects gelling.
Store desserts prepared with gelatin in covered containers to avoid the formation of a thick, rubbery crust on the surface.
Too much sugar can slow down gelling. The more sugar goes into the recipe, the softer the finished product will be.
The firmness varies depending on the ratio of gelatin and temperature. You can successfully dissolve the steamed gelatin and cool it several times before the mixture loses its gelling power.
Gelatin takes twice as long to melt when using milk or sweet sour cream. When using sugar with gelatin, mix them first before you start melting them.
To mix meat, vegetables or fruits with gelatin, first cool them, and then stir little by little.
Be sure to drain the solid ingredients before adding them to the gelatin.
For 2 cups of the jelly mixture, use 1-2 cups of solid, ground or chopped ingredients.
To easily remove the gelled mixture from the mold, lubricate the mold with oil before filling it with the mixture. Then rinse it gently with water. This will remove excess oil, but it will still be enough to keep the mixture from sticking to the mold. Another way is to immerse the mold with the gelled mixture in hot water for 5-10 seconds, carefully separate the mass with a knife or spatula from the edges of the mold and hand it out on a plate. Then return to the refrigerator to reattach.
Use 1 bag of gelatin powder to gel 2 cups of water to get the standard firmness. Reduce or increase the quantities as needed.
1 tablespoon gelatin powder = 4 sheets of gelatin in flakes.
For clear mixtures, it takes about 2 hours of cooling for the gelling process to be completed. If the mixture has additives, then the cooling time is 4 hours.
Mixtures in layers are gelled longer, as each layer must wait before adding the next.
Instead of water, you can use other liquids - fruit juices, clear soup, wine…
Never boil the mixture with gelatin, because then it will lose the possibility of gelling.
Before turning the mixture out of the mold on a plate, rinse the plate under water. It will be easier to center the jelly on a wet plate.