If you are skeptical about the magic of gelatin desserts, then this is the best recipe to start with. This stunning, sparkling jewel of a jello mold is simply flavorful sparkling wine set with gelatin and studded with fresh fruit. It will make every guest at your brunch table ooh and ahh in delight. The best part? It tastes incredible — light and fruity, with a tart, balanced sweetness that will surprise even the most ardent jello-salad skeptics.
How do I know? Because this is the dessert that turned me into a jello-mold fanatic in one slice.
Sparkling Jewel Jello Mold: Watch the Video
Making Grandma's Jello Salad Modern
This jeweled jello mold is a modern take on the jellied fruit salads that were popular in the '60s and '70s. But instead of fruit cocktail set in super-sweet fruit juice, this dessert uses fresh fruit set in a mixture of sparkling wine and elderflower liqueur.
What You Need to Know
- To preserve the bubbles in this jello mold: Use the elderflower liquor to both bloom (or hydrate) the powdered gelatin and to melt it into a liquid state. Add these to the wine mixture and avoid stirring to keep the wine bubbly.
- Pay attention to the consistency: Cool the wine and gelatin mixture over a bowl of ice to cool and thicken the gelatin. You really want to cool the gelatin mixture until it is quite thick, almost lumpy (the consistency is like hair gel) before you add the fruit, otherwise the fruit will float to the top of the gelatin mixture (the bottom of the finished dessert).
- Chill thoroughly: Refrigerate the mold overnight to ensure it is set before inverting to remove it from the mold. You can serve this straight-up or garnish with edible flowers and lightly sweetened whipped cream on the side.
Sparkling Fruit Jello Mold
4 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin (about 1/4 cup total)
1 cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (750-milliliter) bottle spumante or other sparkling wine
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 small plums, pitted and sliced
1 medium nectarine, pitted and sliced
1 cup quartered strawberries
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1 cup blueberries
4 fresh mint sprigs, plus more for garnishing
Nasturtiums or other edible flowers, for garnish
Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan or jello mold with cooking spray; set aside.
Place the gelatin into a small bowl, add 1/2 cup of the elderflower liqueur, and whisk to combine. Set aside to bloom for 5 minutes.
Warm the remaining 1/2 cup elderflower liqueur and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved but the mixture is not boiling. Remove from the heat. Add the bloomed gelatin and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the sparkling wine and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set the bowl over an ice bath. Add the cooled gelatin mixture and stir gently to combine. Keep the stirring to a minimum to retain the bubbles and also keep the jello mold clear.
Cool the sparkling gelatin over the ice bath until it is quite thick and about the consistency of hair gel to ensure that the fruit doesn't float when added. Add the plums, nectarine, strawberries, cherries, and blueberries, and gently fold in with a rubber spatula.
Pour the sparkling jelly into the mold and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
To remove the gelatin from the mold, carefully invert the mold onto a serving plate and let the mold fall gently from the mold onto the plate. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.
If it does not come out, fill the sink or a large, wide pot (wider than your mold) with warm tap water. Dip the outside of the mold in the water for 10 seconds. Remove from the water, dry the outside of the mold, and flip out onto a serving plate. Garnish with more fresh fruit, mint, and edible flowers as desired and slice to serve.