Disclosure: I was sent a bunch of fun hibiscus products from the lovely Ronnie who represents the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company. There was no obligation to make or post anything, I just thought I’d let you know. And thanks, Ronnie!I don’t know when I first noticed Throwback Thursday posts popping up around the Hinternets. Seems like it started on Instagram sometime in 2011 or early 2012, and since then, it has been growing steadily–and quickly! View your social media streams on any given Thursday, and you’ll see #tbt or #throwbackThursday hashtags everywhere. I love Throwback Thursday. I enjoy seeing friends’ prom pictures or baby pictures or wedding photos or snaps of their pets when they were puppies or kittens.
And then I began thinking about all the old cookbooks I own. I have quite a few, although I am admittedly a light-weight when it comes to my cookbook collection. I rarely buy them anymore. As an aside, if you are addicted to cookbooks, you might want to check out the facebook group The Cookbook Junkies. There you will find your people.
Okay, back to the cookbooks. I thought it would be fun to do a reinterpretation of recipes from older cookbooks for a cooking version of Throwback Thursday. Of course, I have my copy of A Treasury of Great Recipes by The Vincent Price, and I will certainly be getting some of my tbt ideas from that, but for this first foray, I stuck with a small booklet put out by the Jell-o folks. I posted a photo of the cookbook a few months ago, and many people said that they owned it. I imagine there are many copies of this often re-printed and updated little booklet lying around people’s kitchens, shoved into baker’s racks or shelves or maybe lost under a cabinet or in the bottom of a drawer somewhere in middle America. So friends, find them and dust those puppies off, because I am here with Supreme Dessert, the cover recipe from the 1962 edition of Joys of Jell-o!
This is so not your mama’s Supreme Dessert. The original of course uses boxed flavored gelatin, but for my updated version, I brewed some really strong hibiscus tea, mixed it with some bottled pomegranate juice and strawberries from our neighbor Gabriel’s garden (thank you for the strawberries, Gabriel) and set it with unflavored gelatin.
The wonderful thing about gelatin (if you are a fan of gelatin) is that it will set whatever liquid you put it in. You can absolutely make wine “jello.” Or set your orange juice so you can eat it with a spoon instead of drinking it. Fun! All you have to do is sprinkle the gelatin evenly over a cold liquid, allowing it 5-10 minutes to bloom and then heat it up until it is no longer grainy. Then, just pour it into your molds and chill. That’s it! You need 3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin per cup of liquid you’re setting (the range depends on how soft or firm you’d like your finished dish).
And panna cotta is pretty much just “Jello” made with dairy.
Happy Throwback Thursday, all! I hope you give Not Your Mama’s Supreme Dessert a chance. And remember, since you can set any liquid, you can make yours however you want. Here’s my version.
- 20 oz (2 1/2 cups) fresh, strongly brewed hibiscus tea (I used Wild Hibiscus Herbal Tea)
- 4.5 oz (about 2/3 cup) granulated sugar (sweeten to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 oz pomegranate juice, (I used Pom)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons, (5 teaspoons) granulated gelatin
- 10 oz strawberries, , cut into bite-sized pieces, frozen (I don't know why they call for frozen fruit, but I went with it, in the spirit of Throwback Thursday)
- 2 oz Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- 1 cup sour cream
- Mix the tea, sugar, lemon juice and salt together in a large bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold pomegranate juice. Whisk it together and let sit for 5-10 minutes to bloom.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the gelatin has melted. Shoot for about 120F on your instant read thermometer.
- Whisk the gelatin mixture into the tea mixture, and then stir in the Grand Marnier.
- Taste and adjust the flavor as necessary, adding a squirt more lemon juice or a touch more sugar or salt until you like the flavor.
- Remove 1 1/2 cups of gelatin to a small bowl.
- Chill the remaining 2 cups gelatin in an ice bath until thickened but not set.
- Stir in the frozen fruit which should help to thicken things up nicely (maybe that's why they called for frozen fruit in the first place).
- Ladle or spoon into serving glasses, filling them about 2/3 full.
- Place in the fridge until set but not too firm.
- Add the sour cream to the remaining gelatin and whisk really well until completely combined and bubbly.
- Chill in an ice bath until very thick.
- Spoon on top of the fruit layer in your serving glasses.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
I just finished inhaling one of these guys, and it was even more delicious chilled and set than it tasted when I was making the base. Yay!
Happy #tbtfood, everyone! If you ever want to play along, just let me know. And if you have a request, a classic you’d like me to rework or update, let me know that too.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read today.
Have a lovely day.