Ze Grape en Gelée
I’d like a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat. Such is the bar order of a character, clearly meant to be Yoko Ono, in one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons. That’s what this goofy flight of fancy reminds me of, even though that thing in suspension is actually a red grape. Had I any orange liquers hanging around (like say a little Grand Marnier) when I put these together last night, I’d have substituted a few tablespoons of it for some of the water. Sound a bit too much like a JELL-O shot for you? Eh, maybe. It’s still very good plain (though I confess I added a drop of vanilla extract to each of these to add a little depth).
How did I make’em? With small stainless rings (available from any pastry supply store), plastic wrap and rubber bands. Just pull the plastic taught around the bottom so it’s perfectly smooth, and warp the rubber band around tightly. Set them down on a sheet pan and pour in enough liquid JELL-O to fill them up about a third of the way, then chill them until they’re set. Put in the grapes (they sink in JELL-O), top off the molds, and put them back in the chill chest until they’re solidified.
When it comes time to unmold, dip them — plastic and all — into a bowl of hot tap water for about ten seconds. Spoon a teaspoon or so of the water onto the very top to melt it a bit, then upend the mold onto a plate. Gently take off the mold, and dab up any liquified mix with a paper towel.