A gelatin glaze makes an ideal finishing touch for a fruit dessert topping. Gelatin glaze keeps the fruit securely in place and visually accents its juicy freshness, and it requires simple ingredients to make. Knowing how to handle unflavored gelatin gives you a good start on making a range of culinary classics, from Bavarian cream to oeufs en gelee. Practice this basic cooking technique by creating a glossy clear fruit glaze.
Sprinkle gelatin powder or lay a gelatin sheet on cold water, usually 1/4 cup of water per packet or sheet of gelatin, in the small bowl. Wait 10 to 15 minutes until the gelatin has completely absorbed the water and become glutinous, or softened.
Strain fruit juice through cheesecloth to remove any fruit particles and increase the clarity, and mix the juice with any required sugar. Heat the mixture to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, or boiling.
Combine softened gelatin and boiling liquid in the medium bowl. Stir thoroughly until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear.
Refrigerate the mixture, stirring occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes or until it is thick and glutinous but not gelled fully solid. A texture slightly thicker than that of raw egg white pours easily over fruit. Alternatively, put ice cubes in the large bowl, nestle the medium bowl in the ice, and stir until you reach the desired thickness.
Place the fruit-topped tart or dessert on a large cutting board or other easily cleaned surface to catch any drips of glaze. Spoon or slowly pour glaze evenly over the fruit. Let the dessert sit until the glaze stops dripping. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes to allow the glaze to solidify completely.
- In place of plain boiling water, you can strain lemon juice and add it to the water, and/or stir in honey.
- A critical characteristic of a good glaze is the absence of lumps. When in doubt, stir for an extra minute or two, to ensure the gelatin and sweeteners are fully dissolved.
- Some raw fruits contain enzymes that interact badly with gelatin. Use gelatin glaze to cover figs, pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mango or guava only in canned or previously cooked forms. If these fruits are raw, a pectin-based glaze made from melted fruit jelly or strained jam will produce better results than a gelatin-based glaze.
Janet Beal has written for various websites, covering a variety of topics, including gardening, home, child development and cultural issues. Her work has appeared on early childhood education and consumer education websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harvard University and a Master of Science in early childhood education from the College of New Rochelle.
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images