Here’s another winner from the “Centerpiece Desserts” chapter – a jello mold fit for a Cardinal! And this one actually required some investigative reporting. There’s a whole lot of flavor and richness in this jello mold, plus it was simple to make.
Here’s the recipe:
1 can (16 oz.) pitted dark sweet cherries
1 package (3 oz.) Jell-O, any red flavor
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup diced orange sections, well-drained
1 cup Cool Whip, or prepared Dream Whip
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
Drain cherries and reserve 3/4 cup of the syrup. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add reserved syrup and orange juice. Chill until thickened. Fold in cherries and oranges. Pour into a 4 cup mold or individual molds. Child until firm – 4 hours or overnight. Combine whipped topping and toasted almonds. Unmold gelatin. Serve with topping. Makes 3 1/2 cups or 6 servings.
My jello-fan-friend Christopher thought this one was especially good, and Dave enjoyed it too. I liked it too. I used strawberry jello. I think raspberry would have maybe added even more kick. Cherry jello would seem redundant. The Cool Whip and almonds made a tasty garnish and cut some of the richness of the dark cherries.
I wasn’t really sure what the name meant. I googled for other recipes involving the name Richelieu, and there’s a wide variety, but I couldn’t find anything in common with this jello mold. I guessed it was named for Cardinal Richelieu, a French nobleman of the 17th Century, thought of as a the first prime minister (and also a character in The Three Musketeers). Richelieu was a lover of the arts, culture, and fine cuisine and is credited with introducing the eggplant to French cuisine. Thank goodness there is no eggplant in this jello mold. The Cardinal seems to have lived very large. On drinking, he said, “If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good?” So I figured maybe the cookbook writer thought this decadent jello mold suited the Cardinal, plus it’s red like his robes.
Call me Columbo. I don’t give up easily, and the Cardinal Richelieu connection to jello seemed tenuous at best. Everyone knows jello is more associated with Mormons than Catholics. Further investigation revealed a very simple answer. There’s a company named Richelieu Foods. One of their products is canned cherries. You can even buy the Richelieu brand cherries on Amazon. Sigh…oh well, at least I learned some stuff about Cardinal Richelieu.