Mock Plum Pudding on Pineapple Slices

Studies done by Woman's Day, California State University at Long Beach and the University of Arizona in the early 1970s found that 43 percent of the respondents served molded Jell-O salads at Thanksgiving -- a larger percentage than served wine. Although these recipes were considered either a side dish or a “salad,” they could also be served as a dessert, as in this truly horrendous offering from the Dole Co. However, it is an excellent example of mid-20th century culinary butchery.

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied citron
  • 6 slices pineapple
  • Red and green candied cherries for garnish
  • Whipped cream for garnish
  • Makes 6 servings

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In small saucepan, combine milk and sugar together, and cook over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture begins to simmer.
  3. Place chocolate into medium bowl, and pour hot milk over top; whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  4. Add gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Chill until mixture just begins to thicken, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add walnuts, dates and citron and fold until well combined. Divide mixture evenly between 6 ramekins and chill until completely set, at least 3 hours.
  6. On serving platter or individual plates, arrange pineapple rings and unmold one pudding onto each; garnish with whipped cream and decorate the base with cherries.