Recipe by Caryn Dalton
I have a recipe posted for Fruit Jello Cups that does not use the vegan setting agent if you are fine with using gelatin. See Fruit Jello Cups. I just like the vegan version better because I am more comfortable with Agar" (also called "agar-agar")-as the setting agent. I think it sets better than gelatine too but it does take a lot longer to set. Other than the sub with the Jello (and it's necessary prep), this recipe is exactly like my other one. I substitute this recipe for the store bought fruit Jello cups. It's easy and much more affordable. I like to use those mini-ziplock containers with the lid because they are perfect in size and can stack in the fridge. You could also save a few pudding, Jello or applesauce containers and just use foil to cover. You will need 7 for this recipe. This recipe is easy enough that the kids can help too (just take care with the boiling liquid) and each cup has two servings of fruit! For my bigger kids (4 and older)I like to drop my soft gummy vitamin(s) in before setting in fridge to gel. My kids call them the "treats" in the middle! You can customize this for smaller kids by pureeing the fruit (puree the vitamin too!) before adding to the cups. I love being sneaky!
- 1 tablespoon agar-agar flakes or 1 teaspoon agar, powder
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (or Splenda)
- 2 cups boiling fruit juice (apple juice is a great neutral flavor and don't use real pineapple or kiwi or it wont set)
- 1 (14 ounce) can mixed fruit, in fruit juice (or canned fruit of your choice-NOT pineapple or kiwi)
- fresh fruit, cleaned and small-chunked can be substituted for canned. (Do not use kiwi or pineapple because those fruits contain enzymes that prevent the Agar from gelling) (optional)
- 1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice (for keeping fresh cut fruit from browning..can also use commercial product like (Fruit-Fresh, option) (optional) or 1 -2 tablespoon orange juice (for keeping fresh cut fruit from browning..can also use commercial product like (Fruit-Fresh) (optional)
- food coloring (we like the extreme colors) (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- If using fresh fruit, clean and peel hard skinned fruits (apples, pears, oranges, etc, melons, etc) and cut into small chunks. Use your choice of anti-browning agent and sprinkle, then toss to coat well the cut fruit. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups fruit juice, agar and sugar together. Stir well and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until both the agar and sugar have dissolved. If using Splenda, cool mixture a bit before adding. Don't allow Splenda to boil because the texture changes and will affect the finished Jello.
- Open can of fruit and drain.
- Line up your cups and pour mixture to about half (using the cups I mentioned above). When all mixture is poured in, add 1 tiny drop to each container you want to color and mix with a spoon. The extreme colors are very bright/dark and I think the pink and green/yellow turn out the prettiest with the fruit. Don't use big drops or you wont be able to see the fruit as well. Sometimes I split one drop between two by putting one drop in one container and then pouring the mixture back and forth in the separate containers till desired color is achieved. The regular food coloring has nice Christmas colors. The kids love this part!
- After you are happy with your colors, add about 2 TB of the chunked fruit to your cups. It will sink to the bottom and raise the level of the gelatin to within 1/4" of the top.
- Cover and chill about 2-4 hours or until soft set.
- Feel free to use different kinds of juice and fruit. Each container has about 2 servings of fruit.