Summer Fruit Sparkling Wine Gelatin

I had a bottle of sparkling riesling wine not good enough for drinking and wanted to serve it with summer fruit…but wondered how to make it more substantial, more dramatic? Gelatin! Not good for vegetarians (next time I’ll try agar agar, which has a different texture) but easy. Put 3 packets of unflavored gelatin in a cup of sparkling wine. Heat another cup of the wine to boiling, then add a couple tablespoons each of honey and lemon juice (or a teaspoon of TruLemon powder). Mix the gelatin-wine mush with the hot wine and then add the remaining cup of cold or room temperature sparkling wine. Taste. It might need more honey or lemon. Let the wine-gelatin mix cool, then pour it over 6 cups of washed, cut fruit in a large bowl. I used sliced strawberries, halved cherries and cantaloupe balls–but you can use any summer fruit: halved grapes, honeydew melon, plums, apricots, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Make sure the pieces are bite-sized. Refrigerate the bowl for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days (maybe longer? will the fruit begin to weep through the gelatin?). To unmold, briefly set the bowl in a larger basin of hot water and invert on a serving plate. Or place the bowl upside down on a serving plate and then cover the bottom of the bowl with a hot wet cloth (use the microwave). The sparkling aspect of the wine comes through in a subdued way and the fruit is enhanced without being overshadowed. The dessert feels very light (after all, it’s mostly fruit) but still festive. You could cut it into wedges or serve with a spoon. Serves about 8.

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