Friday, April 20, 2012

Like jello, but not

Have you ever heard of aspic?  Thatboy hadn't. I had - but only in a vague Great Gatsby-esque sort of reference. I knew it was served as some kind of side dish, a side dish that never gets made anymore.  Or at least not in my circles.

Which means it's time for a resurrection.  What's old is new again.  As evidenced by the neon 80s outfits that are seen in every store right now.

Except, I know nothing about aspics.  So, I turned to someone who I'm sure made a quite a few in her time - Fannie Farmer.

So get ready, buckle in to you time machines, and take a journey with me.

Meat aspics came first, dating back to the 1300s, but we'll start with something more user friendly - the cucumber aspic!

Everyone likes cucumber, and the texture isn't too far off from the cucumber itself - cold and refreshing.  It's the perfect introduction.

Cucumber Aspic (from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 envelope gelatin
2 medium cucumbers
3 scallions
4 sprigs parsley
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp lime juice
  1. Put the orange juice in a small pan and sprinkle the gelatin over.  Stir over low heat just until the gelatin dissolves.  
  2. Peel and split the cucumber lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds, then chop cucumber roughly and put in the blender.
  3. Roughly chop the scallions and add them to cucumber along with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add the orange juice and blend until pureed.
  5. Chill until the mixture begins to set, then stir well and pour into a lightly oiled mold.  Chill until set.


  1. The 80's neon is a flash back from the 60's. This aspic really does sound refreshing as a palate cleanser.

  2. Julia child also has many aspics in her cookbooks and i've avoided them at all costs...I'm so intrigued though. Might have to go for it.

  3. Aspics were very popular during my parents generation. This one look fresh and delicious.


  4. Interesting. I am not a big gelatin fan but this has me wondering.

  5. I know aspic but never tried it! Yours looks very airy and delicious!

  6. I seem to recall people talking about their Christmas aspic and always thought it was the same as a jelly mould. Thanks for the clarification.

  7. I twitch a little at the mention of aspics because it makes me totally think of the meat ones ala Julia Child. But this looks good. I bet it's very refreshing